Strangely enough, the places I didn't like very much all made a big show of saying that they wanted to impress me and prove that they were the right program for me but then spent the rest of the day preaching that they were the "one true Onc training program" and that if I went anywhere else to train I might as well go into PM&R for all the good my training would do me as an oncologist. Most of them also spent a ton of time impugning other programs I'd applied to.
The places I liked on the other hand said, in essence, "this is what we've got, this is where your interests/experience/background mesh with what we have and this is why you'd fit in well at this program...we hope you feel the same way."
And it's kind of funny to see that the randomness of the application/invite system doesn't change between residency and fellowship...I'm much more sanguine about it this year. I applied to the "Big 5" cancer centers (Hutch, MSK, MDA, Farber, Fox Chase) and a few other places, all w/ comprehensive cancer centers. I got interviews at all (including UCSF and Stanford) but 2, Farber and (of all places) Columbia. The Farber I can kind of understand, but Columbia? That rejection actually made me laugh.
And yes...don't forget to register w/ NRMP. It's $40 and there's no late fee...unless you consider not being able to submit a ROL until next year a late fee.
I know exactly what you mean...I should qualify what I meant by "show me something" by saying I don't mean put on a grand spectacle and blow my socks off, I mean let your program speak. Whatever it is that impresses people on interviews, I'm looking to be impressed - whether that be by presenting your program or by putting on the full-court-press, programs can shine in different ways. I was just saying I was taking the approach that I am looking at programs w/ a critical eye, vs being all nervous about looking good for the programs.
Yeah, the process is ridiculous - I think that maybe some of the interviews might actually be based on what your interests are, though...for example, I know I don't want to be a transplanter, and all my research and stated research interests were in solids, so it wasn't suprising to me that I didn't get an interview at the Hutch or Stanford, whereas I got more or less equivalent level interviews at places where there are more solids going on like MSK. Or, I could just be completely full of crap and I'm imagining rationales where there are none. The Columbia thing makes no sense, but it ultimately just doesn't matter....I mean, would you have ranked there over any of the places you interviewed already?
What did you think of UCSF by the way? I've heard mixed reviews. Haven't been yet.
Thanks for the heads-up re: registering for the match. I finally have a weekend off!!!! Gonna waste it by sleeping and watching basketball...I may not leave the apartment for the next 72 hours.