Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Interviewing

It's coming to the end of the interviewing season, thank goodness. :) For the last couple of months, with a break for the holidays, Pennsylvania hospital has been interviewing candidates for next year's intern class on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, about 10-20 4th year medical school candidates each day. It's somewhat interesting to see how a program recruits good candidates.

Of course, the program reputation speaks for itself - either for good or for bad. Word of mouth goes a long way, and during the day, they give the candidates ample opportunity to speak to current residents and interns and ask them questions. I, for one, believe in being completely honest about everything, even if that puts the program in a bad light. Of course, I tend to look at things more positively than others, I think, so I may be putting a good spin on things unintentionally. I think it's a bad sign when a program doesn't give you time to spend with current residents and interns - what are they afraid of?

More interesting to me are the little things that candidates care about that draw them to or away from a program. #1 thing is the food. I can't tell you how many times the subject of food or how well candidates have been treated during the interview comes up or plays a role in their decisions. Logically, this should have nothing to do with someone's decision to join a program, or how good the program is, but if crappy food is served during the interview, candidates notice! It's worth noting that on the days that preliminary candidates come to interview (these candidates are internship candidates that, instead of staying in an internal medicine residency for 3 years, are in the program for one year and then go on to a specialty like radiology or opthalmology), the food is much better because good preliminary candidates are thought of as much more competitive and more difficult to draw to your program.

Other little things include paying for parking, taking you out that night with other residents, etc. If a program goes so far as to pay for other things, like hotel costs or travel costs, that's even more impressive to candidates. I think for most people this plays out during residency too - in the end, many people are concerned not just with the training they receive during residency, but their quality of life during residency which includes all these "little things."

1 comment:

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