Interviews: The Interesting Case

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by robotsonic, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
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    We are told again and again that we should have these "interesting cases" prepared for interviews, because we will invariably be asked to present a case at some point. But what are they really looking for? Should I discuss the one case that was truly bizarre, but which I was only peripherally involved in? Or should I discuss the case that on paper is actually pretty mundane, but at the time influenced my future career choice?

    Also, many of these interesting cases were over 6 months ago, some over a year ago. I don't have the records and I certainly don't remember the actual lab values, parts of the history, etc. Should I just fill in these gaps with what I think I remember?

    It's probably not worth it, but I'm really stressing about this.
     
  2. neilc

    neilc 1K Member
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    i have been stressed about this too....i really can't think of anything too interesting case wise, that i remember so well. they all sorta blended together. what i decided to do is to speak about an interesting patient that i got to know well, and talk about how i was able to help her stay healthy and provide information. kinda play on the health advocate role i would like to have rather than do some case report. but, i do think they want to see that you can present, so i would introduce it in the case pres style (ie well, we had a 25 y/o female present with...yada yada yada...and lead into how it became more than just a "case". just my take.

    also, for what it is worth, 6 interviews in and i have yet to be asked ANYTHING medical.
     
  3. orientedtoself

    orientedtoself resident
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    The "interesting case" question is one I dread too. I have had three interviews, and have not yet been asked to present an interesting case. But I did prepare two cases. I chose two memorable cases, one more for the rare pathology but also the patient interaction, and another interaction with a patient where I truly felt like their doctor on my Sub-I. I have them in my leather folder, and review them on the way to the interview. I would recommend preparing one or two cases, just for your peace of mind.
     
  4. dinosaurcrumpet

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    Definately, the toughest of all questions. Good luck with it. I'm not sharing mine with you biatches. :p
     
  5. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
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    I'm thinking that the ideal interesting case would be one with the following criteria:
    1. within your chosen field
    2. unusual pathology or very unusual presentation
    3. you wrote the admit H&P and discharge note
    4. you had meaningful interactions with patient that can demonstrate your commitment to patient care

    The problem is that I can't think of any case in which all 4 of these are true. For each case I can think of, only 2 of the above apply. So which of the above are the most important? I would think that #1 is an absolute. What about the others?
     
  6. FOREAL

    FOREAL Junior Member
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    Sorry for the duplicate
     
  7. FOREAL

    FOREAL Junior Member
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    Dinosaur Thats very mature of you. why bother to post

    Anyway I have been asked the "case question" and in retrospect, I feel that is better to talk about a case that you were involved in and/or a case that has influenced you greatly. I truly believe that interviewers are not only assessing your ability to present but they are looking for sincerity and interest as well as what sort of 'lesson' you have gained from the experience. The question is a modified way of asking why are interested in going into the field of medicine you chose?

    while I do think its a good idea to prepare one or two cases, I think you ought to be careful not to sound/appear too rehearsed. In saying this, I think that I appeared as though I was trying to hard instead of telling the interviewer what actually did interest me.

    This is just my $0.02
     
  8. Poety

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    Hi Robot! Which specialty are you applying? I'm only asking because in psych they wouldn't mind how involved you were with the patient as long as you knew the patient well- but this may be different for other specialties.

    As of yet, I haven't got the question personally but if I do- I have my trauma guy that inflicted 200 wounds to himself on standby ;)
     
  9. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
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    I'm applying in surgery. I have several cases that I could potentially use, but the ones that really affected me (like the trauma cases that initially made me want to be a surgeon) aren't all that "interesting" from a medical standpoint and I often wasn't directly involved in the patient's care. In the cases I was directly involved in, some of them were very educational but not all that unusual and they often were not surgical. Ugh, I'm just going in circles on this one.
     
  10. dinosaurcrumpet

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    Thanks. I'm all about the maturity y'know. :cool:
     
  11. Poety

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    I wish I could help you, but I would like to hear about how you learned from a patient if I was a PD - and how you were able to collect the data, etc - but maybe surgery is more hardcore than that :oops: Could you ask your PD at your home school what cases interest them to hear about?
     
  12. orientedtoself

    orientedtoself resident
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    I would go with the cases that made you choose surgery. They can't expect you to be that involved with those cases because you're not a trauma surgeon yet.
     
  13. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member
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    A word of advice ... I was asked this last year on an interview (for radonc), and I sort of blew it. Had the case down, knew my interactions with him well, what the plan was ... but, this guy really started asking questions. Like aside from H&P/management. He pimped me on the anatomy, pathology, etc., and atypical presentations. I don't know how internal medicine works, but it might be a good idea to look at the UpToDate or a NEJM review on the disease that your patient has. Maybe that's obvious and I just wasn't prepared, but this year when I apply, I'll know a lot more about the specific disease that I present as my interesting case.

    Later,
    S
     
  14. rugtrousers

    rugtrousers Senior Member
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    I've been asked this question on interviews, too (in anesthesia). The interesting vs. instrumental case question depends on the intent, I think.

    -If you're being asked in order to be pimped, choose an interesting case that you might only have been peripherally involved in.

    -If being asked because you're discussing your interest in the specialty, choose the more routine but instrumental/informative/epiphany-inducing case.

    "Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong." - Dennis Miller

    Good :luck: !
     
  15. Mumpu

    Mumpu Burninator, MD
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    If the case was interesting to you, it's interesting. Surely something has caught your eye in the last two years.
     
  16. 8744

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    Have been on a total of eleven EM interviews this year and last and have never been asked about a case or a particular patient.

    Just FYI. I'm sure others have had different experiences.
     
  17. SergeGainsbourg

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    That's because in EM if the case is interesting it gets sent to somebody else. Don't you know you guys are basically glorified triage nurses. :p
     

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