Friday, February 7, 2014

Things I have learned on the interview trail

I haven't been here in ages. They is so much going on career wise and book publishing wise yet things are relatively calm in my life. I know. Its quite the dichotomy. I call it the calm before the storm or change. I am pushing for a publication date of May 1st-May 16th (fingers crossed) and starting residency hopefully in June!!! Hoot! Yah! I am really excited regardless of the outcome.  Its been an interesting journey and give the glory of my testimony to Jesus my roll dog!

Anyway I really thought I would have more interesting stories on the interview trail, maybe people have gotten less crazy or I am getting a little older but my interview season was relatively calm.
However, I did learn a few things from my extensive experience on the interview trail

1. Memorize a patient that stands out to you.
Every place I interviewed with asked the question "tell me about a patient that affected you, stands out to you, changed your perception?.
I knew a sickle cell patient that developed TTP -HUS down part because I wrote a case report on it.Trust me. This saved me from many a blank stare.

2. Its a match process, not only are you trying to impress them they are trying to impress you. Its about finding the right fit for you based on your priorities. Would you rather be in a big name place that is really competitive with little support  or a smaller program that's more supportive. I want to be in a program with support so I was very cognizant of that when I entered  rankeed the programs.

3. Location. Location Location  : There is a reason the programs in bigger cities are more competive. When you visit a place you have to ask yourself if you are prepared to live there for three to six years. It may not seem that long in the grand scheme of things but residency is stressful enough, you dont want to hate your location and count days until vacations so you will be away.

4. Support. I realized that when we were in medical school this wasn't stressed enough to us. The competitiveness of the program, its congruence with your future goals and the possibility of ranking there was focused on more. Now that I have seen both sides of the coin with some of my friends being in residencies where they feel  isolated  I have realized that support is extremely important. It plays into the other factors too. I am not talking about support from the residency but your support system. That's why some people choose residencies close to immediate family or church family etc. Its more important that you would imagine.

5. Have fun. Doing interviews can be very stressful. You are traveling to 10-20 locations around the country and this can get make quite the dent in your financial aid or salary. Its definitely not a situation that screams fun however focus on the experience. You are never going to get this chance again nor meet the people you do on the interview trail. There is a type of camaraderie between people you meet in the interview trail. I met the same set of people on several interviews in different locations. It became some sort of Breakfast Club.

6. Commit it to God: I know how stressful the match  can be, especially the nerve wracking moments before your find out where you match. But after you have done your best,  trust that God will place you in the right residency for you. I am speaking to myself too.

Until next time folks, I am counting down to April before I shift from mildly irritating author to extremely  irritating author relentlessly promoting book.
I will try my best to be good.


  1. Wow you have your hands full. Congratulations on your achievements. I have gleaned so much from this post (you have no idea) and I find that support is the one of the biggest - if not the biggest log in the fire. If it dies out, God help us.

    How are you planning to promote your book? I would love to be at one of the events (since we are both in the US). Plus it would be a nice getaway for me. I'm tired of the cold here, my sister. I need some warmth and some fun so this is where you come in! Lol :D

  2. @ worship and swag LOL. I don't think a book launch in possible but a book party may be possible by Gods grace. I will be sure to let you know :) . I am planning on promoting on blogs ( I was definitely planning on reaching out to you for that because I need all the help I can get :)) Christian medical association meetings, social media and some publications. I hope the party does happen in the summer when its hot because I am in DC and this winter has been brutal.

  3. Hey Doc,so good to have you back. I pray that your plans for the book launch will fruition In. Remember to send me a copy *winks*

  4. Sounds like you're well on your way to getting a lovely spot! Thanks for the tips which I feel are good things to keep in in even as I prep for Step 1. Also, very exciting news on your book's publish date!

  5. Great advice! We have def been there and done that. So exciting about your book. I wish I had the dedication to write one-best of luck to you. Hello from medical Mondays :)

  6. WOW this is so nice of you to share this, thank you hun its great! Xx x

  7. @ hopeful doc good luck on step 1! that exam is not a pretty beast but its doable!

    @ Kellys reality Thank you so much

    @ Jennifer Noir thanks