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Making the Most of Your Residency Application: What to Do ... or Not
 

Making the Most of Your Residency Application: What to Do ... or Not

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http://tinyurl.com/9y9s3u
Timothy Munzing, M.D.,
Family Medicine Residency Director
Kaiser Permanente Orange County

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    Making the Most of Your Residency Application: What to Do ... or Not Making the Most of Your Residency Application: What to Do ... or Not Presentation Transcript

    • MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR RESIDENCY APPLICATION: WHAT TO DO … or NOT Timothy Munzing, M.D., Family Medicine Residency Director Kaiser Permanente Orange County National Residency Matching Program Board of Directors
    • Agenda Residency Application Process and Timeline Factors to Consider in Choosing a Residency Application and Interview tips Sample Interview Questions Top 10 Things NOT to Do
    • Materials Submitted in a Residency Application ERAS Application Curriculum Vitae Personal Statement Letters of Recommendation Medical Student Performance Evaluation (Dean’s Letter) USMLE Transcript
    • Application Timeline Contact Letter of Rec. Writers – Summer Prepare Application Docs – Summer Meet with Dean – August Register with ERAS – after Aug. 15 Submit ERAS Applic. – Sept. or early October
    • Application Timeline (cont.) Interviews – Nov. through January Register with NRMP (before mid- January) Match List due – mid-Feb. Match Day – mid March (three days prior you find out if you Matched with a program – if not – Scramble on Tuesday and Wednesday)
    • Choosing a Residency: Factors to Consider Location, location, location Gestalt, program fit (gut feeling) Type of program (community vs. university vs. county) Single vs. multiple residency hosp. Program size – larger vs. smaller Non-surgical vs. surgical emphasis
    • Choosing a Residency: Factors to Consider Teachers – primary faculty vs. residents Electronic health record – in place vs. planning vs. no plan Behavioral medicine emphasis On-call – educational vs. service Research emphasis Salary / benefits Other Characteristics
    • WORDS OF WISDOM ABOUT YOUR INTERVIEWS Be prepared Know your application packet well Do your homework about the program you are interviewing at RELAX!!!!
    • THE INTERVIEW BEGINS BEFORE YOU GET TO THE PROGRAM!! ERAS Application Personal Statement MSPE (Dean’s Letter) Letters of recommendation Board Scores
    • ERAS APPLICATION Be honest Don’t exaggerate your skills – (e.g. language proficiency) Don’t Pad your Activities – Include volunteer activities you’ve done regularly – not if only once
    • ERAS APPLICATION BE PROUD OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS Identify any obstacles you have overcome – Highlight your organizational and volunteer work – Avoid emphasis on California’s surf, sand, and climate –
    • PERSONAL STATEMENTS READ, RE-READ AND RE-READ AGAIN!!
    • PERSONAL STATEMENTS BE CONCISE, YET THOROUGH THREE PAGES IS TOO LONG! – THREE PARAGRAPHS IS TOO SHORT! – CHECK YOUR GRAMMAR BE PREPARED TO BE ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ANYTHING ON YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT
    • PERSONAL STATEMENTS Fill in the blanks Explain any absences in timeline, medical school – extension Low board scores or failures – what did you do with – them? Are you only applying to Family Medicine? –
    • PERSONAL STATEMENTS Tell the reader who you are! Personal statements form first impressions! Program directors read hundreds of these – makes you special – someone they can’t wait to meet???
    • PERSONAL STATEMENTS: Make someone want to read on “I grew up with a two sisters, a dog and a turtle.” Does this capture you? – Is this cleaver…? – (Be creative but not cutesy) “Standing on the brink of a deadly crevice on a glacier in Montana …” Does this get you interested? –
    • Med Student Performance Evaluation - DEAN’S LETTER *** You may not get to read this?*** READ, REREAD, AND REREAD AGAIN! KNOW WHAT IS IN YOUR DEAN’S LETTER BE PREPARED TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS
    • LETTERS OF SUPPORT WHO SHOULD WRITE THEM? Someone who knows you – WELL (ask if he/she can write you a good letter) At least one or two from Family – Medicine
    • LETTERS OF SUPPORT: POSSIBLE RED FLAGS No Family Medicine letters Letters that state that you will make a great “surgeon, pediatrician, etc.) Letters from someone who barely knows you Brief or generic letters
    • BOARD SCORES: DO YOU NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF MENSA OR AOA?? THE ANSWER IS “NO”!! Board scores are a part of the overall evaluation Be prepared to discuss it if you failed the boards or did poorly – better yet – bring the issue up before they do Don’t be defensive – answer questions openly and honestly
    • Submitting the Application Early bird gets the (worm) interview – no later than October 1st if possible Check to see if letter writers sent them in (gently remind them) Be prompt in calling when offered an interview – be flexible in scheduling
    • ON TO THE INTERVIEW!! APPEARANCE LANGUAGE PROFESSIONALISM COMMUNICATION SKILLS PROMPTNESS REMAIN INVOLVED IN THE INTERVIEW PROCESS
    • PROMPTNESS ALLOW YOURSELF EXTRA TIME TO ARRIVE ONTIME FOR YOUR INTERVIEW PROGRAMS HAVE TIGHT SCHEDULES AND – TARDINESS CAN MAKE THINGS WORSE AND REFLECT BADLY ON YOU DON’T MAKE EXCUSES IF YOU ARE LATE, – APOLOGIZE
    • APPEARANCE: FIRST IMPRESSIONS DO COUNT! DRESS PROFESSIONALLY THIS IS NOT DENIM DAY! – LOOK NEAT AND CLEAN – REMEMBER YOUR DEODORANT –
    • LANGUAGE BE PROFESSIONAL DO NOT USE FOUR LETTER WORDS (YES…THIS HAS HAPPENED!!)
    • STAY INVOVLED IN THE INTERVIEW PROCESS LOOK EAGER; DON’T LOOK BORED…EVEN IF THIS IS YOUR 15TH INTERVIEW IN WHICH YOU HAVE BEEN ASKED THE SAME QUESTIONS!!! WATCH YOUR BODY LANGUAGE
    • PROFESSIONALISM THE INTERVIEW MAY DICTATE WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO SPEND YOUR NEXT THREE YEARS OF TRAINING DON’T CRITICIZE OTHER PROGRAMS – DON’T CRITICIZE YOUR OWN PROGRAM – DON’T USE DEROGATORY TERMS FOR PATIENTS –
    • COMMUNICATION SKILLS A BASIC TENET OF PATIENT CARE IS COMMUNICATION LISTEN TO THE QUESTION THAT IS ASKED AVOID “CANNED” ANSWERS (THIS GETS HARDER AS THE INTERVIEW TRAIL PROGRESSES)
    • COMMUNICATION SKILLS: THE ROLE OF GEOGRAPHY “WHAT INTERESTS YOU IN THIS PROGRAM OTHER THAN GEOGRAPHY?” “I WANT TO BE IN A PROGRAM THAT IS – CLOSE TO THE OCEAN.” Always have questions of the P.D. or other – interviewers – shows you are interested
    • INTEREST IN THE PROGRAM: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! REPUTATION OF THE PROGRAM FAMILIARITY WITH FACULTY AND/OR RESIDENTS FAMILY NEARBY WEATHER
    • INTERVIEWER-GENERATED QUESTIONS Why Family Medicine? What attracted you to this program? Discuss your strengths and weaknesses If you couldn’t be a physician, what you want to be? Describe a patient where a Family Physician would have made a difference
    • INTERVIEWER-GENERATED QUESTIONS PLEASE PICK ONE AND DESCRIBE THE MOST REWARDING, DISTURBING, SATISFYING, FRUSTRATING PATIENT- RELATED EXPERIENCE YOU HAVE HAD.
    • INTERVIEWER-GENERATED QUESTIONS: OFF THE BEATEN PATH “WHO IS THE REAL ________?” “IF YOU WERE AN ANIMAL, WHICH ANIMAL WOULD YOU BE? WHY?”
    • Questions to Ask the Program Director or Faculty What changes do you anticipate? Where are your graduates practicing? How is the program preparing their residents for the New Model of FM? Does the program have an EHR? What are the weaknesses of the program, and what are they doing to improve them?
    • Questions to Ask the Program’s Residents How is the morale in the program? Is this improving or worsening and why? Is the program as described to you in your interview? What were your 2 or 3 other top programs when applying and why? Describe the program’s strengths and weaknesses (same as PD?) Can you influence the program?
    • AFTER THE INTERVIEW MEET WITH OTHER FACULTY OR RESIDENTS BE PROFESSIONAL – REMEMBER ANYTHING YOU SAY CAN – BECOME PART OF YOUR INTERVIEW EVALUATION AGAIN, DO NOT CRITICIZE THE PROGRAM –
    • AFTER THE INTERVIEW FOLLOW-UP WITH THE PROGRAM EMAIL THE PROGRAM PD – SEND A THANK YOU NOTE – ASK FOR A SECOND VISIT IF YOU ARE – REALLY INTERESTED IN THE PROGRAM
    • Most Common NRMP Violations Applicant fails to accept matched position PD offers written or oral contract to US Senior prior to Match Day PD asks applicant where he/she intends to rank the program – affecting program Ranking of applicant
    • Most Common NRMP Violations Medical school official withdraws allopathic US Senior to facilitate position outside Match Medical school official informs previous grad of match result early Unmatched applicant contacts programs about unfilled positions prior to 12 noon E.S.T. on Tuesday of Match Week
    • What’s the Rule? You can court – you can’t get engaged! No PD can ask you where you are ranking them – or – “we will rank you #1 if you rank us #1” – violations You can tell the program where you are ranking them – or vice versa – if no strings are attached
    • Top 10 Things Not to Do! 10) Be late: in applying or for the interview
    • Top 10 Things Not to Do! 9) Fail to Explain Missing Dates or Concerns in the Application.
    • Top 10 Things Not to Do! 8) Have a famous celebrity (who doesn’t know you) write “I’m sure Joe will be a good doctor”.
    • Top 10 Things Not to Do! 7) Come to the interview dressed for the beach or a cocktail party.
    • Top 10 Things Not to Do! 6) Emphasize you want to train near the beach, surfing, skiing, etc.
    • Top 10 Things Not to Do! 5) “I look forward to joining your Radiology Residency Program”
    • Top 10 Things Not to Do! 4) Be rude to the residency coordinator or staff.
    • Top 10 Things Not to Do! 3) Bring your photo portfolio to the interview.
    • Top 10 Things Not to Do! 2) Plagiarize your personal statement
    • Top 10 Things Not to Do! 1) Lie about your background