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Discussion in 'ERAS, SOAP, and NRMP Match' started by John Deere Gree, Dec 18, 2008.
How about being asked `do you have any questions?` about 30 times during the day.
I get annoyed by the hospital tour. How many wards do we need to see???
Resident: This is our ICU, where the nurses can see each pt's monitor.
Resident: This is one of our best nurses.
Nurse: /sarcastic joke about the hospital
Candidates: /fake laugh
our hospital services a population of 2-5 million
our hospital has the most diverse patients and diseases in the entire universe, vulcans and romulans come here from starbase 4039.2
me: yada yada ... how is the teaching here?
PD: we have teaching.
Its even worse when you go to the OR and have to put a bunny suit on.....especially with a skirt.
Some of the comments here are hilarious. And so true. When you hear the same mantra again and again, you just sort of chuckle inside. By this time, it seems that many of the candidates are so tired of the fake smiles and monotony that they relax almost too much. I had one guy on the tour using his cell phone and talking about how he was going to bolt soon because the program sucked so bad. I am enjoying the nicey nice treatment while it lasts because intern year is just around the corner.
Oh geez. That's lame.
On our tours, the OR is usually "Here are the doors to the OR, we can't take you in past the doors, but we can open the door for you; if you look in, you can see the nurses' station and the board."
I've also been on several tours of labs. Every lab all over the country looks the same. A program can say "we have a lab with biomechanics, benchwork, etc," and I'd know what they're talking about without having to actually see it.
Oh, and the interviews that are the best are the ones that are 15 min of being asked "Do you have any questions for me?" And I just ask questions for 15 minutes.
i hate it when applicants are served pizza. how cheap can you be?
i hate it when we go nonstop from one thing to the next (i.e., no bathroom breaks in itinerary...)
i appreciate interviewers with decent social graces and can carry on a normal conversation!! (rather than trying really sell you the city or other information that you didn't ask for, or, like many other posters mentioned, not ask you a single question and spend the time asking you for questions!)
i like it when program directors give the introduction &/or closing session
i like meeting current and future chief residents
Liked when you spent most of the time casually interacting with interns and residents able to ask honest questions vs. just meeting a few residents/mainly chiefs all day while the program seems to hide interns and everyone else--makes you wonder. Also hated hours and hours of higher-ups just talking on and on regarding details and such of the program.
I would rather observe morning report than grand rounds. Watching attendings/residents interact is far more valuable. Also, I don't know what to make of applicants who aggressively participate in morning report - isn't the point of this hour to see how the program functions rather than trying to impress?
I thought of them as smuggish. To me it's a time to observe not interact (unless they directly say you can/should participate or ask me a question).
I HATE grand rounds on interviews - what's the point? Haven't we all been there as students?
Morning report is better, because you get to see the house staff interact with each other and with faculty on a professional level.
One program asked us if we needed the bathroom after every segment of the day. Very thoughtful. They should have served beer.
Candidate: Do the residents get along here?
Resident: Oh yeah, I have a few friends.
Candidate: Do you feel you get good exposure to _____?
Candidate: What are some of the downsides to this program?
Resident: Well . . . you know . . . there are definitely things that can be improved, but we're working on it.
THE WORST: an upper level faculty member who interviewed me didn't introduce himself. Before the interview began in earnest, I said (with a smile), "I'm sorry, I don't think I caught your name."
Interviewer: "Oh, really? I thought they told you that already. I'm John Smith."
He then proceeds with the rest of the interview, without ever telling me what his position is, what his area of specialty is, his role in the program . . . . nothing.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from the interviewers who do not introduce themselves are those that start out with, Well, let me give you a little background about myself....
20 minutes later, I am still sitting there wondering why I flew here to listen to this random faculty member's biography...
What I like.. Some of the dinners with residents. Being well fed and getting a chance to get to know potential coworkers and the program in a informal setting.
What I don't like... The sucking up that takes place. Example - one of my last interviews there was a couple trying to match. The girl kept telling the PD how much she loved the place and how great it was. But then I see them writing notes back and forth saying how they were not interested and it would be at the bottom of their list. I know that we are all trying hard to position ourselves for the best match.. I just hate suck ups.. But it is what we have to do right now......
The dinners are nice, especially when the residents are friendly and talk with the applicants instead of only the other residents or that school's med students. The dinners are also nice to meet applicants that you'll potentially see at future interviews.
I didn't like having to interview with candidates who did rotations there. Here I am from out of state doing my little tap dance while the other candidate is high-fiving the residents and talking about how hammered they all got 'the other night'. Sitting in the little 'snack room' made me feel like Boo Radley in the corner while everyone else knew each other like brothers and sisters. Also, it made the tour brutally painful because this chowder head who did rotations there was constantly shaking hands with every employee and saying, S'up bra..to all the male residents.
Yeesh... any specialty where residents/applicants say "s'up bra" is going to be incompatible with someone who drops Harper Lee references, IMHO. Consider yourself a victor here.
Or, alternatively, leave little trinkets in a tree to win their favor.
Blondedocteur, ROTFL, thank you.
And they're great for getting to know people who may be your future colleagues.
I am always the guy from out of state trying to do the tap dance!
So I show up to the pre-interview dinner a few minutes early and the hostess leads me to the back room. There are two tables set up - one is completely full and the other empty. After sitting by myself for a few minutes, all the other applicants arrive and join me at the empty table. After some questioning amongst ourselves, we finally come to the conclusion that sitting at the full table are all residents and their spouses. We all ate separated for the duration of the evening. To make matters worse, this dinner happened to be held at a brewery. We, the applicants, were happily trying out the restaurant's featured microbrews. At the end of dinner we each got to pick up our own tabs for the beer. Why invite applicants to a brewery if you aren't going to pay for the beer?? A little "heads up" would have been nice prior to throwing back those $6 pints. Its hard to convey that info though if you aren't even sitting at the same table.
At another program - I had the complete opposite experience. The dinner was held in the cocktail lounge of the restaurant with residents split up, moving about to try and get to meet each and every applicant. It was a full open bar (paid for by the program) and food was passed on trays so you could stay mobile. Needless to say, I had a much better first-impression of this program.
I have been perfectly fine with night before events that included everything from some home cooked food at a faculty member's house to filet mignon at a fancy restaurant. I've even been fine with no dinner. However:
Do not invite me to a bar if you are not going to buy me a drink
Do not invite me to dinner if you are not going to buy me food.
Do not tell me the above information after the fact.
I've had a few disappointing interview experiences, but one takes the cake. The pre-interview "dinner" was at a resident's house in the middle of nowhere. I can understand their attempt to make the evening more casual by taking us to a resident's house, but come on, I'm paying hundreds of dollars to come interview, and you can't take us out to at least a decent restaurant? Even Subway would have been better. Or at least offer to provide us transportation from the hotel to the resident's house, especially when its in the boonies at 8pm in darkness.
About 4 applicants at the "dinner" show up including myself, and although the host resident was nice, she never offered us anything to drink or eat. This is while all the residents that showed up were knocking back beer/martinis and appetizers. Even the program coordinator/secretary person showed up and was laughing it away with the residents. SO instead of being a social to get to know the applicants, it turned into a big resident happy hour and we were just their excuse to get together. I was so angry I just went back to hotel, bought a glass of wine at the hotel bar, and passed out without eating dinner.
Suffice it to say I am not even ranking that program. And I'm not leaving it off my rank list because of the pre interview social...the program really sucked.
And it gets really annoying when other applicants lengthen the hospital tour by asking to see random wards like the bone marrow transplant unit. How different can these wards be between all the children's hospitals? They all have negative pressure rooms, procedure rooms, and really sick kids. If you already know they have what you want (i.e. BMT), why would you need to see it? That's what away rotations and second looks are for.
That is awesome about the dinner where the residents sat at one table and the applicants at another - all night!
Ok, worst: I was the only applicant and the table full of residents and spouses sat and gossiped among themselves all night. It felt really terrible. Unfortunately, I saw that at two small programs who I will not rank. It did reflect the overall program pretty accurately, which is depressing to admit. What a lonely feeling for an applicant.
Best: several fit this very well! I was constantly asked after - do you need a break? are you hungry? how are you holding up? do you need anything? how are your interviews going? and people picked me up at the hotel and personally drove me to the dinner/interview/airport. People smiled at me, told about themselves or I was given a 'host resident' who looked after me which I thought was really awesome. Several programs gave me really neat gifts or took me to awesome restaurants. Little things really do go along way to making someone feel welcome.
Why does every program ask?: where do you see yourself after residency?.
Are they trying to see if you will stay in their state or if you will stay in academic medicine and want to do a fellowship?.. what do they want to gather from this question?. It has been asked at all my interviews.
One of the best ways a program could see the real candidates would be to put a few hidden cameras in the room they use as a candidate "stage" for interviews. Some of the applicants really relax and complain about things in this setting. I've heard them complain about things such as the food provided, the dislike of the PD/specific residents, the facilities. Who knows, maybe some have done this already. It would be very simple, and it would give the PD some true insight into applicant's personalities.
And yes, asking where you see yourself in however many years is annoying for many reasons. But it does answer something or they wouldn't use it. Perhaps it is simply that they want to see one has a vision for the future. Or perhaps it is that they want certain people to maintain the program.
That's all good and well - except when the chief resident tells you that their PD is "a bit off" and that the residents are all "really happy," except for the fact that their PD can be a "jerk."
Residents trying too hard to act cool when addressing the group.
Case in point - I don't know if this was a joke that fell flat or the guy was trying to act too cool for school but...
We were getting the basic tour of the ED and stopped at the designated nurses station as he was talking (upper level resident) and someone inthe group noticed that everyone was wearing their whitecoats so asked "is it required for residents to wear their coats or can you just wear scrubs?"
The resident replied "Oh it doesn't matter. Just don't wear Crocs."
After a pause, "Why not Crocs?" another interviewee asked.
The resident replies, "No doctor should wear Crocs anymore. As you may have noticed all over the world of medicine, CROCS HAVE BECOME THE OFFICIAL FOOTWEAR OF THE FAT NURSE."
(needle scratches off the record)
...he says this loudly as we are at the nurses station, manned by nurses in Crocs, and most admittedly overweight. They all stare daggers at him.
We are stunned in silence.
And he laughs at himself and pushes forward with the tour.
"....and over here is our Trauma bay....."
gotta admit. . .that's pretty funny. gotta have pretty big cojones to pull that right in the nursing station. This is a surgery interview, no?
cojones ... or be mildly stupid
It's funny because it's true.
Tours! oh I hate tours! Especially when the resident ALWAYS says : "this is the best nurse" and the nurse always replies: "don't listen to that one!"
Also dislike interviewers who haven't even peeked at your file before you walk in.
Also dislike it when some residents show up at the pre-interview dinner just for free food and only talk to each other. Don't get me wrong, free food is great but at least talk to the applicants!
Hate it when the mean interviewer is the first one to run to the cold pizza for lunch and stuff his face. Then again...PIZZA??
Ha-ha, I think I had dinner with these people earlier tonight!
(Well, actually I doubt it actually was the same people but the similarities were uncanny. [But not a perfect match for your story.] I had just read this post earlier today, and was thinking to myself, "Oh my gosh, this is exactly like what that person on SDN wrote about...")
i think that could be part of it...
but my take on that question is that they are trying to guage whether or not you have really thought about your life, after residency. it clearly is difficult to tell, given that both time and people change, but i think, in general, they just want to see/understand if your long-term career goals have been given any thought..
to answer the OPs question, i honestly don't' have anything that i've hated about the interview season. i've enjoyed traveling to different places and meeting the different applicants and physicians in each program.
It tickles me pink when another applicant on the interview trail, waiting for the PD or the chief resident to leave, starts to whine/complain about some aspect of the interview. I always want to say, "Be grateful that you're here and stop complaining. Otherwise, you can leave. There's always another applicant waiting to be in the exact same position as you are, right now."
just my 2 cents, whatever it's worth.
Interviewers who abuse the "do you have any questions for me?" gig.
Definitely! I have had up to 30 minutes of me asking the interviewer questions. One program director commented that they read my application and knew that they really wanted me at their program so they were going to just allow me to ask them questions because they had their mind made up that they wanted me. SO ANNOYING! I mean seriously, YOU are supposed to be interviewing ME. It's not fair for me to waste my money or time to have an interviewer only ask me one question.
That one made me feel a bit resentful--like all of your (my) hard work was in vain. They could at least start by saying, "I see that you... [fill in the blank]", to generate small talk. At least that would let you know they are truly interested and not just shooting the ...