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Interview month: Nov/Dec or Jan/Feb?

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by Gut Shot, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. Gut Shot

    10+ Year Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I'm a third year attempting to plan my fourth year electives. At my school we can have a four week reprieve from academic duties in either Nov/Dec or Jan/Feb in order to attend residency interviews. I was wondering if anyone can help me decide which would be more appropriate. Please bear in mind that I'm very fastidious when it comes to applications, so they will be submitted as quickly as is humanly possible.

    Thanks for your time.
     
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  3. Mr. Plow

    Mr. Plow Yes, that's my name
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    I had the same question a month ago when I was planning my 4th year electives. The residency director for pathology at my school had some good advice for me regarding this issue. He recommended applying as early as possible, and it sounds like that will not be a problem for you, and to interview in January. He feels that interviewing too early (nov/dec) can be detrimental. Later interviewees have the advantage that they tend to stick out more during the ranking process merely due to being more fresh in their memory. Although, I'm certain there are differing opinions on this subject .
     
  4. tsj

    tsj Senior Member
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    It doesn't matter.
     
  5. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    I'll field this one as I have extensive (read: this past interview season) experience in it.

    Take the nov/dec. February is risky.

    I applied to somewhere around 16 programs, got interviews at all of them. The last one to send me an invite was at the beginning of december. The first one was within 2 days of the september submission date. Nearly all of them had responded to me by the middle of october, and offered interview dates starting in october and extending (for most) part way through january. There were a couple of programs that offered interview dates in february but most had stopped at that point. Path programs seem to interview earlier than others.

    Now, some people have brought up "how late do the programs keep offering interviews," particularly if one is a marginal or perhaps a "Reach" candidate for certain schools. I don't know. But like I said, most programs will do the bulk of their interviewing in november, early december, and early january. If they contact you late in their search efforts or perhaps you delay in contacting them, you might be stuck with less desirable dates. Usually these are mid week dates, because people don't like to travel mid week, they like to put interviews on mondays or fridays.

    Here was my interview schedule: First interview middle of october. Then, I had my medicine subI from mid october to mid november, but I could have just as easily scheduled most of my interviews for that month and been done. Then, I did 2 or 3 interviews per week for the second half of november and first 3 weeks in december. I scheduled a couple for early january, but ended up only going on one, and that was the third week in january. Thus I had most of january off, which now leaves me in the unfortunate predicament of having to do a 4th year clinical rotation in May, instead of doing one in january and taking May off, because I am an idiot.

    Hope that answers your question, probably the longest answer in history to a question that could and should have been answered in less than 5 lines. But I am verbose.

    Any other interview experiences?
     
  6. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    Since I see a couple of other responses I would add this as well: Some people do agree with the "interview late, make a good impression" philosophy. Others think just the opposite, interview early, make a good impression.

    The only thing I can suggest is that interviews definitely become more comfortable as you go along, thus if you know a program is one of your top choices and you want to impress them, put it later in your schedule because everything becomes easier as you get more experience, and comfort breeds confidence and charm. My later interviews were actually pretty fun and I could be myself knowing what to expect and what to look for and ask. Like I said, I did most of my interviews before the new year and I am pretty certain most of them went very well, and I got lots of feedback from PDs that I would be ranked highly, etc.

    Like I said, you can apply early, and schedule all your interviews for january if you like. But be careful if this 4 week block includes a lot of february because many programs stop interviewing towards the end of january.
     
  7. joedogma

    joedogma Senior Member
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    I think that Yaah's advice is pretty good. Apply EARLY, get your feet wet first with interviews at sites you don't believe to be at the top of your list come rank day, and then schedule your other interviews according to your schedule being careful not to go too late into the interview season (non-verbose summary :p ) I have a quick question to add...do programs grant interviews before your application is complete? Will they grant interviews or will they wait for step 2 scores or another LOR if they know they are coming? I am taking step 2 late august and I am curious to know how this fits into the application process...
     
  8. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    JoeD I promise to be less verbose in this answer! :)

    Some programs will interview before your application is complete. I got a bunch of interview requests in the couple of weeks after I pushed the ERAS "submit my application" button. At first, all that was in my app. was my CV and Step I scores. No transcript, no LORs, no Step II, no report from my school. My first LOR was submitted pretty quickly, the last one not until mid october, at which point I had already heard from at least 80% of my programs.

    I heard from most programs before November 1, which is when the med schools release your deans letter and transcript. A couple of them waited for this to be finished.

    Nobody waited for step II. A lot of med students take step II the spring of their senior year, in some cases even after match day. There are a couple of programs out there that will require a step II score to be submitted before match day (dartmouth is one for sure, Minnesota might be another but I'm not sure). So make sure you check with them if you are planning to take it late. Step II can help if you do well.
     
  9. joedogma

    joedogma Senior Member
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    Thanks for the succinct advice! I think it may have crashed the server for a minute or two...I was starting to get a little nervous because I knew that I would have trouble getting all this stuff in by September/early october. While I know that I don't NEED a step2 score I am hoping that I can enhance my application with it...well, back to thinking about my "will apply to list"
     
  10. Weil-Felix

    Weil-Felix Super Flying Squirrel
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    I sent my application in around the first week of October. Fortunately, all my letter writers were very quick, and had all my LORs ready by the time I submitted ERAS. I started getting interview offers about 2-3 after my ERAS was submitted. All the places I applied to seemed to want to interview me in late November to early December. (Except my home school, which for some reason was very late in extending anyone interview offers...so I interviewed there in January). So my suggestion is to go for December. Plus, you will have plenty of time off for the holidays that way.
     
  11. Mr. Plow

    Mr. Plow Yes, that's my name
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    Hm. :D I s'pose I should have asked this same question one month ago. Me lose brain, uh-oh. I guess we'll see how I fair with January interviews.
     
  12. gdtrfb

    gdtrfb Member
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    it definetly doesn't matter when you interview. also step2 scores are not necessary before match.

    my friend matched jhu, and he applied on the last possible day and interviewed in late january. solid US applicants will match well in path- that is a fact.​
     
  13. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    Whoa dude. Is this post translated from the original arabic or something? Starting at the right edge of the page?

    Mr Plow I think you will do fine. Also, don't forget that most 4th year clerkships are fairly lenient in what days you can take off. So, you can often tell your clerkship folks, "sorry, I have an interview" and they will let you take a day off. Don't abuse it though. I only ended up taking one day off to interview, and that was for my first interview in october. I SHOULD have done that in january, then I could have had may off, as I mentioned before.

    Programs know that many LOR writers are notoriously slow in completing their letters, so they don't usually hold it against you. As I said, you will likely start getting interviews before they are all in. And of course, no one's Deans letter goes out until november 1.
     
  14. Gut Shot

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    Thanks to everyone who has written in. The information has been very helpful. Arranging fourth year has been much more irritating than I had anticipated, but I have a much clearer plan now than I did before.

    Cheers!

    "Work is the bane of the drinking class."
     
  15. Doctor B.

    Doctor B. Slappin' That Glass
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    I know I'm a little late in responding but things have finally eased up to the point where I can keep up with the forum again; sorry if I echo what has been posted above. Nov/Dec is probably the safest bet since most programs interview from Nov-Jan. I did all my interviews in Dec and the first part of Jan. There is some merit to the recency effect attained by interviewing later but it won't be a big factor. If programs like you, they will remember you no matter when you interview.

    Step 2 scores are important but not a dealbreaking issue. In fact, I forgot to add my Step 2 score to my ERAS application and still matched at my top choice. If you didn't do as well as you liked on Step 1, it's good to show improvement on Step; it would be worthwhile to get your result before you interview in that situation.
     

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