How important is it to attend the evening before get-together?

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by FACS, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. FACS

    FACS jolly good fellow
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Obviously it's in my favor to attend. In spite of the extra stress and hassle it is a good opportunity to poke around and gain insight into the program. That's not what I'm getting at. Some programs offer this evening soirree while others don't. When I know in advance I work it into my schedule. But one of my programs sent me all their interview info and then about three weeks later told me about their evening-before thingy. I've already bought my tickets and can't make it. Is this going to look bad? Will they care? Will they even notice?
     
  2. imtiaz

    imtiaz i cant translate stupid
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2000
    Messages:
    2,615
    Likes Received:
    15
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    this was asked before and from what others have posted it sounded like they dont care if you go or not, but youll be the one missing out.

    ive not been going unless they say its mandatory, so far only one program has really made us go.
     
  3. FACS

    FACS jolly good fellow
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks.
     
  4. imtiaz

    imtiaz i cant translate stupid
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2000
    Messages:
    2,615
    Likes Received:
    15
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    i tend not to take my own advice.
     
  5. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Messages:
    11,745
    Likes Received:
    661
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Every interview I attended, at least one interviewer asked if I went out with the residents the night before.

    Faculty value this because it gives an applicant a chance to see if he/she fits in with the other residents.

    I highly recommend attending!
     
  6. FACS

    FACS jolly good fellow
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I've been asked if I went, too. But I guess if I have a valid travel related reason that'd be ok. I origionally thought the opportunity to ask questions to the residents with the faculty absent would be benificial....but it's not. Not one bit. They all give the same correct answers. Basically the residents are talking right out of their asses and the evening has a very fake feel to it. I guess I could pretend to get along with just about anyone, no matter how much I hated their guts, for an evening. Here's what you learn from the night before.

    1. Yes, we often hang out together as a group.
    2. The faculty are great. We like them.
    3. I love this bland mid-sized city. It's a whole lot of fun.
    4. Yes, lots of OR time as an intern. X amount of cases (uh, yeah, they include lines, etc)
    5. Great ancillary staff, no scutwork.
    6. Prelims and catagoricals get along great.
    7. We're 80 hour work week compliant.
    8. Yes, I ranked this program number one.
    9. I'd definately come here if I could do it all over again.
    10. No one ever drops out (well except for so and so, but they were weak and crazy)

    Basically it's just like reading the website except, when reading the website you don't screw up your chances if you yawn or look disinterested.

    The night before mixer gets a two thumbs down from me. :thumbdown: :thumbdown:
     
  7. rugtrousers

    rugtrousers Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I've been to three of these mixers the night before, and have found them reasonably helpful. First off, you get a free really nice (usually) meal, which helps when you're shelling out for travel. Secondly, you get to see if you would fit in with the residents, and the answer for me was HELL NO on one occasion. Thirdly, you get to see how many residents actually come, which can give you some idea of how motivated/interested the residents are and how much free time they get. Sometimes they are there just for the free booze, but usually they are pretty candid.
     
  8. turtle md

    turtle md Hardware Included
    Physician 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I enjoyed the night befores. They gave me good insight into the personalities of the programs. You have to take what the residents say at face value, but you can observe how they really interact with one another. There was one program that the night before completely disuaded me from even ranking. The answers the residents gave where the same as usual, but their attitude didn't match with mine. They seemed obnoxious and smug (even more than me :D ).
     
  9. FACS

    FACS jolly good fellow
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good point. I have found them usefull in that respect. Thanks. :cool:


    I guess it's worth sitting through all those BS answers for the chance to read between the lines.
     
  10. Koko

    Koko Koko
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    0
    What's appropriate to wear?

    A) Residents only

    B) Residents & Faculty

    My gut says with A) chinos and a button down shirt or sweater and B) same, but add a sport jacket sans tie

    Thoughts?

    Thanks.
     
  11. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Messages:
    11,745
    Likes Received:
    661
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I wore jeans to a lot of my pre-interview dinners. Jeans with a nice button up and a leather jacket.
     
  12. turtle md

    turtle md Hardware Included
    Physician 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I went casual to all mine. Figured they would see the suit me on interview day, mights as well meet the real me the night before.. :)
     
  13. Mumpu

    Mumpu Burninator, MD
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Messages:
    1,197
    Likes Received:
    2
    Short shorts!
     
  14. Methyldopa

    Methyldopa Pharmacopoeia
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    3
    I disagree. You learn a lot about the residents that go to that program. As an example I went to a school that I thought I'd love but met the residents and learned they never hangout with each other and a couple of them are total tools.

    The result is: that program goes from being top of my list to probably not being ranked at all. :eek:
     
  15. Poety

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I think the night before mixer would be a good thing for you to attend but if traveling arrangements don't allow for it - I wouldn't worry about that either. I'm sure no program is going to hold that against you if you already have your flight lined up.

    Good luck and I wish you all the best! :luck:
     
  16. Mumpu

    Mumpu Burninator, MD
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Messages:
    1,197
    Likes Received:
    2
    Chiefs influence the admissions decisions. Informal dinners allow you to mingle with chiefs. Need I say more?
     
  17. APACHE3

    APACHE3 Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    0
    As long as you have a good reason...I have to end one interview and then drive 8 hours to get to the other the next day. i will obviously miss the interview dinner, but I think they will understand and maybe even up my stock that I would drive all night to visit their program!!! :D
     
  18. GiJoe

    GiJoe Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    0

    I hope this isnt a rule because many of my flights arrive the night before the interview and I'm not able to make most of these dinners. I let the resident know beforehand but I would hope that these folks don't count it against you b/c your flight happend to arrive at like 11pm.
     
  19. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2001
    Messages:
    9,050
    Likes Received:
    140
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Hi there,
    If you can make sure that the program knows your travel schedule will not permit you to attend the evening event before interview day, you should be fine. Just let them know way in advance. Many people have interview schedules that require them to fly in and out on short notice.

    Do not arrive early and hang around the hotel where you can be seen if you use the above reason for not attending the "evening-before" event. Make sure that you have reserved a "late" check-in with the hotel and check in very late.

    njbmd :)
     
  20. willow212

    willow212 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think attending these events is most helpful is adding to your "gut feel" about a program from interacting with residents. Of course, you're going to get a lot of propaganda that "we're the best, we're the happiest", but you can also get a sense of what personalities are attracted to that program, how residents interact with each other, and whether you fit with that group.

    As far as whether it would be worth changing a flight to attend one of these events - I would say that it depends on how interested you are in a program. If it's at the top of your list, it may be worth it. You could also try to go standby on an earlier flight that day (if you are arriving the night before), and you can assess your chances for a standby seat by calling the airline in advance to see if there are empty seats available on a previous flight.
     
  21. FACS

    FACS jolly good fellow
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0

    Thanks, that shouldn't be a problem. My check-in will be around 2am. :laugh:
     
  22. Selznick

    Selznick registered user
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ughh, I HATE that dammed night before soiree. The interview day is fine. I have no problem with that but the night before? These things are insufferable. And so damn fake. I find that I don't get much feel for how the residents get along. I get a better sense of that by wathching them in the minutes before m&m or grand rounds. That's a much better opportunity to see how social or clicky they are. And the locations - one place actually scheduled the get together in a damn bar with music blaring. I was actually hoarse from shouting all night. These things are hell on earth. I'll be avoiding as many of them as possible. :eek:
     
  23. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Messages:
    469
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    You clearly aren't drinking enough alcohol at these events. ;) I've only been to one so far, but it was actually a lot of fun, mainly because the residents viewed it as a great opportunity to get drunk on quality liquor for free. And that was probably a benefit for the applicants, since after a few drinks most people tell the truth. :)
     
  24. BStein76

    BStein76 Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student

    I like to wait until everyone has a couple of beers and mixed drinks before barraging them with questions. Invariably someone will say something less than complimentary about their program.
     
  25. Selznick

    Selznick registered user
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0

    That's right. I don't drink. Yes, some people's tongues wag a little when they're drunk. But I find they still keep up the motif of BS regardless of inebriation. It is after all what they came there to do. Of course, the night before soiree is a great place to judge how residents behave at a night before soiree. But I'm much more interested in how they behave in the hospital which tends to be quite different. In any case. I'm pretty good at reading people and can indirectly sound them for "the truth" without the need for alcohol. Unfortunately, there's little point in this because I'm already well aware of the realities of residency in the specialty I'm interested in and am no stranger to the exact nature of the gulf between the reality and the bs press release version. There's plenty of time with the residents on interview day, anyway, to do all the sounding you want.

    In any case the mentality of drunk=fun, sober=boring is one I grew out of years ago. The fact that I witness many residents at these events showcaseing this attitude is no surprize to me. It's very common after all. I really don't need to attend these awfull gatherings to find that out.

    I believe that the most important thing about a program is the mood and personality of the institution. You don't need to ask probing questions to get at that. You just show up the next day and experience it.
     
  26. Selznick

    Selznick registered user
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    People do this all the time when sober without knowing it. You just need to be a bit more subtle in your reading. ;)
     
  27. grunermann

    grunermann Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    These evenings are invaluable if you can make them. Even though people say that "this doesn't count." I bet that people will find out if you make a negative/positive impression. Plus, always remember that residents usually are on selection committees. If you connect with the right people, I would bet that counts for something :)
     
  28. Selznick

    Selznick registered user
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0

    Yeah, that's why I've been going to them. Because of this myth. And yes, I do my positive impression act - "Hi, I'm Mr.Confident. Pleased to meet you", etc. But I very much doubt this "invaluability" you speak of. You generally get to connect with all the same people the next day. That's usually quite enough for them to see how super I am. Social events with a room full of social ******s just isn't my idea of a good time. When will this awfull process be OVER. Aaagghh :mad:
     
  29. Mumpu

    Mumpu Burninator, MD
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Messages:
    1,197
    Likes Received:
    2
    So, is it bad to pick up some random hottie at the bar and wander away from the residents' group?

    Hey, if nothing else it's free dinner. What else are you going to do in a strange city late at night?
     
  30. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    0


    :laugh: tee hee. We had a class meeding at my school givin' by the PD's to prep us for the trail. They actually specifically warned us against this one. So I guess, if you do it, be discreet.

    So you're sayin' theres something wrong with hanging out in crack houses and titty bars?? :mad:
     
  31. LadyInWhite

    LadyInWhite New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    How about bringing your significant other/husband to the dinner?? Is that okay?
     
  32. ExtraCrispy

    ExtraCrispy Funky chicken
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    1
    Forget "looking good" or "scoring points"...that, to me, misses the point about the value of these receptions. The best thing about the night-before gatherings is that they give you a chance to (a) get the skinny about the program from those in the thick of it, without sugar-coating and away from the pressures of faculty, and (b) decide if you'd want to spend the next 5-7 years with a particular group of residents.

    I need to figure out whether or not I want to attend the program, and if I'd work well with its residents, before even considering "making a good impression." That's why the night-before shindigs are so helpful, IMHO.
     
  33. Poety

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    An interesting bit of information I got from each of the preinterview dinners was that the residents informed me that they ARE on the selection committee and in some cases, I've had residents say the PD does do some selection but for the most part - the residents select. Just thought I'd drop that in here - but I'm applying to psych so this may be different in other specialties! Good luck everyone!
     
  34. zeusdoc

    zeusdoc Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    LIW,

    You can bring your husband/SO. When I interviewed 2 weeks ago at Louisville, I was about the only one that did not have my spouse along.
     
  35. turtle md

    turtle md Hardware Included
    Physician 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I brought my wife with me as I traveled to all my interviews. She would always join me for the night before get-togethers.

    Since she is a trophy wife, it was a great time to show her off :) .
     
  36. Poety

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    Does she know she is? :laugh:
     
  37. turtle md

    turtle md Hardware Included
    Physician 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Yeah, I tell her all the time. At one night before (an unusual one b/c the PD and other attendings were there as well), we were at a bar, playing pool. She got teamed up with the PD as a pool partner. Well, she had one hell of a night, and the two never lost a game. He told me that it had been years since he wasn't pushed out of the mini-tournament after just a game or two. So I left feeling pretty confident that if I wanted the spot, it would be mine. :thumbup:
     
  38. p54

    p54 Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    call me lame, but atleast for me, i try to go back to my hotel room after dinner and go to sleep early so i can be feeling and looking good on the interview day
     
  39. Poety

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]

    My hubby is a carpenter/contractor guy and this reminds me of when interviewers say "Oh I could really use a good carpenter, think he would do my house?" - I was actually psyched when I met a PD who's husband does the same thing!!! I wouldn't say I was confident the spot was mine though - <sigh> if only :scared:
     
  40. PatrickBateman

    PatrickBateman Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    1
    If you forget about looking good then you're just shooting youself in the head. A bad report from residents at one of these things and you're out of the running. All that info you aquired won't help you much then. ;)
     
  41. ExtraCrispy

    ExtraCrispy Funky chicken
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    1
    I realize that I wasn't clear - this wasn't my point. Obviously you shouldn't show up and act like a jerk (I'm not sure why anyone would behave that way under any circumstances). My point is that the decision on whether or not to attend is missing the bigger picture if it's solely made on the basis of impressing the residents. The potential of learning about the program through an uncensored source should be considered heavily in the decision, IMHO.
     

Share This Page