Residency interviews can be a frightening prospect. So does the uncertainty that follows them.
What should you do after the interview? The answer will vary depending on your individual circumstances. At a recent AMA member exclusive event, residency program directors and resident physicians gave their insights into the residency interview process and what you should do in the aftermath. Event registration is available to AMA members – click to join or renew.
Here’s a look at some of the main points.
Right after the interview, you should take a few minutes to capture your initial reaction.
“Interviews tend, after some time, to blend together a little bit, even though each program is unique in its own way,” said AMA member Liz Southworth, MD, a PGY-2 obstetrician and gynecologist at Michigan Medicine. She advises residency applicants to “quickly jot down some ideas” after completing the interview.
Dr. Southworth specifically recommended Prism for the National Resident Matching Program, which she said “is great because it lets you rank programs as you go.”
Bukky Ajagbe Akingbola, a first-year obstetrician-gynecologist at the University of Minnesota, spoke about a colleague who recorded short videos of his impressions after his residency interviews.
“When it’s time to rank these shows, he’ll have these videos as a source for re-watching,” she said. “It’s a long interview season and it can be hard to remember how you felt about your interview this November in January.” Find out more about what not to do while interacting with Program Managers.
If a program says it’s not responding to post-interview communication, don’t worry about continuing. If you continue and don’t hear back, don’t read it.
If the program says: Please do not contact us afterwards. “We are so grateful that you interviewed us, but we don’t engage in post-interview communications — just don’t,” said Dr. Akingbola. “I know this sounds very basic, but sometimes, especially as the interview process goes on, it can be hard to fight that urgency. The software I matched with didn’t explicitly tell us not to, but they didn’t respond to the communication….if you haven’t heard Anything, it might be fine.”
If you do follow through, don’t overdo it. According to a program director, it’s unlikely to make you stand out in a positive way.
“It hardly makes a difference [in the decision on an applicant] I definitely wouldn’t write it if someone hadn’t sent a thank-you note, said Hilary Fairbrother, MD, AMA who is the vice chair of education in the department of emergency medicine at the University of Texas at Houston. . “I got a few shots in the head – I think this is very strange. I understand you are trying to be remembered by people, but I have interviewed over 100 people, so it is difficult to make a connection.”
Dr. Fairbrother indicated that if necessary, she could recall the applicant’s photo on the electronic residency application service.
Find out which factors applicants weigh the most when choosing residency programmes.