jth9

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I have run across many programs that throw in these receptions (optional or required) the day before the interviews.

Anyone know the point of these? In other words, is it for them to scope us out or is it so we can ask questions?

They make scheduling consecutive interviews rather hard.
 
S

Skylizard

BOTH!!!

The receptions give the doctors a less formal way to interact and and an opportunity to see how you interact with other applicants and residents. In addition, it gives a more personal touch to your application when a resident can say, "I got a good feeling from X".

Interesting things may occassionally occur at these gatherings. For example, a candle caused a plastic/decorative plant to catch fire at one of the receptions. The attendings all calmly watched to see how the applicants responded. One applicant tried to fan or blow out the fire. By far, the most interesting response was from an applicant who tried to put the fire out by laying a PAPER napkin on the bush!!! This response actually ended up in the applicants application file. A attending specifically sited this action as an example of what could be expected in regards to this applicant thinking on his feet...(it was not positive). The fire was quickly doused with water.

later, hope it helps.
 

droliver

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We do it because they're 1) they're fun social events for us, 2) it takes some of the pressure off of the applicants to interact in these kinds of things 3) We (the residents) get to meet the applicants & have more informal talks than during a busy interview day.

They're strictly voluntary & don't really hurt you any. You really can make a big impression in a good way sometimes I think. It sure beats hanging around your hotel room in a strange city anyways
 
S

Skylizard

I think you have asked an excellent question on this topic. The receptions give you an opportunity to relax, meet and greet, and get a sense of what the residents are like in a more relaxed setting.
 

UI2003

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One of the receptions was at a sportsbar but another was at a nice italian resturant. You can't go wrong wearing anything along the lines of "evening casual". Also, a situation I ran into was that the chief resident who sat next to me at dinner actually ended up being one of my interviewers the next morning - so you might want to inquire about that ahead of time so you'll be in the know....happy munching!
 

surg

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At our program the night before is supposed to be informal. Heck we hold it at a bar and only the residents and applicants go (with the chairman's credit card!). We expect all the questions that you don't want to ask in front of others (e.g. what's the call schedule really like, is the dating scene tolerable, etc. etc.) There is no formal reporting system to link the information garnered at the bar to the interview file, however, if a resident feels strongly about someone (positive or negative) he or she may let the education office know and that will get factored in. I guess what I'm saying is that, unless you make a complete jerk of yourself, it wouldn't make a difference at our program.

However, I also know of places where the night before is a quite formal event with attendings, etc. I would take those ultra-seriously as another interview as it is very very likely that you will interact with people who will have an impact on your candidacy.

As always YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Bottom line, act as if you were meeting your significant other's parents for the first time and you'll be fine. As far as dress, the suggestion of asking the office before you come is probably your safest bet.