This year’s residency application season is unlike any other that has come before it, and many students are navigating the season with brave faces that hide nervous hearts. ALiEM, short for Academic Life in Emergency Medicine, is an online EM educational resource, and their #EMbound Newsletter has been a treasure trove of information for those students finding themselves smiling at screens instead of shaking hands on the interview trail this year.
This monthly newsletter offers everything from interview tips and tricks, to COVID19 updates, to NRMP Match advice. This month, it featured some words of wisdom from Program Director Dr. Sameer Desai on the state of the (residency application) season.
Dr. Desai made several observations and recommendations. Here are just a few:
1) Do NOT hoard interviews! The lack of required travel this year has made it easier than ever for people to interview with programs that wouldn't have otherwise been accessible, and it is tempting to load up on those accepted interviews simply because they are available. However, students are statistically at least 90% likely to match within your top 5 choices with only TWELVE total interviews.
2) Use your interview invitations wisely and share the wealth by cancelling those for programs that you are least interested in. Many programs (including ours) are completely fine with later cancellations if it means that a spot can be offered to another interested and qualified candidate. Try your best to make cancellations prior to 48 hours before your interview day and let someone affiliated with the program (PD/PC) know.
3) Before you contact a program that you have not yet been invited to, think it over. Don’t send a rubber stamp copy of the program’s website or mission statement because you think it is what program leadership wants to hear. Be real. Be honest. Be personal.
Best of luck to all this interview season! To read Dr. Desai’s full remarks, click here:
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