Interviews for Private Practice Jobs

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by smallcat, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. smallcat

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    What should I expect at an interview for a private practice job in pathology? Do groups routinely "test" candidates with unknown slides during the interview? Or do they rely more on references and recommendations to assess diagnostic abilities? I'm nervous about an on-the-spot review of a handful of slides in an already-stressful situation! :oops:
     
  2. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    I don't think it's that common but it happens. It's more likely to happen at reference lab types of jobs (quest, etc). Most groups basically want to find out whether you are a good fit for their practice (and vice versa). Thus, can you communicate well? Are you willing to undertake certain tasks related to lab management? Things like that.
     
  3. LADoc00

    LADoc00 Gen X, the last great generation
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    YES it happens. I can tell you for a fact as I have experienced it and many people I know.

    For one, slide tests arent classy, that is huge red flag for me.

    I can tell you for example the slide sets I have done have been insane, not board stuff mind you, stuff like metastatic sarcomatoid renal cell carcinoma to the left arm (Im serious), metaplastic carcinoma of the breast, metastatic desmoplastic melanomas (again good luck) and unusual presentations of T-cell lymphomas.

    TOTAL BS. What is even more irritating is when I learned alot of these cases this group of private prac people DIDNT EVEN GET, they sent it out to Mayo JHU etc who did 20 IHCs to get the answer.

    basically their intent to was check how you would work up a difficult case and a little hazing....
     
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  4. smallcat

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    That was kind of my impression but I didn't know if it was standard practice or not. Several fellows in our program went to interviews like this (though their slides seemed more reasonable than yours!) but it was the less-desirable practices (less desirable in terms of time to partnership, collegiality of pathologists) that did so.

    Anyone else have experience with this?
     
  5. Pathwrath

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    I agree with LADoc. Groups that pull out their tough cases to haze interviewees have got issues. Figure out the reason.

    A previous poor hire has made them overly cautious?

    Or are they just a**holes?

    Maybe you can reassure the former over time, but you can't cure the latter.
     
  6. Path_Anon

    Path_Anon New Member
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    In my experiences (and after having landed my sweet job), a quality group will indeed show you slides, but perhaps stuff from a typical/routine signout, which may include challenging cases of the day. They mainly just want to see how you think (and to ensure you won't go on a UWashPath-type bloody tirade).
     
  7. LADoc00

    LADoc00 Gen X, the last great generation
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    Uwash type tirade=gunning down someone aka Haggit attack?

    Is that the reference?
     
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  8. earmuff

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    For what it's worth, I know an attending who has just been through the job hunt and he said to expect slide tests at interviews.
     
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  9. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    Agree with the above comments on groups having something of a red flag when they do this. They probably got burned before by someone who wasn't prepared. I don't know, maybe it's a reasonably effective tool at weeding out psychos (or at least people who don't freak out when confronted with a challenge). It's hard to tell on basis of CV and references just who is coasting through residency and is going to freak when they have to sign their name for the first time. Kind of like the people who advocate "stress" interviews for med school or residency interviews. Personally, I doubt they are that effective. Better to work harder on getting info from people they have worked with. I doubt though that a lot of them are done for pure hazing purposes - that's kind of a waste of time, and you risk alienating your best candidates. I don't think I would personally totally discount a group that gave me a slide test, but I would have serious doubts about their promises of partnership and equality if they were treating me like a tech or a candidate for a fellowship while on my interview day.

    Certain pathology groups can probably afford to risk alienating some potential candidates because there will be others. Of the three of us in my program whose interview trails I have knowledge of, there were I think 8 interviews total (two overlapped at one place) and there were no slide tests. But I know one person who finished last year who went to a reference lab job did have one.
     
  10. Gyric

    Gyric Junior Member
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    I have heard of other ridiculous things too ... like grossing for a day.

    Slide tests are offensive, especially for an established pathologist, or someone with stellar references.

    What the hell are they thinking ... "Um yeah I see your reference from Juan Rosai here, but you know I am not sure that is good enough ... we are going to have to test you ourselves."

    I am bringing my own slide test for these jokers.
     
  11. Path_Anon

    Path_Anon New Member
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  12. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    Haha that would be awesome. Even more awesome would be to bring a case that you have seen that was originally diagnosed at their group. "Here's an obvious case that we reviewed as a second opinion and reversed the very incorrect outside diagnosis of the outside pathology group." :horns:
     
  13. sohsie

    sohsie Member
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    Im on the interview trail right now. One place showed me one slide which I think he just wanted to show me as a fun case but he was also probably testing my thinking a little bit. A different place, I looked at a couple of cases that the pathologist was finishing up from that day that he hadnt quite decided how to sign out (they were not zebras by any stretch of the imagination). At another place, I sat in on a conference where a handful of pathologists showed each other their challenging cases from the day and I gave my input on them.

    So all in all, I havent really had a slide test yet. However, a friend of mine who is interviewing in another part of the country did have a formal slide test. It turned my friend off to that group.
     
  14. sohsie

    sohsie Member
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    Forgot to add, one more place, they showed me one slide of a type that they normally don't do, again not a test, it was super easy/common anyway.
     
  15. djmd

    djmd an Antediluvian
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    I think something like this might be fairly common, more see we cool stuff too kind of thing...

    Also has a little bit of can you think on your feel checking too...
     
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  16. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    I think showing interesting cases for "show and tell" is fairly common. Happened to me, during residency, fellowship, and employment interviews.
     
  17. LADoc00

    LADoc00 Gen X, the last great generation
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    you might be onto something with the bringing the slides to test the employer. Seriously.
     
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