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    Residency Interviews

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    (copied from Kaplan)

    Residency Interviews

    Most residency programs have streamlined their interviewing process to a finely tuned mix of information gathering and dispensing. Since the majority of programs receive many more applications than they have interview slots, receiving an invitation to interview means that you have survived the first round of eliminations. Congratulations! And welcome to the next set of challenges.

    Do Your Homework
    Learn as much as you can about the program so that you arrive prepared to ask thoughtful and specific questions about what they have to offer. This helps you demonstrate interest in THEIR program. It also helps you evaluate one program against another once you've completed all your interviews. The program will have sent you a packet of information about their residency training process, but you should also look at the information in the electronic residency database (FRIEDA) and any websites for the program or its affiliated hospitals. More and more, the latest and most detailed site-specific information can be found on the web, including faculty research activities and clinical programs unique to that program/hospital. Take the time to do this research.

    What Interviewers Look For
    The interview process is the program's chance to get to know you firsthand rather than through written materials. They are interested in your motivation for medicine and for their specialty, in your communication skills and personality, in your self-confidence and ability to handle the interview process itself. They hope to glean insights about your level of determination, reliability, integrity, and how you might respond to criticisms and the stresses of training. They also try to weigh how you might fit in with their current residents and staff. For IMG candidates, they are especially interested in your English language skills and your understanding of the residency training process.

    Typical interview questions might include:

    1. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

    2. What aspects of our program are you most interested in? Concerned about?

    3. What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?

    4. Please tell me about yourself.

    5. What will you do if you don't match in this specialty?

    6. Do you have research interests? Plans to pursue fellowship training?

    7. How would you describe your personal style?

    8. What books have you read recently?

    9. What are your practice plans after finishing residency?

    10. [Description of a patient care dilemma followed by] What would you do at this point?

    Interview "DON'TS"

    1. Don't be late. If a blizzard delays your arrival, call program staff to forewarn them and provide information on when they should expect you.

    2. Don't try to make a fashion statement. Medicine is a conservative field; dress conservatively.

    3. Don't act like a student. As this is really a job interview, relate on a professional level. Be polite to everyone you meet, as you never know who really wields power in the program.

    4. Don't make negative comments about other programs in the specialty or about any other specialty area.

    5. Don't try to impress an interviewer by exaggerating your credentials or past experiences.

    6. And finally, don't forget to send thank you letters with special thanks to those who went out of their way to be informative or kind. Mention specifics that make their program particularly attractive to you.

  2. #2
    Nina is offline Newbie
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    Re: Residency Interviews

    Thank you very much.I found it so helpful as i am preparing for the 2004 residency .
    I have always wondered about the question concerning 'your weaknesses'. How does one answer this question without selling ones self short or putting the foot in the mouth. What are safe answers , if any?

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    Re: Residency Interviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Nina
    Thank you very much.I found it so helpful as i am preparing for the 2004 residency .
    I have always wondered about the question concerning 'your weaknesses'. How does one answer this question without selling ones self short or putting the foot in the mouth. What are safe answers , if any?
    Nina:

    Not being able to admit one's own weaknesses ironically can be viewed as a weakness. On the other hand, honesty and the willingness to improve can be viewed as a strength. In my opinion, the PDs are not as concerned with what your actual weaknesses are as they are about how you handle the question. A poor response would be, "I don't think that I have any weaknesses", because in reality, we all have weaknesses. The other extreme is to get too detailed about your weaknesses.

    A better response, in my opinion, would be to turn your weakness into a positive. There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. You can say something like, "during my 3rd year of medical school, I would get so involved with my patients that I spent too much time on each one. But towards the end of my 4th year, I became much more efficient while still maintaining a high level of patient care." This example covered both your strength and weakness at the same time....your weakness is that you spent alot of time interviewing patients (but for a good reason); your strength is that you recognized your weakness and made a successful effort to improve it. But most importantly are your honesty and the potential of your weakness being improved. And your willingness to improve it makes it acceptable.

    Be honest about yourself. If your honest answer does not seem correct, than maybe you have to consider changing youself rather than your answer. Hope this helps. Good luck.
    Doc
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