What to ask the PD?

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by medlaw06, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. medlaw06

    medlaw06 Just Medicine
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    Hey all...I went on my first interview earlier in the week (I have been de-plucked :love: :laugh: ) and when the PD asked me whether or not I had any questions, I said "nope, the resident giving us the tour already answered all my questions."

    Anyway, just wanted to get a list of questions that are acceptable to ask the program or the PD about. I know that there are threads on what question we will be asked, but I don't think there are threads on what questions to ask the porgram itself. And what questions you shouldn't ask (oh great....i can just see a line of responses w/ the most absurd questions to NOT ask, but anyway)

    Or, what questions have you asked the PDs in your interview trail...

    The reason why I ask is because there are obviously some questions you should not be asking the PD (call schedule, pay, etc.), but was wondering what questions are good questions TO ask the PD.

    Thanks and g/l on the interview trail!!!
     
  2. BigBadBix

    BigBadBix Senior Member
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    I have been compiliing a list of questions to ask at interviews from previous posts on SDN. Since the search function is down I will post my list here.

    You'll notice this is a very long list and many of the questions can be answered on the programs' websites. My plan to make this more manageable is to identify any straightforward questions about the curriculum, patient population, research, etc. that aren't answered on the website and ask the residents/faculty the bulk of these. For interviews with PD's, I'm going to be more selective and choose about 5-7 questions that address more philosophical issues (e.g. what does your program offer that is unique? what aspect of your program are you most proud of? what qualities are most important to you in selecting residents?). My hope is that these open-ended questions will allow me to evaluate how well my goals/priorities fit with the philosophy of the program, and at the same time give a glimpse of the PD's personality and passion for their program. Tried it once and it seemed to work pretty well, so we'll see how it goes from here. Anyway, here's the list:


    GENERAL
    What is the philosophy of the program?
    What makes this program so unique?
    What do you like most about your training program?
    In what areas can the program improve itself?
    What process do you have for improving the residency? For evaluating rotations?
    What is the relationship between this program and other specialties?
    How many residents are there?
    How are residents evaluated? How often? By whom? How may they give feedback?
    Have any housestaff left, and why?
    What do you expect of your housestaff?
    How are complaints handled?

    CURRICULUM
    What kind of curriculum is offered?
    How many hospitals participate in the program?
    To what extent do residents manage patients?
    What is the patient mix and what are the community demographics
    What is the scope of experience I can expect?
    How is the training divided?
    How much elective time is there and how is it usually used?
    What is call schedule like?
    What are the clinical, non-clinical, and administrative responsibilities of the residents?
    Do residents have time to read?
    What is the structure of the last year of residency?
    Teaching opportunities?
    What happens if someone is sick?
    Does the curriculum include training in cultural competence?
    Is training offered in medical Spanish or other languages?
    Is the program or hospital involved in any projects to help the underserved?
    What kind of community outreach might we be involved in?
    Volume of patients in inpatient and outpatient services
    Number of services through which you can expect to rotate
    How work is distributed; logistics such as hours; size of teams
    Is there funding for continuing medical education course and conferences
    What elective opportunities are available
    Is there a formal didactic curriculum, and what is its structure?
    What programs exist for resident education (e.g. lectures, grand rounds, board review courses.)?
    What are the required rotations for the first year? Subsequent years? Where do they take place?
    Is there a formal mentoring program for new residents, and do faculty serve as mentors?
    What type of structure for supervision is in place?
    How does the resident's autonomy change as he/she progresses through the program?

    FACULTY/PROGRAM STABILITY
    Who are the faculty?
    Is the Chairperson staying?
    How available are the attendings (including nights and weekends)?
    What is the ownership of this institution?
    How financially stable is the program?
    Characterize faculty-resident relationships.
    Do you foresee any changes in the next three years?
    What recent changes has the program undergone?
    Level of contact with attending staff; opportunities for direct instruction
    What is the status of the program's accreditation?
    If there were any citations at the last review, what has been done to correct them?
    When is the next Residency Review scheduled?
    What changes are anticipated in the program over the next 5 years

    RESEARCH
    Is a thesis or publication required during training?
    Is there time and funding for conferences and meetings?
    What research opportunities are available? What is the availability of funding for research?
    Major research interests within the department
    Is there "protected" time for research?

    COMPETITIVENESS/FELLOWSHIPS
    Where are the graduates of the program now?
    What percentage of graduates enter fellowships?
    What do you look for in a candidate?
    How many people do you rank?
    How do your residents perform on boards?
    What is this program most respected for?
    Is help available for finding jobs/fellowships?
    How well do residents perform on board certification exams?
    What Medical schools do current residents represent
    What is the ownership of this institution?
    How financially stable is the program?

    ATMOSPHERE/FACILITIES:
    What do residents here like most and least?
    What is the mix of married and unmarried residents?
    What is the racial/ethnic/gender breakdown of residents?
    Do the residents socialize as a group?
    How are the individual call rooms?
    What is the library like?
    Can you easily photocopy articles you need?
    Where are the lockers?
    Do men and women have equal facilities?
    Are there fitness facilities?

    BENEFITS:
    Do you offer health, life, disability insurance?
    What is the salary?
    What is your meal plan?
    What kind of vacation time do you offer?
    Do you have sick days?

    FOR RESIDENTS:
    What contact will I have with clinical faculty?
    How are the attendings to work with?
    What is the average daily work load for interns? Is it varied?
    How much didactic time is there? Does it have priority?
    What types of clinical experiences will I have?
    What is the work schedule? Call schedule? Time off?
    What is the patient population I will see?
    Are you happy? Was this a good match for you?
    Do the residents socialize as a group?
    Would you choose this program again?
    How receptive are faculty?
    Is support staff adequate?
     
  3. medlaw06

    medlaw06 Just Medicine
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    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!


    THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH! The list is PHENOMENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. orientedtoself

    orientedtoself resident
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    Holy ****. And I thought I was OCD. If you can remember just one or two questions, you will be set.
     
  5. BigBadBix

    BigBadBix Senior Member
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    While I can't deny that I have OCD tendencies (which goes a long way to explain why I love Internal Medicine!), I don't want you to think I'm completely crazy. I'm really not going to use all of these. :eek: I just copied & pasted the lists off of SDN posts in the past so I'd have them on hand. I'm going to pick and choose what's important to me.
     
  6. avgjoe

    avgjoe Senior Member
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    Dude, thanks for this list! I'm glad you're OCD enough to make this out and help us all out!!
     
  7. Poety

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    edited becvause i didn't see the extensive reply above!
     
  8. Lara

    Lara Senior Member
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    That is awesome BigBadBix. I'm flying for my first interview tomorrow and this list is definitely coming with me! :D
     
  9. Koko

    Koko Koko
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    One of the sections of Iserson's that I found to be the most helpful was in regard to the OP's question. Not only are there good questions listed, but he identifies to whom the question should be addressed and how to broach sensitive topics without irritating people.

    Worth checking out.
     
  10. BigBadBix

    BigBadBix Senior Member
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    Yeah, thanks for pointing that out. I forgot to mention that I think at least part of the questions on this list were taken from Iserson's originally.
     
  11. KittenKnows

    KittenKnows Member
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    Thank you for such an awesome list! I am post-call today and I am trying to finish preparing for my first interview tomorrow (did not realize my call schedule before I scheduled this interview) and although I had a few questions to ask, this is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks! You saved me a ton of time.
     
  12. dr_almondjoy_do

    dr_almondjoy_do So Very Happy to Be Here!
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    Generally, I try to avoid asking the PD questions that can be found on the program's website or in their portfolio. You can spend the entire trip home and when comparing programs to go through things like benefits, faculty, curriculum, call schedule, etc. etc.

    One question I do ask to the PD is: What changes do you see happening to the program during the years I would be an intern/resident here?

    Another set questions for people planning to work their way up the ladder: Do you see an applicant like myself having the chance to go onto being chief/attending faculty in your program? Do your residents go onto applying for fellowships? What kinds of employment opporutunities does the hospital system have for recent residency graduates like myself?

    More for senior resident: Is moonlighting allowed, and if so, what are the opennings like?
     
  13. radonc

    radonc Senior Member
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    dont ask PD's questions that other people (residents) have told you the answers too, you can read off the website, or is just a plain fact...its not only boring from them, but its boring for you.

    ask them something like:
    1. if there is any one thing about this department you could change, what would it be and why...

    2. name the biggest disadvantage/advantage to this program

    3. do you expect any major changes (faculty, curriculum, etc) in the next few years?

    4. what is your ideal resident?
     

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