I’ve been so all over the place these past few weeks and haven’t been able to sit and update my blog. As of late, when I get free time, I’m wrapped up in Michelle Obama’s new book, Becoming (amazing!). At this point in time I am 73% done with my interview trail! I remember when I first started getting interview offers it was so exciting; there was a rush every time I got an email because I wanted to secure the perfect dates. Since then I’ve been watching everything play out, just trying to soak up as much as possible. The advice I got before starting the interview trail was to just enjoy the process, to not be too rigid about things. I’ve been doing just that. I’ve found that it takes way too much energy to try and perfectly prepare before every interview. Reviewing the website for high points concerning mission/curriculum/benefits/etc. and taking note of what the key faculty/residents look like (program director, chief residents) has served me well enough. I typically develop questions as I look over the website, and I write them down along with other general questions I have for the programs in my padfolio because I will otherwise forget. Besides that, I try not to stress myself out too much.
My favorite part (besides the free hotels and food) has been the feeling of being courted at each program. Like with most interviews, the program has already reviewed your paper application and they like you; they’re now using the interview day to then sell themselves. I’ve been picked up by a limo service, served fancy buffet breakfasts, and gotten a whole umbrella as part of a swag bag. These people really know how to spoil a girl! I try to look past these things and focus on the program though. I also love being asked what I’m looking for in a residency, and then listening to whoever it is proceed to list out all the ways the program meets my needs. It’s just nice to be wanted I guess. Another thing I’ve unexpectedly enjoyed is wearing my suit. I thought I would get tired of it by now but it’s such a power suit and I feel like such a boss whenever I wear it!
The worst parts about this time have been the constant travel and social interactions. Because I’m traveling out of the country (to Nigeria) for most of December, I tried to schedule most of my interviews during November/early Dec. It’s just been a lot to keep up with and I’m feeling pretty drained at this point. I’m truly ready to return to my boring life and sit in my apartment and do nothing for a few days straight. It started off fun, all the coming and going, but now packing has become a chore and I don’t look forward to seeing another airport. I miss my apartment and I can’t wait to settle back in for good. And all the social stuff! Man it’s exhausting. I’m so tired of smiling and being engaged with these residents and fellow applicants at the interview dinners. Mine have been lasting an average of 2 hours which is just way too long for me. Then on the interview day I have to be social again all day. As an introvert, it’s just a lot to ask. I did one set of interviews back to back (in Maryland and DC) and it was terrible. After my interview that morning, I had to take 2 trains and a bus to my next destination, and by the time I got to the dinner that night I was so out of it. I literally had to tell myself to smile and ask questions. I was so disengaged, and it probably showed, but I just couldn’t pull myself together.
Overall, interview season so far has been great. I’ve been able to link up with my friends and family in various locations and have some mini vacations within the craziness. I’ve loved seeing different healthcare systems and just learning about all of the possibilities I have within family medicine. It’s inspiring to learn about what other residents are doing and what opportunities each program affords me. I don’t yet have a definite number one choice, but I have a top 3 that I’m working with so far. I have a few more interviews to go though and I will still keep my mind open no matter how tired I am lol. Not going to lie, I’m excited for things to come to an end!
Hope you have a wonderful week!