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Number of Interviews

Discussion in 'Radiation Oncology' started by one_notch_down, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. one_notch_down

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    I'm curious as to what people's opinion is on the number of interviews one should attend to have a good chance at matching.

    In reality and practice, I know the answer to this question is "as many as possible", but I wanted to see if we could come up with a consensus.

    I have heard as few as 8 and as many as 15.

    What do you guys think?

    Thanks!!
     
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  3. CNphair

    CNphair Senior Member
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    I think it depends more on how many spots you are going for...If you have interviews at Harvard, Michigan, MD Anderson, and other big programs with 3 + spots each, you can probably feel more comfortable than if you are going to programs with only one spot. I have not decided what the magic number is...I initially thought I would try for 15. But I have 2 friends who were "average" applicants who both matched at their top choices last year...and they think 15 is overkill. I'm not quite that confident.
     
  4. Gfunk6

    Gfunk6 And to think . . . I hesitated
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    I definitely agree with CNphair. You have to look at the applicants:spots ratio for the places where you are interviewing. If you are seeing a lot of 9:1 - 12:1, then that is pretty good. However if you are seeing 20:1 plus, then this does not bode well.

    Another applicant on the trail pointed out to me that after 8 interviews your chances are probably as good as they can get. She mentioned a source, but I don't recall where it was. However, if you hit double digits you probably have a good a shot as anybody.
     
  5. CNphair

    CNphair Senior Member
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    Well, we can knock one off my list...I am now at 14. I just spent 9 hours waiting on a delayed flight before it got canceled because of snow. And will the program let me reschedule? No. Will the hotel let me cancel without a penalty? No. That is beyond frustrating...
     
  6. Gfunk6

    Gfunk6 And to think . . . I hesitated
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    So sorry, but I feel for you . . .
    Just came into the NE this evening and I barely made my connecting flight before the gate closed. It's looking like 10 inches+ of snow tommorow so I wouldn't bet on the outgoing flight being on time . . . :mad:
     
  7. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator
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    glad it was cancelled after hearing what happened in chicago tonight.
     
  8. CNphair

    CNphair Senior Member
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    Looking for some advice regarding the interview...almost every place I have gone has asked me how many interviews I am going to/offers received. So far, I have been honest with both answers. But I have now had a program director respond that my going to 15 interviews showed a lack of confidence and direction. Hmmm...Lack of confidence in the match? Yep. Thats me. Do programs really expect to hear "I got 25 offers and I am only going to interview at my top 5."?

    Thanks!
     
  9. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member
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    That's an asinine thing to say. Shows that he/she has no idea what the field is like in the year 2005. It'd be like me saying: "So, what is this IMRT stuff anyway?" In the business world, people would want you to interview at many places to show that you understand what the competition offers, why they aren't as good as the leaders in the industry, and the ability to leverage your position and marketability. I'd have held my tongue, but would have wanted to say something smart ass.

    Back to the question: I've heard 8-10 interviews is the "threshold". Let me tell you from experience ... 7 wasn't enough ;)

    Anyone have any idea about probationary programs? Has a program ever just not corrected the problems that were suggested by the ACGME and subsequently get suspended? I hate the idea of not ranking a place, but I'm wary.

    -SDP
     
  10. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator
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    that is insane. Dont worry about it. Tell them you understand youre up against a competitve field of highly qualified applicants, that even excellent people dont get interviews and you are taking nothing for granted.
     
  11. medgator

    medgator Senior Member
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    The program at NYMC Westchester shut down recently. I had heard that it had been on probation before that.
     
  12. user_name

    user_name Member
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    I had a program director ask me the same questions, which made me uncomfortable. She then proceeded to ask me to name every single one at which I was interviewing, which made me more uncomfortable. She then wrote all of them on my file, which made me uneasy. I decided to answer because you are automatically a liar in their eyes if you say, "I can't remember the 7 places I just spent $4000 visiting in the last two months."
    I think these may be against the match rules, but I am not sure. I know they can't ask you how you plan to rank them. I think the above questions are a way to answer that question, although they really provide no real insight to your rank plans. Of course, almost nobody is going to reply, "it is none of your business," but I feel that something should be put in writing to prevent it.
     
  13. radiaterMike

    radiaterMike Junior Member
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    The proper response would have been:


    "I see ..... um, how many applicants are you interviewing per spot here?"
     
  14. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator
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    sometimes people ask where else youre interviewing just for conversations sake.
     
  15. eidolon

    eidolon Member
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    ditto here. a PD asked me the same question. tried to be vague and speak in broad terms at the beginning. this person kept asking and writing down every program i named on my file which also made me uncomfortable. i try to look at the bright side--someone told me that some programs will ask that question to size up the competition if they are really interested in a certain applicant (one can only hope that is the case!).
     
  16. Gfunk6

    Gfunk6 And to think . . . I hesitated
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    Not only have I had a PD ask me to name all the programs that had offered me interviews, but he then proceeded to ask about a few "big name" programs before I had finished. I was honest, but it was hard as some of those places had rejected me.

    One person asked me all the faculty I worked with at one of my away rotations. She then told me, "Oh you worked with Dr. X, huh? Well, I guess I'll call him and ask him what he thinks of you."

    Joy.

    Like he's gonna remember some snot-nosed medical student he probably spent 15 minutes several months ago . . .
     
  17. Thaiger75

    Thaiger75 Senior Member
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    Look at the bright side. If he/she ends up making that phone call, that can only mean they are interested in you enough to make that effort.
     
  18. plentystupid

    plentystupid Junior Member
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    I met an intern who got screwed by that situation. NYMC did not seem to handle it well. The intern was completely SOL. I felt sooo bad for him. I never found out what he ended up doing.

    - Plentystupid
     

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