Hey Program Directors...

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    How about responding to e-mail? And your secretaries responding to e-mail? Not doing so really reflects poorly on your program. Some might call it unprofessional. I just think it's rude. And it makes your program less appealing to us.
     
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      How about responding to e-mail? And your secretaries responding to e-mail? Not doing so really reflects poorly on your program. Some might call it unprofessional. I just think it's rude. And it makes your program less appealing to us.

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        Perhaps last cookie has no idea how many emails the PD/PC gets, or how the PD has clinical duties along with other duties because he/she is running the program. If he/she sat there responding to every email, we'd be applying for residency 4 years in advance.
         

        last cookie

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          Perhaps last cookie has no idea how many emails the PD/PC gets, or how the PD has clinical duties along with other duties because he/she is running the program. If he/she sat there responding to every email, we'd be applying for residency 4 years in advance.
          I guess we should just not e-mail them or their busy busy secretaries. Why then even publicly post e-mail addresses anyway? "E-mail us with questions!!!" I guess not. Most other programs don't have a problem responding to e-mail. It's just rude to not respond to an e-mail personally addressed to you, for weeks. And I'm not intimidated by the snark brigade.
           

          shan564

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            I guess we should just not e-mail them or their busy busy secretaries. Why then even publicly post e-mail addresses anyway? "E-mail us with questions!!!" I guess not. Most other programs don't have a problem responding to e-mail. It's just rude to not respond to an e-mail personally addressed to you, for weeks. And I'm not intimidated by the snark brigade.

            I think the point is that it's reasonable to expect that one of your emails might slip through the cracks. When somebody gets hundreds of emails, I think it's OK for them to occasionally miss one.
             

            VneZonyDostupa

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              I guess we should just not e-mail them or their busy busy secretaries. Why then even publicly post e-mail addresses anyway? "E-mail us with questions!!!" I guess not. Most other programs don't have a problem responding to e-mail. It's just rude to not respond to an e-mail personally addressed to you, for weeks. And I'm not intimidated by the snark brigade.

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              But in all seriousness, you need to chill out. You are one of likely HUNDREDS of people e-mailing and calling that program on a daily basis. If the secretary doesn't answer your e-mail for a week, send a polite follow-up or call. If they still don't answer, just move on. Not a big deal.
               

              last cookie

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                But in all seriousness, you need to chill out. You are one of likely HUNDREDS of people e-mailing and calling that program on a daily basis. If the secretary doesn't answer your e-mail for a week, send a polite follow-up or call. If they still don't answer, just move on. Not a big deal.

                Hundreds of people emailing and calling daily? I just don't buy it. I'd prefer to be vague but I'm not applying to a specialty with thousands of applicants per program. It's obvious they are ignoring email to avoid answering inconvenient questions. I hope other people don't roll over so easily.
                 

                genswim24

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                  Hundreds of people emailing and calling daily? I just don't buy it. I'd prefer to be vague but I'm not applying to a specialty with thousands of applicants per program. It's obvious they are ignoring email to avoid answering inconvenient questions. I hope other people don't roll over so easily.


                  Just out of curiosity, what questions would be considered inconvenient?
                   

                  VneZonyDostupa

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                    Hundreds of people emailing and calling daily? I just don't buy it. I'd prefer to be vague but I'm not applying to a specialty with thousands of applicants per program. It's obvious they are ignoring email to avoid answering inconvenient questions. I hope other people don't roll over so easily.

                    Yeah, that seems like the most logical assumption. A program, in the middle of interview season, with likely over 200 high-strung applicants, MUST be part of a conspiracy to hide answers to "inconvenient questions".

                    It couldn't possible be that your e-mail got lost in the sea of other e-mails, or that someone has just dropped the ball on responding. No, couldn't be. It must be a secret plot to hide information from you, the sole hope for transparency and honesty in these, our troubling times.

                    You're not the hero ERAS deserves, nor the one it needs right now.
                     

                    VneZonyDostupa

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                      Just out of curiosity, what questions would be considered inconvenient?

                      Given his/her posts here, I'm fairly certain they were:

                      1) Why don't I have an interview invitation yet?

                      2) When is my interview invite going to be sent?

                      3) If you don't send me an interview invitation, you know I'm going to sue you for being unprofessional, right?

                      4) Seriously, where is my interview invitation?
                       
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                      VneZonyDostupa

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                        Well, getting a hotel reservation, especially for an upcoming interview, is more important. Not to mention, the secretary likely needs to run those questions by someone higher up, who might be busy with, ya know...interviews.

                        If you don't like how the program is treating you, then don't accept the interview. It's as simple as that. You could have even asked the program these questions before you added them to your ERAS list, saving you the $12 or so bucks it cost you to apply.
                         

                        gutonc

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                          Hundreds of people emailing and calling daily? I just don't buy it.

                          Really? You don't buy it? Look...I'm a nobody junior faculty that has almost nothing to do with the application process for my specialty. I personally got more than 60 emails today. I'm going to guess that the PD in my specialty (which takes a total of 3 people a year) got 2 or 3 times that many...and the IM PD more than likely got several hundred emails...today.

                          So yes, your email could very easily slip through the cracks without any malice on anyone's part.

                          Or perhaps they just realized what a massive douche you are and are hoping you'll just go away if they don't respond.
                           

                          last cookie

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                            Nevermind then. What a miserable bunch of people you are. It pretty much sums of the level of discourse around here to be called a massive douche after not saying anything mean to anyone. And this is a place for physicians to talk.
                             

                            VneZonyDostupa

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                              Nevermind then. What a miserable bunch of people you are. It pretty much sums of the level of discourse around here to be called a massive douche after not saying anything mean to anyone. And this is a place for physicians to talk.

                              What did you honestly expect? You came here and posted a silly little passive-aggressive note meant more for a bad Facebook status update, and are suddenly surprised people aren't taking you seriously?

                              You're right, this is a place for physicians (and soon-to-be physicians) to talk. I would hope those two groups of people would know not to take a passive-aggressive temper tantrum any more seriously than we have here.
                               

                              shan564

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                                Plenty of questions... Why have residents left your program? What about that tricky probation issue? And when friends email the same person about questions about hotel reservations and get a brisk response, it's telling.

                                It's fairly unprofessional to ask questions like that in an email. Those are interview-type questions. And if you ask a difficult question, it's reasonable to expect not to get an immediate response, since the person doesn't always know how to answer it immediately, so they'll want to think about it a bit (and then maybe forget later) - by contrast, it's easy to answer a question about hotel reservations.

                                last cookie said:
                                Nevermind then. What a miserable bunch of people you are. It pretty much sums of the level of discourse around here to be called a massive douche after not saying anything mean to anyone. And this is a place for physicians to talk.
                                When everybody tells you that there's something wrong with what you're saying, there are two possibilities:
                                1. Everybody is right and you're wrong.
                                2. You're right and everybody else is wrong.
                                #2 is possible, but #1 is much more likely.


                                Also, with regard to your statement about "not saying anything mean" - I should mention that you've said the following things:

                                "It's just rude to not respond to an e-mail personally addressed to you, for weeks" (in my opinion, it's rude to call somebody "rude" for something that a lot of people might not consider "rude." I'm sure that you're probably the kind of person who responds to all emails immediately, but you can't expect people in different positions to act the same way.)

                                "And I'm not intimidated by the snark brigade." (that sounds like "something mean" to me.)

                                " "E-mail us with questions!!!" I guess not. " (this may not have been your intention, but it seems that you're implying that somebody is being dishonest by saying that you can email them with questions, and then you later go on to point out that they DID respond to your friends' questions... don't you think that there's a possibility that the problem was with your question rather than with the person who didn't respond?)

                                "Hundreds of people emailing and calling daily? I just don't buy it." (you're directly contradicting something that somebody else said... and you're doing it in a dismissive manner. That sounds quite disrespectful, and if somebody had said that to me, I'd be quite annoyed.)

                                "t's obvious they are ignoring email to avoid answering inconvenient questions." (again, accusing somebody of something without considering the explanation that others seem to think is more likely.)

                                " I hope other people don't roll over so easily." (accusing people of "rolling over" rather than assuming that they might have a different reason for suggesting what they're suggesting.)



                                Instead of assuming that all PDs and PCs have an ulterior motive and that everybody on SDN is a "miserable bunch of people," maybe you should consider the possibility that you're being closed-minded. It seems to me that you've having a bit of difficulty putting yourself in another person's shoes. Remember that other people aren't working for you - they have different motivations for different actions.
                                 

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                                  How about responding to e-mail? And your secretaries responding to e-mail? Not doing so really reflects poorly on your program. Some might call it unprofessional. I just think it's rude. And it makes your program less appealing to us.

                                  You know, I actually completely agree with Last Cookie.....said no one ever.
                                   

                                  last cookie

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                                    Shan564,

                                    I disagree that it's unprofessional but I understand your position. My general point is that it's frustrating to write to someone with good intent and not receive a response. Perhaps others disagree but I don't understand the viciousness toward me for having feelings clearly others have. And my standard for mean is a few notches below massive douche, I guess. I don't think everyone on SDN is quite miserable, just a surprising few who have ganged up on me...
                                     

                                    EMmotherhen

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                                      Yes I receive hundreds of emails. Please accept that you are not the only medical student job hunting. Neither I, nor many many other programs, will respond to UNSOLICITED emails. You say friends receive replies to emails about hotel reservations - that indicates they were invited to interview and therefore we have opened a line of communication with them. You haven't received an invitation (yet? ever?) and therefore I don't need to chat with you. Every program has its criteria for an applicant "making the cut" and your email isn't going to change that. I cannot invite every single person who applies. I do not want to invite every single person who applies. Based on the posts you've made I can only hope your emails' tone is more professional or that might explain your empty inbox. You want my program to be more appealling? You have to be equally appealing. So now we've all vented. It's time to move on.
                                       
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                                        Yes I receive hundreds of emails. Please accept that you are not the only medical student job hunting. Neither I, nor many many other programs, will respond to UNSOLICITED emails. You say friends receive replies to emails about hotel reservations - that indicates they were invited to interview and therefore we have opened a line of communication with them. You haven't received an invitation (yet? ever?) and therefore I don't need to chat with you. Every program has its criteria for an applicant "making the cut" and your email isn't going to change that. I cannot invite every single person who applies. I do not want to invite every single person who applies. Based on the posts you've made I can only hope your emails' tone is more professional or that might explain your empty inbox. You want my program to be more appealling? You have to be equally appealing. So now we've all vented. It's time to move on.

                                        If you read my post I said I didn't email about interview invitations. I am referring to two programs who have invited me who have subsequently clammed up post-invite. My emails are hardly unsolicited. I just don't want to fly a thousand miles to interview at a program going on probation.
                                         

                                        gutonc

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                                          How about responding to e-mail? And your secretaries responding to e-mail? Not doing so really reflects poorly on your program. Some might call it unprofessional. I just think it's rude. And it makes your program less appealing to us.

                                          I guess we should just not e-mail them or their busy busy secretaries. Why then even publicly post e-mail addresses anyway? "E-mail us with questions!!!" I guess not. Most other programs don't have a problem responding to e-mail. It's just rude to not respond to an e-mail personally addressed to you, for weeks. And I'm not intimidated by the snark brigade.

                                          Hundreds of people emailing and calling daily? I just don't buy it. I'd prefer to be vague but I'm not applying to a specialty with thousands of applicants per program. It's obvious they are ignoring email to avoid answering inconvenient questions. I hope other people don't roll over so easily.

                                          Plenty of questions... Why have residents left your program? What about that tricky probation issue? And when friends email the same person about questions about hotel reservations and get a brisk response, it's telling.

                                          Shan564,

                                          I disagree that it's unprofessional but I understand your position. My general point is that it's frustrating to write to someone with good intent and not receive a response. Perhaps others disagree but I don't understand the viciousness toward me for having feelings clearly others have. And my standard for mean is a few notches below massive douche, I guess. I don't think everyone on SDN is quite miserable, just a surprising few who have ganged up on me...

                                          If you read my post I said I didn't email about interview invitations. I am referring to two programs who have invited me who have subsequently clammed up post-invite. My emails are hardly unsolicited. I just don't want to fly a thousand miles to interview at a program going on probation.

                                          Actually, you never stated in any of your posts that these were places that had offered you interviews. But these are questions that are best answered in person and I doubt any program would answer them via email. And FWIW, it's rare (but not unknown) for programs to actually be put on probation. When I was interviewing there were two, top 20 programs that had been put in danger of probation. Both addressed the issue in the PD's presentation and the next year, both had been given 3 year program certifications.
                                           

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                                            Well, if they don't respond when you're an applicant, they're sure as hell not going to be respond once you're already a resident (and you know, kinda stuck). It sounds like you've got concerns about this place and aren't being reassured. Don't go there. Easy enough. :)

                                            And hey I guess I agree with you that it's reasonable to expect a reply to your email. They're trying to sell their program to you.
                                             

                                            last cookie

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                                              Actually, you never stated in any of your posts that these were places that had offered you interviews. But these are questions that are best answered in person and I doubt any program would answer them via email. And FWIW, it's rare (but not unknown) for programs to actually be put on probation. When I was interviewing there were two, top 20 programs that had been put in danger of probation. Both addressed the issue in the PD's presentation and the next year, both had been given 3 year program certifications.

                                              I didn't claim I said I was invited. But I was. One program where there is talk of probation, another with other issues. And I've even sent an unsolicited email to another program and gotten an interview in reply; I've never had issues with other programs. But for these two programs, there is a big difference between 'hey let's talk in person about this issue' versus radio silence. The former is a fair position, the latter, to me, is not.
                                               

                                              KnuxNole

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                                                Hundreds of people emailing and calling daily? I just don't buy it. I'd prefer to be vague but I'm not applying to a specialty with thousands of applicants per program. It's obvious they are ignoring email to avoid answering inconvenient questions. I hope other people don't roll over so easily.

                                                Why don't you buy it? There are thousands of people applying to programs, and they get phone calls from people in the hospital, and other duties.

                                                Program directors specifically are doctors too. And we know how busy their phones always are!

                                                And to be honest, asking them bluntly why residents left the program isn't something they want to answer in an informal email. I understand your intent, but in an e-mail, you can't expect a genuine truthful response from that. The person probably read that, and wasn't sure how to respond, or what canned answer to give.
                                                 
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                                                gasblaster

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                                                  A) Why did you even bother applying if there was a possibilty that you wouldn't go on the interview? It's not like you couldn't have done your research beforehand.

                                                  B) The questions you ask require detailed answers that likely take more than a few minutes to type out.

                                                  C) I hope you realize your email correspondences are likely printed out/stored and kept on file. Those types of questions preinterview likely reflects negatively on you and is more detrimental to you than them not responding is to them.

                                                  D) In a small field, where it's easy for PDs to talk to each other, it's probably not best to risk aggrevating/annoying anyone.
                                                   

                                                  majahops

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                                                    I know this isn't directly realted to the O.P.s question, but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your view on the situation. Figures that you're going into psych. Insightful. This is essentially the opposite of the perspective I'd expect a surgery resident to have.

                                                    Well, if they don't respond when you're an applicant, they're sure as hell not going to be respond once you're already a resident (and you know, kinda stuck). It sounds like you've got concerns about this place and aren't being reassured.
                                                     
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                                                    Top Gun

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                                                      The PD didn't respond to your email? No! How dare they?!

                                                      Right, never mind the hundreds of other things the PD has to do every day. Managing the residents, organizing conferences, managing the program's budget and funding, attending committee meetings, writing LOR's for residents applying to fellowships, interviewing the hundreds of other residency applicants and reviewing all of their emails, doing research, not to mention seeing patients. Your email should take top priority because you are the best thing their program has encountered since sliced bread! How dare they not kowtow to your magnificence?!
                                                       

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                                                        Chances are, your email is being shown around the department, with two or three people drafting a response to your awkward questions. Or, it may be lost among the 200 or so that show up on a daily basis; some as responses to invitations, some as unsolicited "look, I am great...give me an interview", and the rest the normal business of a residency program. CHILL OUT. If you have not heard in three or four days, then re-email. Who knows, maybe your email got tossed in the junk mail file by the stupid nanny filter..
                                                         

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                                                          It may be that non-response in this specific context is more a reflection of a poorly worded email or a non-competitive application overall. Pure speculation on my part especially with regards to the latter, as in some ways selective replies would require even _more_ time than nonselective replies.
                                                           

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                                                            Not sure there's much to say.

                                                            At first, I thought the OP might be complaining about programs not responding to "Hey, here's my application via email because I want to get around the ERAS price structure designed specifically to prevent me from sending my application to 1000's of programs, what are my chances" types of emails. Those do directly to trash -- do not pass GO, do not collect $100.

                                                            But with more details, it could be anything. It could be that the OP is asking difficult questions that the programs are not interested in answering. It's also possible that he/she asked them in such a way that made it clear that he/she was no longer being seriously considered for a position. Or, the emails simply got lost in the shuffle. No way to tell.
                                                             
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