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Interview Expenses

Discussion in 'Internal Medicine and IM Subspecialties' started by rs2006, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. rs2006

    rs2006 student
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    Hi all,

    I hope all is well for all you guys who are interviewing-- I have noticed that this seems like a VERY EXPENSIVE process-- so far $1100 for interviews in 4 cities-- any thoughts-- thanks!!!!!!11
     
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  3. raph91

    raph91 Member
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    short of
    1) only going to places within driving distance
    and
    2) only going to places where you have friends nearby
    i dont think it can be made too much cheaper.

    there are certain things:
    (1) Getting there - some places you have to fly, but if you CAN spend say 8 hrs on a train, it will be cheaper and land you in the same spot (probably cut the cost in half) ... im talking going down the east coast or something like that. also, try and make plane reservations around 3 wks in advance. for the most part, there isnt much reason to spend more than $300 on a round trip plane ticket nowadays unless youre really desperate and doing it last minute. otherwise, you should be able to find a pretty good rate (though it may involve a stop along the way).
    (2) Staying there - if you have friends there, that's ideal. but the best bet isn't always a hotel. there are hostels, many of which are not that bad, and are much cheaper. you can get a night in a hostel in most major cities and most are located close to major transportation (subways, etc.)
    (3) Getting around there - get a shuttle. taxis stink and are really expensive. call ahead of time if you know when youre getting there and find out where you can pick up the shuttle (or where the shuttle will pick you up) and how much. sometimes, especially in places that dont have shuttles, renting a car could be the best option ... just look up maps on google earth and mapquest and print them out before you go there as it will make life easier. remember, though, that you have to park the car and that may cost $$$ and ultimately make it more expensive, so you have to know where that car is going to go. otherwise a nice shuttle back and forth may be your best option.

    it just involves cost-cutting along the process to reduce total cost at the end. in the end, if youre not only applying in a small, select area, interviewing is going to cost a bunch, and it's unavoidable.
     
  4. Mumpu

    Mumpu Burninator, MD
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    Your expenses sound on the cheap side compared to my experience ($2000 for six interviews) but it's very dependent on distance and number of days in each city.

    Personally, I've decided to suck up the cost rather than cut corners on cheap housing. I hate traveling and listening to two people doing the horizontal dance with no steps all night in Motel 6 will do nothing good for my stress level or ability to get a good sleep. The same goes for feeling safe (is there a reason why this hotel is $30? probably). Btw, I highly recommend reading hotel reviews online before making reservations -- I've seen a few not cheap hotels recommended by programs that received nothing but awful reviews. Trains are not an option for me, not a reliable option for anyone who has to get from A to B on time, and not cheap enough compared to airfare to justify the extra time and the risk of being VERY late. IMHO, of course.
     
  5. oliviakler99

    oliviakler99 Junior Member
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    Yes, this process is definitely financially draining.

    I broke down and took out another loan. If you haven't heard of the MEDEX loan, it's specifically for residency interviewing costs (and also includes relocation costs - though you have to estimate this not knowing where you're going to be moving). You can take out anywhere between $500 and $12,000 as long as you're not maxed out on other student loans. Check it out:

    http://www.aamc.org/students/medloans/
    (under MEDEX loan)
     
  6. DoctorSax

    DoctorSax Member
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    Two words: Southwest Airlines.

    Since they have no hubs, you can get great one-way deals. If you buy early enough (2-3 wks in advance), then you can usually get great one-way deals. I haven't paid more than $139 for a one way ticket yet. Even short trips like Philly to Pittsburgh--$49. We got Cleveland--Chicago for like $39 one way. You won't necessarily fly into O'Hare, (SW flies to Midway) or NYC (SW flies to Long Island Islip), but it'll save you money. They even go to places like Portland and Seattle for reasonable rates...worth a look. I think that my total flying costs for 13 interviews in 8 cities will be less than $1500. www.southwest.com

    If it's a round trip, Contintental is reasonable for Saturday to Tuesday trips. Check out www.travelocity.com for good deals.

    I looked at the trains in the Northeast and maybe there's something I'm missing, but even the short trips are more costly than a Southwest flight.

    Hope this helps--best of luck!

    DS
     
  7. Mumpu

    Mumpu Burninator, MD
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    I use www.mobissimo.com to look for deals since they search many travel websites as well as airlines. The only downside is no option of multi-city trip searches. www.orbitz.com has consistently given me the best fares, expedia is the most expensive in my experience. If you don't care about being close to the school, you can use the same sites to look for hotel deals although I'm yet to see an actual deal that's cheaper than advertised (and program-discounted) rates.
     

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