Nov 21, 2010
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I know that this has been addressed in the past, but not in a few years so looking for any insights. Is it standard to send thank you letters following an interview. If so, letters to all interviewers or just PD and chair? Email or stationary? I have only been on a few interviews thus far, but have been typing letters (I have horrid handwriting) with a handwritten signature.

As always, thanks for all of the helpful input.
 

johno83

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Last year, I waited until about mid-January when interviews were half over to send anything. I sent the PD from each program in my top handful an email basically thanking them and letting them know that I would be very happy to match at their program. After I finished all my interviews, I sent my #1 an email letting them know they were my #1. I think handwritten notes are nice, but the reality is that it is 2010 and everyone uses email. I got responses from PDs within an hour for emailed notes. You probably never hear anything from a handwritten note.

I def would not handwrite a note to every single person I interviewed with. That is just a time sink and probably won't help at all.
 
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SimulD

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Total time sink, but I did handwritten notes to everyone I interviewed with. Did it for job interviews, too.

I don't know. Just polite, I think. Don't think it keeps you from getting a position if you don't write one.

-S
 

napoleondynamite

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I am with Simul on this one. A bit old fashioned admittedly, but I do think there is something that you portray about yourself through a nice hand-written card to thank someone. Even to a program you have waning interest in after interview day - I just tend to think it is a nice thing to do to take the time to personally thank the interviewer. There are things we do to increase our odds of matching, and then there are things we do just because it is the right thing to do. I think thank you cards probably fall in the second category. Not that you are doing something "wrong" if you choose not to write them...it's kind of like volunteering to take call during Christmas because you know that your fellow residents have small children at home and you do not and are not planning to leave town. You don't have to, but it's sure nice and a good reflection on you and people remember stuff like that.

Like Simul, I wrote each interviewer a note. But I also emailed the PD right after the interview to thank them, b/c as stated above, you are more likely to get a response by email and dialogue is a good thing. I emailed my top 3 again sometime in late January and emailed my top choice once again right before the deadline to let them know I was definitely ranking them #1.
 
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shogun0660

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eh, I'm a little more cynical. i think 80-90% of people probably do them only because they think it might help them match. After all, isn't that basically what the OP is asking ("will not writing thank yous hurt my chances of matching?") As such, I think most PDs don't take them into consideration.
but of course, in the interest of full disclosure, i wrote (typed) thank yous to every person i interviewed with. i sent a few emails to residents i met along the way too. i will probably do the same (though just short emails this time) when i interview for jobs.
i agree with previous posters that it makes more sense to send a quick email. Keyword being "quick", dont send some 3 paragraph monstrosity. Most PDs dont have time to read all of that form-email nonsense.
 
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I sent the PD from each program in my top handful an email basically thanking them and letting them know that I would be very happy to match at their program. After I finished all my interviews, I sent my #1 an email letting them know they were my #1.
This is interesting. I'll be applying next cycle and am slowly learning about match strategy. Here's my question. If everyone notifies their #1 that they are their holy grail, and also notifies their "top handful" that they are grail-worthy, but in a less holy way, than won't PDs of programs of the latter rank you lower, knowing that the program isn't the applicant's top choice? Seems like a holy mess.
 

Gfunk6

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My advice: tell your #1 that they're your #1 if you want and call it a day. I think it is nonsense to tell a program they are "one of your top choices" or "at the top of your rank list." PDs are not stupid and know it means they are not your #1 choice. Rank per your preference and trust in Match.
 

johno83

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My advice: tell your #1 that they're your #1 if you want and call it a day. I think it is nonsense to tell a program they are "one of your top choices" or "at the top of your rank list." PDs are not stupid and know it means they are not your #1 choice. Rank per your preference and trust in Match.
I agree with this. I don't think I was entirely clear in my statement earlier. I did not send anything until about mid-late January. At that point, I sent my top 7or8 programs an email "thank you" that also expressed that I would be happy to match there. At the deadline, I sent my #1 an email saying they were my #1.
I don't think it is a good idea to send everyone an extra email around match time expressing interest. Just your #1.
 

RadRadRad

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I tried sending thank you notes to everyone I interviewed with but dropped it after the first 2-3 programs. Some of these places have you interview with 10-15 people and it just didn't seem practical.
At my program, all applicants are ranked within hours of the interview day ending so I doubt a thank you would change much (except possibly to the Program Director, who has the ability to tweak things at the last minute)

However, i do recall interviewing at one program where a resident warned me I would not match there unless I sent a thank you note!
 
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I have also heard that the interviewers write down their impression and feedback right after the interview and thank you notes probably won't do anything to change your odds significantly. However, I agree that sometimes we need to do things because it's the right thing to do (isn't that why we decided to apply to medical school in the first place?), and thank you notes are an example of that. My school seems to be a bit old fashioned and we were told by a professor during a class meeting that he just deletes any email thank you notes without even reading them. Obviously that's not true in most, if not all, programs in the year 2010, but I am still hand-writing all my cards even though I don't have the best handwriting. I haven't had many interviews yet so let's see how long this lasts...
 

RadOncDoc21

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What if a program rejects you before giving you a chance to send thank you cards/emails (<24hrs)... obviously off-cycle position... do you still send one anyway?

-R