clement

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It's been a while since I did a rotation in my area of interest... I know "present an interesting case you were involved with" is a potential interview topic and there's no one case that stands out in my mind as interesting nor would I recall the details of findings. This is the one question that in prepping for interviews makes me nervous. What to do? How long/formal/extensive does the case presentation have to be during an interview? I'm guessing it would be odd to discuss a case one read up on in a journal but was not directly involved in as a student? Eek.
 
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Not sure how others are approaching this but I plan on talking about case(s) that motivated me to choose the field of choice. I dont think they're looking for extensiveness or specifics (but be ready to talk about it if they chose to pimp you). More of a "what made it interesting to you??" Make it show something about yourself for extra points. :)
 

atsai3

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It's been a while since I did a rotation in my area of interest... I know "present an interesting case you were involved with" is a potential interview topic and there's no one case that stands out in my mind as interesting nor would I recall the details of findings. This is the one question that in prepping for interviews makes me nervous. What to do? How long/formal/extensive does the case presentation have to be during an interview? I'm guessing it would be odd to discuss a case one read up on in a journal but was not directly involved in as a student? Eek.
An interviewer who asks you this question is just trying to get to know you better, understand what kinds of things you might find clinically interesting, possibly get a sense for how you might think about a particular clinical case, etc. So yes, it would be odd to discuss a case you read about in a journal. For your own sake, please do not do this. Just present a case you thought was interesting. Doesn't have to have been interesting enough to be publishable. Just interesting.

-AT.
 

GuzzyRon

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I second the opinion that you should NOT present a case that you read up. If you can't come up with anything of your own it will tell your interviewer one of two things: either you're completely disinterested or didn't see any cases at all.

Think of any case at all that you witness and discuss what you learned from it. For the most part, that question is not meant to gauge whether the case is interesting or not rather, it's meant to start a conversation, show your interest in the filed, show you can carry on a simple conversation...etc.
 
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clement

clement

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Point taken...Has anyone ever read parts of a case you prepared or else speak w/o looking at any paper? The thing is, I will need 3-4 cases at least.
 

Knicks

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Point taken...Has anyone ever read parts of a case you prepared or else speak w/o looking at any paper? The thing is, I will need 3-4 cases at least.
1- Why that many?

2- Are these "present an interesting case" type of questions asked THAT frequently?
 
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clement

clement

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1- Why that many?

2- Are these "present an interesting case" type of questions asked THAT frequently?
I think it's specialty dependent and a matter of luck as far as who interviews you at a certain place. I have friends that applied for IM that presented up to 4 brief cases. Neuro likes to ask, plus I've applied to IM prelims, so I think I'd need more than one. Generally though I think or hear that higher quality places won't be pimping you or being ill-intended with the whole presentation thing. It's supposed to be casual, light, brief...Don't necessarily have to go through labs and what-not.
 

braluk

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I've been asked this question in two different forms

1) What's the most interesting case you've seen
2) Discuss an interesting case


It's not designed for you to impress your interviewer with a really exotic case but moreso to see how excited or how enthusiastic you are for your chosen specialty, and also if you're able to convey why you thought it was interesting.

For me I've been honest in my approach and it's worked favorably. I usually tell whoever is asking me that my most interesting case was the first case I ever scrubbed in on- a Lap Chole. I generally also will say that while it's not something rare and exotic, it was interesting to me because it was my first upfront experience with performing a surgical procedure and also how very real and observable it was to see the patient drastically improved in the clinic later on.

Sometimes I'll include a few tidbits of other interesting cases (...and while I've seen a few rarer cases such as a bullet embolus, or complete bowel necrosis.... , I generally found that my first experienced tended to be the most interesting because it was unforgettable). This works out fairly well.

Some people might disagree with me here but I think that this question falls in line with "General Interest" questions- such as 'Do you have questions for me?" Even if you most interesting case was your last one just because it was the most recent then use it. It would definitely be better then saying that you don't have any interesting cases you can recall or BS'ing one up from a textbook. If you actually have to present full cases, then I would see if you can dig through some of your older patient notes if you still have them (or if you logged them on evalue or perhaps had to write an H&P up to hand in, or whatever) and review them. It's always easier to attribute cases to a memory of someone you worked with. Generally speaking though, I find it doubtful that you will be asked to recall specific details. Good luck!
 

ZagDoc

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I think it's specialty dependent and a matter of luck as far as who interviews you at a certain place. I have friends that applied for IM that presented up to 4 brief cases. Neuro likes to ask, plus I've applied to IM prelims, so I think I'd need more than one. Generally though I think or hear that higher quality places won't be pimping you or being ill-intended with the whole presentation thing. It's supposed to be casual, light, brief...Don't necessarily have to go through labs and what-not.
Definitely agree. Gotten this talking point on an ENT interview, and I think it was more designed to show insight into how the specialty interests you. Was definitely conversational, and I did not get the impression it was a test of my clinical acumen, intelligence, or anything of the sort. Then again, these were surgeons, so I think I would have been shot if I switched into a formal case presentation mode.

Since the OP sounds like they were asking for examples, I talked about a young pregnant patient I had with SQCC of the tongue, and how we saw another young patientas a post-op in clinic who had had SQCC of the tongue while pregnant, which produced a discussion about how there had been several patients who presented with tongue malignancy during pregnancy and how these cancers may differ pathologically from traditional HPV squams in the young. No discussion on clinical history, surgical management or anything, just an interesting case.

In the medical specialties it may be a more formal setup, I wouldn't know.