PosteriorEmbryotoxon

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Residency programs get HUNDREDS of applications. Was wondering if sending an email of interest PRIOR to the program sending out interviews could make your application stand out to be reviewed sooner or more seriously? Or does this have a higher likelihood of backfiring? Does anyone have experience with this?
 
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Just gonna go out on a limb and say....ummmm no. After a month or two without an invite to a place you really want to go, maybe a quick email would be ok. But not before the applications are even sent.
 
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doctr1

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I also have the same question. I think it all depends on the program director and the program it self, if they have specific requirements and you do not fulfill those requirements, I am sure sending an email won't change anything. I also think if you mention something in the email on why you would like to invited to their program (for example something like I did an away rotation at your program and was really impressed ... I would like to be in that city because of ... and ...) would give them a reason to look at your application. I am sure that if someone sends an email on behalf you ( your mentor .. supervisor.. an attending your worked with and they know him/her) would give them a really big reason to look at your application.
 

22031 Alum

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Plenty of people contact our program coordinator to ask questions about applying. All correspondence does go in their file, but tends not to have much of an effect unless someone is rude or obnoxious. I've never seen a formal letter of interest before interviews, but I haven't been doing this as long as some other attendings who post here. Hypothetically, the first thing I'd do if I saw such a letter would be check to see why we rejected your application to do an audition rotation with us. If it turned out you hadn't applied for an audition, I'd doubt the sincerity of your "interest" and be inclined to look on your app less favorably.


I also think if you mention something in the email on why you would like to invited to their program (for example something like I did an away rotation at your program and was really impressed ... I would like to be in that city because of ... and ...) would give them a reason to look at your application.
Programs keep track of who has done an audition rotation with them. The audition expresses interest. They don't need an email reminder.
 
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PosteriorEmbryotoxon

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Sep 7, 2015
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Plenty of people contact our program coordinator to ask questions about applying. All correspondence does go in their file, but tends not to have much of an effect unless someone is rude or obnoxious. I've never seen a formal letter of interest before interviews, but I haven't been doing this as long as some other attendings who post here. Hypothetically, the first thing I'd do if I saw such a letter would be check to see why we rejected your application to do an audition rotation with us. If it turned out you hadn't applied for an audition, I'd doubt the sincerity of your "interest" and be inclined to look on your app less favorably.
Thanks for your reply 22031 Alum! I am thinking of sending more of an informal email to the program coordinator about my interest in certain programs rather than a formal letter of interest to the program director - not sure if this would make any impact though, since it is directed to the coordinator rather than the program director. I am a little surprised and nervous :confused: about how you view these statements of interest though! There are many reasons why a student is unable to do an audition rotation at a specific institution but this does not mean they are not especially interested in that program. For example, I was unable to do an audition elective at one of my top choice institutions because their schedule does not match my school's schedule - we start on the 1st and end on the 30th of each month while they start on the 15th and end on the 15th of the next month.
 
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PosteriorEmbryotoxon

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Just gonna go out on a limb and say....ummmm no. After a month or two without an invite to a place you really want to go, maybe a quick email would be ok. But not before the applications are even sent.
Oops sorry for not being clear! I am applying through the SF Match for ophthalmology and submitted my applications a month and a half ago. So think of this timeline as more being around late October for the NRMP match.
 

Frederica

Residency Program Coordinator
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Oops sorry for not being clear! I am applying through the SF Match for ophthalmology and submitted my applications a month and a half ago. So think of this timeline as more being around late October for the NRMP match.
As a program coordinator, I can tell you don't bother to do this at the start (i.e. now for main match).

I am not that familiar with the ophthalmology match, but if it is like urology and they go through much a lot sooner than the main match (March), then I think it's okay to email the coordinator. Just don't but the heck out of them. This is a very busy time of year and most of us are doing more than managing just one program. The last thing you want to do is tick off the coordinator.
 
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PosteriorEmbryotoxon

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Sep 7, 2015
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As a program coordinator, I can tell you don't bother to do this at the start (i.e. now for main match).

I am not that familiar with the ophthalmology match, but if it is like urology and they go through much a lot sooner than the main match (March), then I think it's okay to email the coordinator. Just don't but the heck out of them. This is a very busy time of year and most of us are doing more than managing just one program. The last thing you want to do is tick off the coordinator.
Ah, thanks so much for your input Frederica! I was thinking about a short maybe 5-6 sentence email to express my interest. Do you think that would be too bothersome? Also, you mentioned not to do this "at the start." Is there a more appropriate time to send such emails?
 

Frederica

Residency Program Coordinator
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Nov 12, 2014
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Ah, thanks so much for your input Frederica! I was thinking about a short maybe 5-6 sentence email to express my interest. Do you think that would be too bothersome? Also, you mentioned not to do this "at the start." Is there a more appropriate time to send such emails?
If I read one of your posts above correctly, interview invites have already been sent out and you have started interviewing for residency. If that is the case, you can send a short note to the PC noting your interest. You can even send to the PD with PC copied, this happens frequently and, at least with my programs, is not a turn off.