Mikkus

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Thought it might be fun to those 4th years getting ready for ERAS to read the reasons one program might have pushed you in a positive or negative way.
They are sometimes silly, illogical, or odd, but always interesting. Maybe those interviewing might get a few new ideas of whats important to them to look for on the interview trail.

Here are a few of mine-
Was free food offered at noon conference? How much? Variety?

Was a meal card offered?

How close could I live to the hospital? - Sleep> country life

Did the hospital have nice call rooms? (More free food)

Was the PD someone I would feel comfortable going to with a problem?

What are the current residence like? What type of activities do they do together.

What is the schedule like for nights?

Could I buy a house if I decided to stay in the area?

What % of residence stayed on for in house fellowships?

Are there things I would be excited to do outside my residency in the area?

Did the resident tell you to run away as far as you can? Did a current resident cry while you were interviewing?

Did one of your interviewers ask where else you have interviewed, then sung the praises for 30 minutes about a program mentioned?

Obviously there are many more important details, but those are boring. Hopefully my residency choice quirks are not alone!
 

gutonc

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A big factor in my number one choice was the availability of a massage school nearby that offered a good 20 dollar hour massage.
Happy ending included? Or a 50% upcharge?
 

Psai

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Thought it might be fun to those 4th years getting ready for ERAS to read the reasons one program might have pushed you in a positive or negative way.
They are sometimes silly, illogical, or odd, but always interesting. Maybe those interviewing might get a few new ideas of whats important to them to look for on the interview trail.

Here are a few of mine-
Was free food offered at noon conference? How much? Variety?

Was a meal card offered?

How close could I live to the hospital? - Sleep> country life

Did the hospital have nice call rooms? (More free food)

Was the PD someone I would feel comfortable going to with a problem?

What are the current residence like? What type of activities do they do together.

What is the schedule like for nights?

Could I buy a house if I decided to stay in the area?

What % of residence stayed on for in house fellowships?

Are there things I would be excited to do outside my residency in the area?

Did the resident tell you to run away as far as you can? Did a current resident cry while you were interviewing?

Did one of your interviewers ask where else you have interviewed, then sung the praises for 30 minutes about a program mentioned?

Obviously there are many more important details, but those are boring. Hopefully my residency choice quirks are not alone!
Before applying to residency: how prestigious is this place? How much research can I do? What's the salary? Is the area cool? Do they have a lot of fellowships?

After being in residency: what's the call schedule like? What is the night schedule? How early do I have to wake up? How long does it take to get home? Do the ancillary services suck? Do they feed you well? Are the other residents cool? Will I be on the translator phone all day? Where do they get jobs?
 

AdmiralChz

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After being in residency: what's the call schedule like? What is the night schedule? How early do I have to wake up? How long does it take to get home? Do the ancillary services suck? Do they feed you well? Are the other residents cool? Will I be on the translator phone all day? Where do they get jobs?
Absolutely this. Also: residents mostly single or married with kids? Moonlighting opportunities, and do people actually get them if they want it? What food options for overnight (honest note: my hospital has horrendous options that continues to disappoint!)? Cool things in the area to do on the weekends?
 
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Saddleshoes

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We have had more than few residents chose our program for proximity to their BF/GF.

It must work because they all seem to be married (or close) when they leave.
 

FrkyBgStok

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outside of the obvious stuff, some of the factors that weighed heavy in my decision were:

- what time do I have to be there in the morning?
- how long do rounds take?
- can I wear scrubs on IP months?
- does free food include free coffee?
- is parking a huge pita, or is it covered?
 

gutonc

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Before applying to residency: how prestigious is this place? How much research can I do? What's the salary? Is the area cool? Do they have a lot of fellowships?

After being in residency: what's the call schedule like? What is the night schedule? How early do I have to wake up? How long does it take to get home? Do the ancillary services suck? Do they feed you well? Are the other residents cool? Will I be on the translator phone all day? Where do they get jobs?
Many of us who have been around for awhile and have done the whole residency/fellowship/attending thing already (OK, fine, just me and jdh) say this every damn year and none of you ever listen until it's too late.
 
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Mikkus

Mikkus

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Many of us who have been around for awhile and have done the whole residency/fellowship/attending thing already (OK, fine, just me and jdh) say this every damn year and none of you ever listen until it's too late.
I wish I had someone tell me all this before I started interviewing. I was stuck on prestige, and what programs were discussed frequently on sdn. By the time I realized what to look for in a program I was half way through interview season.
 
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AdmiralChz

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Prestige is totally in the eye of the beholder, and often a popularity contest on sites like this for better or for worse.

Work hard just about anywhere and doors will open up.

Some of these are great though. Loved wearing my own scrubs for inpatient wards (until we switched attendings, then it was coat and tie).
 
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Temeraire

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Another question to strongly consider: Are the social workers and case managers on top of their ****??? Where I went to med school, they were mediocre so the interns and med students were frequently saddled with the drudgery of "placement." Now, as an intern, I haven't had to waste a second worrying about placement since starting internship and it's amazing.
 

LUCPM

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One of the reasons I chose my program was a great PD and faculties who were easy to work with.

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Psai

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Another question to strongly consider: Are the social workers and case managers on top of their ****??? Where I went to med school, they were mediocre so the interns and med students were frequently saddled with the drudgery of "placement." Now, as an intern, I haven't had to waste a second worrying about placement since starting internship and it's amazing.
That's the worst part of medicine. Clerical bs that's supposed to be someone else's job but they suck
 
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Dral

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My time at the VA during intern year:
AM: round, put in orders
PM: social work

...and we even had kick ass social workers. I can't imagine what it would have been like if they would have sucked.
 
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A great PD and coordinator is key! Someone approachable and friendly will be most helpful when you need them
 

HereWeGo17

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Before applying to residency: how prestigious is this place? How much research can I do? What's the salary? Is the area cool? Do they have a lot of fellowships?

After being in residency: what's the call schedule like? What is the night schedule? How early do I have to wake up? How long does it take to get home? Do the ancillary services suck? Do they feed you well? Are the other residents cool? Will I be on the translator phone all day? Where do they get jobs?
Absolutely this. Also: residents mostly single or married with kids? Moonlighting opportunities, and do people actually get them if they want it? What food options for overnight (honest note: my hospital has horrendous options that continues to disappoint!)? Cool things in the area to do on the weekends?
outside of the obvious stuff, some of the factors that weighed heavy in my decision were:

- what time do I have to be there in the morning?
- how long do rounds take?
- can I wear scrubs on IP months?
- does free food include free coffee?
- is parking a huge pita, or is it covered?
So all of these are great advice, but practically speaking how does one go about finding these things out on the interview trail? I feel a little nervous about asking these things to attendings/residents (e.g. quality of ancillary services, moonlighting, length of rounds) when you only have one encounter to make an impression. Even though these are very important considerations, I don't want to be seen as "shallow" or "not committed" or what have you.
 
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Mikkus

Mikkus

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I would ask current residence on the night before dinner. Obviously don't grille them, but they should understand and appreciate that you are asking the right questions. Or ask roundabout questions, like tell me what noon conference is like...and maybe they will throw in coffee information
 
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AdmiralChz

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I would ask current residence on the night before dinner. Obviously don't grille them, but they should understand and appreciate that you are asking the right questions. Or ask roundabout questions, like tell me what noon conference is like...and maybe they will throw in coffee information
I love it when applicants ask more off-the-beat questions like this with regards to lifestyle - almost all programs will have a solid mix of electives, research, mentorship opportunities, etc... but asking about some of the above can really let you know about the program for better or for worse.
 
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FrkyBgStok

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So all of these are great advice, but practically speaking how does one go about finding these things out on the interview trail? I feel a little nervous about asking these things to attendings/residents (e.g. quality of ancillary services, moonlighting, length of rounds) when you only have one encounter to make an impression. Even though these are very important considerations, I don't want to be seen as "shallow" or "not committed" or what have you.
Ask in professional ways is one tip. I would say "can you quick run my through a typical day on inpatient." This usually have me start and end times and about how long rounds last. then ask what attire is. And some stuff you don't even have to ask. If they say "we get free food which means they have lunch set up outside of the room each day" I assume that means no free coffee vs free food just use your id badge. And sometimes I just say "just because I have to be here for 3 years, can you tell me this or that."

I guarantee your resident had similar type questions.
 

smq123

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I love it when applicants ask more off-the-beat questions like this with regards to lifestyle - almost all programs will have a solid mix of electives, research, mentorship opportunities, etc... but asking about some of the above can really let you know about the program for better or for worse.
Exactly, that's how I know that the person has their priorities straight. :)
 
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Mikkus

Mikkus

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Another important one for me was how many different hospital systems I would have to work out of, and how far away they all were. Driving an hour away for a few months did not sound like something I wanted.
I also was interested in epic usage vs paper charts vs other options.
 
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epsilonprodigy

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There's one thing that I think applicants should think very carefully about, which I regrettably took with a grain of salt.

If you hear the words "update" and "list" in the same sentence at any interview function, I want you to get your food to go, run (don't walk) off the premises, and don't stop until you reach Nicaragua. They won't find you there.

But seriously, if a program can't be bothered to invest in safe and appropriate software, your learning, lifestyle/hours and patient care will all suffer.

The other thing to be careful about is the amount of switching. How many hospitals do you bounce around to? Do you bounce back and forth within the same rotation? You probably know if you're okay with this or not, but be honest with yourself and don't let the prestige of a program blind you to its day to day grind.


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