Residency Match Interviews (Responses)
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Your SpecialtyHow important is the interview in the overall ranking process?Please breifly describe your typical interview day or daysHow do you expect applicants you interview to dress? What should a student bring with them to the interview?Favorite question(s) you like to ask applicantsWhat are some good questions applicants should ask at an interview?What role do your residents play in the interview process?General advice to remember on interview dayHow should students address the topic of applying to multiple specialties?If a student is asked about applying to multiple specialties, how should they respond?Should students submit thank you notes/letters? Are they a requirement?If you do expect thank you notes, how do you prefer to receive them?If sending a post interview thank you letter/note, who should they send them toShould students follow-up again closer to rank time?General advice on thank you notes
4Intro to the program. Structured interviews with down time between interviews. Usually a dinner and tour.Suit.Things that haven't been answered previously.They help with dinners and tours. A few of them conduct interviews as well.Stay calm. Get the information you want. Applicant should be forthcoming with the infoThis is not usually an issue in neurosurgery, but would be a significant negative factor.NoANy formatResidency DirectorIf they want, but not requiredThey can if they so desire, but it is not a requirement.
Psychiatry5Dinner with residents the evening prior.
Morning at the VA for scone, coffee, informal discussion and tour.
Lunch with the residents at the U of MN.
Afternoon: applicants attend a 1 hour learning conference and meet with 3 faculty members at the U of MN, followed by a tour.
Suit, Conservative dress, 2 inch heels or less.Why psychiatry?
Memorable patient experiences?
Interest in academics, teaching or research?
Interest in special populations?
What are you looking for in your training?
What are your most highly rated clinical or didactic experiences?
What kind of professional activities have recent graduates pursued?
Do you promote/support resident research?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of your program?
What changes have you made recently?
Pre-interview dinner.
Interview day lunch.
Chief resident hosts and transports the applicants during the interview day.
Remember to interact with support staff in a professional and considerate manner. Use common manners. Show enthusiasm and excitement for the field. Take responsibility for keeping the conversation going.I don't think this is the program's businessAlthough I do not believe this is an appropriate question, if asked, I always believe honesty and sincerity reflect better on the applicant that defensively couching information.YesHand writtenResidency Director, A select few individuals that they spent a considerable amount of time withYes definitely, shows interestMention something specific, it should not read like a form letter.Humility and confidence are difficult to balance in this setting. Appear confident, but never entitled. Be as gracious as possible.
Orthopaedic Surgery5Applicants have a series of interviews with small groups or pairs of faculty. Each is organized to assess different things. They also meet with the residency director and the chairman. SuitCV, Paper for notes, Prepared questionsWhy orthopaedics?What is the best and the worst aspects to your training program?Dinner the night before with families, interviews, toursStay calm.

Enjoy the time to learn about our program.

Be prepared to talk about yourself and the process by which you chose our specialty.
Not common in orthopaedics. Truthfully.No, We explicitly tell them they are not requiredNo, I already have to much going onNot necessary or expected or helpful to the applicantBe prepared to talk about the warts on your application. Someone will ask you about them.

Lab Medicine & Pathology5We interview 7 in one day and each candidate interviews with four faculty. There is a tour of the U of M facilities and an in depth discussion of the three affiliated sites. There is also a dinner the night before with several residents.coat & tie for men. woman business like dressPaper for notes, Prepared questionsWhere will you be in 10 years
an ethical question about electives in medical school
Particular difficulties in life and how were they solved
Degree of turnover in department
Opportunities for research
Experience of residents from program in board exams
Strengths of program
Weaknesses of program
Where have graduates from program gone
They take candidates to dinner, help orient candidates in the morning, informally talk to candidates throughout the day, tour them through the facilitiesRelax and be your self. Have good eye contact. Appear sincere. Have a convincing story about why that particular field of medicine is the only field you could possibly considerApplicant should wait to be asked, and if not asked do not bring it upBe honestYesHand writtenA select few individuals that they spent a considerable amount of time withIf they want, but not requiredList some of the positives they saw in the program. Perhaps followup on an interesting discussion they had with one of the interviewersDon't appear arrogant but appear confident in abilities. Don't criticize. Above all try to have great conversations with everyone they meet. communication is so critical in all areas they need to show they can talk one on one and get across points.
Obstetrics & Gynecology5Introduction, Each candidate has 3 20 min and 1 15 min interview, site tour, lunchSuit, dress or shirt and skirtPrepared questionsWhy our program?
Team skills
Outside of work support
Any loss of faculty or residents
Accreditation history
Does program make changes based on resident feedback
The answer questions on day of interview, give tour, host pre-interview partyAsk questions of everyone. Know what's on your CVApplicant should be forthcoming with the infoThey should be honestYesEmailResidency Director, Everyone they met that dayIf they want, but not required
Neurology58 AM: Welcome and program overview by PD (with breakfast )
9.30 AM Tour of hospitals and city
11.30 AM Lunch with faculty and residents
Noon: Grand Rounds
1PM-4PM interviews (up to 4 faculty interview, PD always one of them)
Comfortable enough shoes to allow walking during tour
No cleavage or miniskirts, as a general rule one should wear what you could wear to work in a hospital is fine
Paper for notes, Prepared questions, Facts about the programTell me about a time when you were underprepared or failed. Why did it happen and how did you handle it? Learning from that experience, what would you do differently?
Vision of the PD for the next five years
Biggest challenge the program faces
How the program coaches trainees and accommodates career goals
Dinner, tour guide, raters for rank listYour interview starts with your interactions with the coordinator and ends in your follow up email. Dinner is part of your interview.Applicant should be forthcoming with the infoHonestly. We do not rank based on the applicants likelihood to pick us. We put them where we want them.
Give a good rationale so you do not look undecided or noncommital.
NoEmailResidency DirectorYes definitely, shows interestMake it specific to the program and to your interaction-be memorable!
cookie cutter text is a big turn off
Do Not Do:
Blaming, criticizing med school, peers or faculty
Taking all the credit for team effort
Lying, embellishing the truth

Be self reflective

Diagnostic Radiology41/2 day, 4 interviewers, 1/2 hr prelim intro talk, lunch with residents. Professional dressUp to themWho they are. ??Formal interview and informal lunchBe well rested. ??Truth. NoEmailResidency DirectorIf they want, but not requiredShow more interest to programs that interest you more. No
Family Medicine4Meet with host resident.
Observe part of sign of rounds.
Tour clinic and meet with program coordinator and available faculty.
Meet with residents over coffee while each resident is interviewed by the program director.
Go to noon conference - sometimes interactive and involving applicants along with residents, other students, and faculty.
Meet with hospital faculty and other residents.
Hospital tour.
Most wear interview suits.
I don't spend much time grading their clothing choices unless messy or unkempt.
note book if they take notes or have standard question set or questions they have about the programI ask simple questions to give the candidate a chance to express themselves.They should ask about their concerns regarding the program.
No set of good versus bad questions in my book.
They are involved in presenting the program from the residents perspective and have a seat at the table when the rank list is established.Be yourself.
Tell the truth, it is easier to remember.
We want you as bad as you want us.
This is a 2 way sales pitch.
Pick a place where you feel comfortable with the residents you meet and the faculty you meet; it makes the 3 years go by quickly if you like your work mates.
Applicant should be forthcoming with the infoTruth is best.
I rank based on the applicants potential to advance the field.
There are some match pairs that seem to fit with family medicine and some that do not.
Applicants need to realize that family med is not a fail safe for not getting a preferred specialty.
May not match if it is clear to us that heart lies in a different field of medicine.
YesNotes are not required but if do send either email or hand written, especially if interested in program. Residency Director, HostIf they want, but not requiredI do track as a measure of interest but a good candidate will be ranked with or without.Rank programs based on how you feel you will fit in and where you feel comfortable. It is not pleasant to be at the "best" program if you are not comfortable with the people.
Every program has a personality and not all will fit with yours.
Don't be afraid to shoot for the moon and don't be too upset if you land in your second or lower choice.
I did not get my first choice and ended up in a program that was a better fit for me.
Pediatrics5Attend morning report, program overview, interviews with faculty and program director, lunch with residents, coffee/tea with faculty (informal)Suitwhy pediatrics?
why would our program be a good fit for you?
What do you think you will do after residency?
Tell me about a patient experience that was meaningful for you.
Ask about--structured education, changes made in the program recently and upcoming, quality improvement education, what do graduates from the program do after they finishresidents host a dinner the night before and are also at morning report and lunchRead up about the program ahead of time. Remember you are on stage from your first e-mail to the program coordinator to the end of the interview season. Just be yourself, but be polite, respectful and gracious.Applicant should be forthcoming with the infohonesty. I am applying in "x" but I can also imagine myself being happy in pediatrics for these reason.

Real life happens so I can live with someone applying to more than one specialty, but don't be cagey about it.
Yeseither is fine, although I will admit I do love a nice handwritten noteResidency Director, A select few individuals that they spent a considerable amount of time withIf they want, but not requiredtry to include some brief sentence that is specific to the programjust be yourself, have fun, don't by shy about following up if you like a program.

If the program director says do you have any questions, ask a question---any question!
PM&R4We invite 6-7 interviewees/day. The evening before they have a chance to meet informally with the other candidates and a couple of residents for dinner. Morning of the interview there is an overview of the program with program director and opportunity for general questions. This is followed by 6 25 minute interviews with 4 faculty members and the 2 chief residents. After the interviews the applicants have the opportunity to go to lunch with 2-3 residents and also to visit the affiliated sites.professional attire.Paper for notes, Prepared questionsThis really varies depending upon the interviewer. It is important that the applicants directly and openly address any "red flags" that might appear as part of their applications. I often ask how they deal with conflict and to provide an example. Also, often ask how they first became interested in PM&R.What is the scope of the experience provided? Elective opportunities? Research opportunities?as above, dinner, interview and lunchbe direct and honest in responsesApplicant should wait to be asked, and if not asked do not bring it upwith an honest explanation of why they made that decision.Yeseither email or handwriitenResidency Director, A select few individuals that they spent a considerable amount of time with, program coordinatorNo, I already have to much going onshould not expect a response to the thank you notes. repeated follow up can be uncomfortable for the recipient
Urology5series of 15-20 min interviews with one or two staffsuitPaper for notesdepends on applicantdinners and interactions during day. very importantstay relaxed but not too relaxed.
Be yourself but be your best self.
Applicant should wait to be asked, and if not asked do not bring it upHonestly and with a good reason for itYesEmailResidency DirectorIf they want, but not required
Family Medicine4includes:
- interviews with the PD, Associate PD, one of our nurses and our chief residents.
- a chance to meet residents and faculty.
- tour of the hospital and clinic
- informal dinner with residents the night before
To dress well - suit is standard.Prepared questionsAlways come prepared to explain or put into perspective any issues in the application.
Be ready to talk about extracurricular, leadership or other unique experiences you have had that excite you
Why you are going into the specialty
Expected changes
Perspective on current health care system issues
What the program struggles with
Philosophy of the PD
Dinner, interview and meet and greet session. Try to be yourself and genuine. Careful with casual offhand comments - they will get back to the program if they are odd, or negative.
Always treat the administrative staff with respect and the appreciation that they deserve
Applicant should wait to be asked, and if not asked do not bring it upThey should not lie. If asked the question, there may well be something in ERAS (LORs) that suggest the student is applying to 2 specialties.
As a PD of a "back up" specialty, I don't know how a student can answer this question in a way that prevents a negative reaction from the program.
The bottom line is, the programs that are the "back up" program will rank anyone lower who they think is not genuinely interested in their specialty. PDs do not want to risk accepting someone who then, after a year, decides to try to match in their original specialty of choice.
Residency Director, A select few individuals that they spent a considerable amount of time withIf they want, but not requiredThank you notes are so common, that we don't use them to determine rank. Email stating interest close to the time of rank list submission is fine but the correlation between who sends a nice email and who matches seems to be pretty low. My sense is that everyone sends them, says nice things, but they don't indicate true interest.
If you send a note, make sure it is well written and accurate. We have received emailed thank you's that were obviously meant for someone else. Those situations can affect ranking negatively .
5Dinner the night before with a couple of our residents and another candidate; Four 30 minute interviews with 2 faculty, 1 resident and the PD; meet with someone reviewing the mission of our program; hospital and clinic tour; lunch lecture; meet with residents as a group after the lunch lectureFormal- suitanything that helps them prepare and record the interviewWe do not reveal our interview questionsDinner the evening before the interview
30 minute interview with a resident
Meet with all residents as a group after the lunch lecture
You have 6 hours or so to help us form an opinion of your application; be prepared with questions that show you have put some thought into why you are applying to our program; know the basics about us (thru pre-work by looking at the website, etc.)-- focus your questions on things that can't be accertained in other ways; Relax, be yourself-- that is what we are looking to see-- we can usually identify those candidates that are putting on a false front (either in their application or in their interview)Applicant should be forthcoming with the infoLet us know that you are considering other specialties but this is why you are interested in ................................. Tell us about your plans if you match in our specialtyYesEither hand written or emailA select few individuals that they spent a considerable amount of time withYes definitely, shows interest
General Surgery5Starts evening prior with a reception with residents (no faculty). Grand rounds the next day, review of details with residents, lunch with faculty and residents, structured interviews and tour. Takes all day.BusinessPrepared questionsWhat are the strengths and weaknesses of your program. A good program shouldn't be afraid to answer both.See above. Senior residents participate in interviews with a faculty member.You are on display everywhere you go. The support staff can torpedo your application if you don't treat them professinally.Applicant should wait to be asked, and if not asked do not bring it upYesEither hand written or emailResidency Director, A select few individuals that they spent a considerable amount of time withNo, I already have to much going on
Family Medicine3Interviews with faculty X2 and resident.
Tour of clinic, community and hospital
Lunch with other residents
SuitPrepared questionsDescribe your previous experiences in Family Medicine.
How do you deal with ambiguity.
What is your passion?
Tell me about my special interests (Sprots med, OB, Global Health, etc)Dinners, lunches, tours, interviews, connecting with applicants after interview, assistance with creating match listBe yourself.Applicant should be forthcoming with the infoHonestly, we find out otherwise. NoResidency DirectorIf they want, but not requiredNot helpful- I do not know who sends them and who doesn't. i don't read them.
Family Medicine5Community tour, clinic tour, introduction of ancillary faculty, interview by resident, interview by faculty and program director, lunch didactic, hospital tour, final question and answer and end of day. Evening dinner available with residnt at local restaurant.BusinessPaper for notes, Prepared questionsWhat does applicant want to know, what should I know about resident. interviews, dinners, community tourImportant to respect all personnel at residencyu (coordinator, admin assistants, be punctual. Be who you are not who you think the program wants you to be. Applicant should wait to be asked, and if not asked do not bring it uptruthfully, non-apologeticallyYesdoesn't matterResidency Director, A select few individuals that they spent a considerable amount of time withIf they want, but not required
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