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Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 11, 2004
Hello all,
I'm currently an intern in IM and as I've seen waves of applicants come through on interview days I've seen some kind of crazy stuff. I remember interviewing last year and coming to this forum a lot for advice; much of it actually being useful/true. In that vein, I'm going to make some recs about things that I wish I had done better on interview day.
1) Pay attention in morning report. Not to the topic. I could've cared less about some esoteric presentation of TB. Rather take a good look around at the residents/interns in the room. Do they look tired, pissed, or are they being paged every 30 seconds (are they even carrying their pagers)? I am at a "top" program on the east coast and I can tell you that we are instructed to look good for you guys. Often cases and presentations are reviewed beforehand so the powers-that-be have the time to read up on stuff as do the interns. Consider it a complement, we want you and want you to think we're smart and well read.
2) The dinner the night/day before. Please use good judgment. I think drinking is totally acceptable but it goes without saying that this isn't the time to go off. Save the case races for the rest of fourth year and remain articulate. On that same note, don't dis your home institution. After all, you come from there! Your letter writers are from there! Why would you discredit yourself? It's appropriate to say things you'd like to change about home but please refrain from "X University sucks." No one wants to hear it and no one is quite sure how to react to it.
3) If you want a program, follow up. It doesn't have to be a second look, that's not always feasible. But a thank you letter stating what you liked SPECIFICALLY and who you met SPECIFICALLY can go a very long way.
4) The tour. "Can we see the call rooms?" Why? If you're a "good" intern you won't even see it! Just kidding, I guess that's fine. Make it a point to check out the work rooms/stations and take a look at how many computers are around. No jokes--I add an extra 15 minutes on to my prerounding time because I sometimes have to wait for a free computer.
5) This goes without saying, but talk to the housestaff. I'm not talking about the jovial guy or gal with a big smile who comes to your table and can't wait to tell you how great the program is. Seek out the dude who looks like he just came for the free grub and is chilling out in the corner. Chances are he might tell it to you straight.
6) Know where medicine stands in the hospital. Look at the subspecialties; are their fellows well respected and do at least some come from the program. Do the subspecialties all have established heads? Are anyone of them in flux? Believe me this will effect your life as an IM resident whether it be avoiding some service for consults because their fellows overworked and rude or if you'd like to pursue that subspecialty. Also try and get a sense of the relationship between IM with other services namely surgery and rads. IM is a dumping ground, it's true from Boston to SF and everywhere in between. GET USED TO IT. However, camraderie and common sense among the services makes everyone's life easier.
So, that's my advice. Good luck to all this year.


Burninator, MD
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 1, 2004
Re #2. I guess it means no random bar hotties after all. :(

Thanks for the great advice! :horns:
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