Here‘s a NYT piece by Pauline Chen, MD regarding changes in medical school training at Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Minnesota, among other institutions. I’ll also add to Dr. Chen’s point: Not only does the current system of third-year rotation blocks reinforce fragmented care, but it also does not allow students adequate time to make informed decisions about their future specialties.
This time of year I’m commonly asked when the best time to set up a mock interview with me is.
I would recommend arranging your practice session(s) within the month prior to your first interview. Whether you complete the mock interview(s) weeks in advance or the day before depends on how you best retain information.
More important than when you practice is that you simply do. The NRMP Program Directors’ Survey, my experience at Harvard, and my work with hundreds of Insider clients all reinforce the critical nature of the interview in assessing an applicant’s candidacy.
If you are planning to hire me, please do so as soon as you get that first interview invitation. My slots go very quickly, and although I try to accommodate everyone I can, I am currently scheduling several weeks in advance because of high demand.
Here is a quick link to my services page.
There’s an interesting NYT’s article from this past week called “Do College Admissions Interviews Matter?” Although the article makes a convincing argument that undergraduate interviews may not matter in many cases, it does point out that many graduate school interviews do. It also recommends doing mock interviews.
The NRMP Program Directors’ Survey makes it quite clear that residency interviews matter a lot, which was also my experience as Assistant Residency Director at Harvard. I remember very robust conversations about even small comments that candidates had made in their interviews that adversely affected their ranking on our Match list.
I was recently speaking to a colleague who graduated with his MD from UCSF and his MPH from Harvard. He’s a successful, practicing physician, and we were discussing some advice he had offered an undergraduate acquaintance who is pursuing medicine.
My colleague had advised the college student to ensure she gets to know faculty: During his undergraduate years at Stanford, my colleague had gotten acquainted with a few professors by inviting them to lunch. He had to call one or two several times before they met with him! But once they did, my colleague’s opportunities really expanded. One of the professors in particular realized my colleague’s potential and good nature and offered him a position on an honor committee and a strong medical school recommendation.
I wish someone had advised me early to get to know faculty. It turned out okay for me but not without having to do some hard thinking about whom I was going to ask for faculty recommendations. Acquainting yourself with faculty early in your academic career can afford you research and leadership opportunities. Of course, it can also help you with those much-needed letters of recommendation.