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interviewing during prelim

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by ziffy 850, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. ziffy 850

    ziffy 850 Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    It's a long story, but the short of it is that I did not match categorically. I did get a great prelim position. Here's the question: will I have time to interview? and when? and how do I go about it? I'd like to cover my bases a little better this year and that would require 10 or so interviews. Any experiences or suggestions? My PD knows the situation, but that doesn't mean he can be flexible with call, etc.

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  3. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    A fibrotic stroma
    No, but they can be flexible w/ the schedule. If you're doing prelim Med, Peds or a TY (you only said prelim) you can ask for a non-call/elective during December or January and schedule your interviews then. If you matched Prelim Surgery,'re kinda hosed. The best you can hope for is an off-service rotation (ED?) during Dec or Jan and try to adjust your schedule to accomodate interviews then.
  4. ziffy 850

    ziffy 850 Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    it's a prelim medicine spot, but I don't want to be needy or always asking for anything special. if I don't match in em, then I would be happy to do an im where i'm doing my prelim-so it's a little touchy.

    I haven't figured out how the vacation thing works and if I can use those days for my interviews.
  5. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite! Moderator SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2006
    Another option is to ask your PD for a month off. Schedule one of your elective or outpatient months in Dec or Jan, and take the whole month off. You'll lose your salary for that month, but have the whole month to interview without worrying about coverage, etc.

    If you match into a new PGY-1, then away you go (in this case, consider asking now for non-call block at the end, and you can take that off also to move / orient).

    If you match into a PGY-2, or fail to match and stay as a PGY-2 in your current program, you'll need to make up the month you missed. Staying at your home program, that shouldn't be much of a problem. If you match into a 2-3-4 EM program, you'd have to discuss that with your EM PD, but you should be able to extend your EM residency by one year and get credit at the PGY-1 level for that.

    This also has the benefit of saving your vacation for breaks elsewhere in the year.

    Good luck!
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    More than likely they will REQUIRE you to use your vacation days for interviews. You're right - the PD doesn't have to be flexible, although he/she is not often the one making the call schedule. It may be up to the Administrative/Chief resident. At any rate, it also may be likely that you are not the only non-designated Prelim in the program, so there will be others facing the same dilemma. As long as you are upfront, and flexible, you should be able to schedule time off for interviews.
  7. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Alexandria, VA
    I went on 13 interviews during prelim ...

    November - was on a floor month that gave you one Sat/Sun off per week. I had a few weekday interviews, so I'd come back and cover the whole weekend.

    December - 1 week vacation, 3 weeks ED, 7-8 interviews. Hell on earth. Probably the most difficult month of work of my life.

    January - 2 weeks rads/2 weeks vacation. Kind of a nice month.

    February - a floor/call month. Set my days off for that month to coincide with interviews. I took one extra day off, b/c I was so exhausted and I was in Chicago and I just wanted to party and relax. Paid for it by not getting one of my other days off at the end of the month. Hell on earth.

    March - told my attending I needed the Tuesday of match week off. Whatever I found out that Monday, I presumed I'd be intoxicated by Monday night and possibly into Tuesday AM. He obliged. I matched.

    I'd recommend Derm/Rads/Rad-Onc/Anesthesia/Outpatient or something like that in December and January. Schedule some vacation time in those months or adjacent months - other people shouldn't have to cover for you b/c of your own obligations. It will be fine.

  8. ziffy 850

    ziffy 850 Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Sounds like it won't be easy, but it can be done. Thanx for all your input.

    still a little(a lot) bummed about not matching-feel like I'm walking around with my head down
  9. sunlioness

    sunlioness Fierce. Proud. Strong Physician 10+ Year Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Is it a medicine or a surgery prelim? I don't know about surgery, but I had a friend in exactly that situation when I was a medicine intern. She worked with the chiefs to be on non-call months and to have all of her vacation time during prime interviewing season. It sucked because she didn't have a real vacation the entire year, but she did it and is now in an EM residency.

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