Thursday, March 13, 2014

My First Residency Interview

My first residency interview was at 7:45AM. This seemed horribly, prohibitively early to me. It was fourth year, after all. It may as well have been at 3AM. Actually, 3AM would have been better because I would have still been awake at that time. In any case, I was not exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed when I went out the door in the morning. And I couldn’t sleep on the train to the interview site because I was afraid of missing my stop.

Most interview days for internal medicine programs started out with forcing you to attend morning report. I guess they figured this would ensure there would be a few people who were awake during morning report. They had free breakfast at the morning report, and some overpowering force made me select a box of Frosted Flakes. I instantly regretted this choice, because eating frosted cereal made me feel about five years old.

Right before morning report started, the assistant in charge of interviews approached me and for a second, I was sure she was going to tell me that my cereal was too loud and I should stop eating. But instead, she had come to warn me about my interviewer. He was a bit of a character, apparently. That made me feel great.

The actual interview wasn’t terrible. During IM interviews, if you’re a US grad and unless you’re interviewing at Snooty Ivy University Hospital, they’re mostly trying to impress you so you’ll come to they’re program. But since this was my first interview, I didn’t know that yet. So I said something incredibly dumb. I said, “Can you please tell me about some of your interesting cases?”

In other words, I held up a giant sign saying, “Please pimp me.”

The interviewer started in about a case of a patient with low potassium, high aldo, low renin. He looked at me and I guessed, “Conn’s Syndrome?” Score! It was a possible pheo, apparently. Then he started in on another case and I must have look horrified or something.

Interviewer: “Am I boring you?”

Me: “Um. No! Of course not. No, I was just wondering if you would give that last patient an alpha-blocker as a precautionary measure?”

Nice save, right?

At the end of the interviews, we all regrouped for a delicious meal of sandwiches in plastic wrap. The chief resident asked us if we wanted to go take a tour of the new wing of the hospital, which would mean staying later. I thought for half a second, then I made a disappointed face, "Sorry, I have to go back to work after this."

Oh my god, what a lie.

I sort of wanted to get into this program, so I don't know what possessed me to do it. I just didn't feel like staying. I was tired, I worked till 5 every other day, and I just wanted to go home.

Anyway, I connived my way into a ride to the train station with a guy named Richard who was also interviewing. He was also giving a ride to another interviewee named Christina. Through the whole ride, I totally got the vibe that Richard was macking on Christina. I felt very third wheely.

Christina was talking about her ethnic background and how she's got dark hair and eyes, but her young cousins are blonde, so she thinks when she's with them, everyone thinks she's their nanny. Richard said to her, "You? No way. You don't look like a nanny. You look...."

I expected him to say that she couldn't be a nanny because she was too hot, but instead he said, "I would say you're like... thirteen." And I was like, WTF was that? Is that supposed to be a compliment? No wonder you’re single, Richard.

Finally, we arrived at the place where we were dropping Christina off. She said, "Hey, let me get your email address in case I wind up getting a residency out here." Richard wrote down his email address and I didn't even offer her mine. I assumed she wasn't talking to me, although I had already said I was probably going to be in the area. Slightly awkward. But I was happy for Richard that he got some e-digits during an interview.


  1. Huh. None of my interviews were like that at all. Were all of yours that weird? Did you go to any of the dinners?

  2. Some surgery classmates had interview days that started at 6am

  3. I never dreamed of forgoing the generally totally useless tours, but I wish I'd thought of it and instead gone home early to get some rest! On the other hand, the tour made me think my internship hospital was really nice, which made me want to rotate there, so I suppose it served some purpose at least once.