Tag Archives: Residency Interviews

Awesome, More application Hoops!

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Get ready for new application requirements (and to pay more money?)

TL;DR

  • CASPer seeks to help schools understand applicants’ non-academic and people skills. It’s never been validated, but more and more schools are using it.
  • Some residency programs have begun using ‘supplemental questions’ as so-called objective measures like STEP 1 and STEP 2 CS fall away.
  • Are these new hurdles useful? Or do they add to the burden of becoming a doctor for no reason?

Dave had never heard of CASPer before (Iowa doesn’t currently use it), so he was surprised to hear that a bunch of schools–and more all the time–are using it to outsource their judgements of applicants’ so-called ‘soft’ skills like ethics and collaboration. However, there are reasons to doubt CASPer’s utility, including that it’s not clear it’s actually measuring these things. And while it costs students a small amount per school (‘small’ being a relative term, especially if the student is cash-strapped), what does it cost the schools who use it and how much of that gets passed on in tuition?

And in their never-ending quest to find the ‘best’ applicants, residency programs are finding new ways to evaluate them, such as requiring answers to ‘supplemental’ questions that sound an awful lot like a secondary application. And the part that includes signaling the applicant’s program preference seems a wee bit suspicious to Dave, MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M2 Nicole Hines, M2 AJ Chowdhury, and M4 Mackenzie Walhof.

And is Britney Spears being subject to reproductive coercion by her conservators?

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

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Did Match Day Implode?

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How did COVID affect the 2021 Match?

This week’s sponsor, Panacea Financial (Member FDIC) is giving away $500 to five students participating in the 2021 Match. Check it out!

Match Week is huge for senior medical students. It’s the week they find out if they will continue their training (yikes!), and where in the country they will go to complete it…and this year’s match was even more-than-usually anxiety provoking due to COVID.

Were our fears–of large numbers of unmatched applicants, programs with many unfilled positions, and students unfairly penalized by virtual interviews–realized? We try to figure it out with the stats available to us just an hour before recording.

This Week in Medical News

Some Grand Rapids, Michigan residents were very bad on Instagram. Hey, future and current students–keep other peoples resected organs off social media, and while you’re at it, you really aren’t supposed to take pictures in the OR without consent. M’kay?

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

Is Medicine A Calling, or a Job?

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Which take on medicine is best for patients and provider mental health?

Dave and the gang–including M1s AJ Chowdhury and Alex Belzer; M4 Holly Conger; and MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk–take a look at the prevalent idea that medicine is a “calling,” somewhat like religion is for many. That’s an imperfect analogy, but there are parallels. People talk, for instance, about the sacrifices, the altruism, the service, and the requirement that doctors be at all times upstanding and display exceptional integrity. This view has some obvious benefits for the profession, including that its practitioners are laser focused on being the best physicians and people they can be.

But that view of physician-hood carries with it a lot of weight. When medicine is viewed as a calling, being a physician may become one’s primary identity. And when perfection remains frustratingly out of reach, the risk is that you’ll come to view yourself as a bad person and not as a doctor who is still learning. At least, that’s what Dave worries, but is it true?

Plus, Holly brings us up to date on life as an M4, especially her search for a residency position.

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

“Preference Signaling” –the Future of Applications?

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Preference Signaling Tokens may be a way to combat over-applying for residencies, but the schemes have a ways to go yet before they’re ready for prime time.

Dear Residency Program: I love you. Do you love me? Check YES or NO!!!

Dave noticed something he’d never heard of before: a company offering ‘tokens’ (for a fee) that could be used by residency program applicants to signal their love for particular programs.  The general idea is to combat the common applicant strategy of applying to as many residency programs as possible to be sure  the applicant gets a match.  While this strategy is quite reasonable from the individual applicant’s perspective, it causes problems for both programs and the general body of applicants because those extra applications flood programs with candidates that may not actually be interested. 

Then he found out that the Otolaryngology Program
Directors Organization will be doing something similar, and Aline Sandouk, Eric Boeshart, Emma Barr, and Nicole Lacina explore a analysis of who wins and who looses in such a scheme.  

Plus Dave creates an educational game to help students plan how they’ll react to common odd situations.  And by educational, he clearly meant “educational.”

We Want to Hear From You

Do you think Preference Signalling is a good idea? What if medical schools adopts the idea?  Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a kick to hear from you!

More Signs that Med School Will Be Different This Fall

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Photo by lauralizzy13

[This episode is brought to you by Pattern. We hope you’ll check out their disability insurance offerings for docs at http://patternlife.com/partner/shortcoat.]

As many of us are, The Short Coats–including this week’s M1 co-hosts Nathen Spitz, Maddie Wahlen, and Caitlin Matteson–have been gazing into their cracked crystal ball to discover the new shape of medical school amid the pandemic. In a previous episode, the crew prognosticated on how interviews would change (and how you can be sure those changes won’t scuttle your chances for interview success), for instance…and it turns out we were right! Adding some certainty to that, the Association of American Medical Colleges has cancelled all its conferences until July of 2021. So yeah.

Sandgroper Largemun, an anonymous listener from Australia, wants to know some ways that he can stand out in medical school to land that choice residency. Good thing you wrote to us at theshortcoats@gmail.com, Sandgroper, because we have ideas for that!


This Week in Medical News

Dave thinks heartthrob Dr. Fauci’s sun is setting as a leading member of the President’s COVID-19 task force. What do you think?

We Want to Hear From You

Has your outlook changed at all since the lockdowns began? Are you feeling optimistic? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  

Crush It In Your Zoom Interview

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Your future could include video conference interviews. Avoid (at all costs) giving interviewers a reason to say no.

Photo by hang_in_there

This episode is brought to you by Pattern. We hope you’ll check out their disability insurance offerings for docs at http://patternlife.com/partner/shortcoat.

Are Zoom interviews the future? They could be, if some sort of magic doesn’t intervene in the course of the pandemic. Meanwhile, everyone has a love-hate relationship with video conferencing, and Dave fears that those on the sharp end of the interview may not have the technology and skills to shine brightly.

So, with the help of Brandon Bacalzo, Sahaana Arumugam, Nathan Spitz, and Claire Carmichael (all M1s who, like you, are in the thick of virtual everything right now), we collect our thoughts on how you can remove the distractions and subconscious biases that could sink your interview.

We Want to Hear From You

What advice would you give for virtual interviews? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com! We need to hear from YOU!


Buy Our Merch and Give At The Same Time

You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

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Get to Know the Nurse, Save Yourself from Grief

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Medicine is a team sport

mad libs photo
Writing your residency application personal statement is easy! Photo by jenna.kaminsky

A cliche, but true.  Because without the nurses (and other people) doing their jobs to help the doctor, the doctor can’t do nuthin’–no IVs, no regular BP checks, no comfortable patients, no monitoring while they’re home sleeping, no nothing.  Listener Amber stops by to ask what med students learn about nurses and how to work with them. M4s Hillary O’Brien and Kylie Miller and new M1 co-hosts Jessica De Haan and Greta Becker are happy to help, because nurses are the spine and a big portion of the central nervous system of medicine.  And Fifi Trixiebell returns, craving med school war stories.  Also, Hillary and Kylie discuss the residency personal statements they wrote and where they sought help.


Buy Our Merch and Give At The Same Time

You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

We Want to Hear From You

Do you have war stories to share? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime to tell us.  We’ll play them for Fifi (and whoever else is listening).

Continue reading Get to Know the Nurse, Save Yourself from Grief

Preparing for Residency Interviews

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Preparing for Residency Interviews

interviews photo
Photo by Matt From London

Welcome to Night Float! In this series  of special episodes, resident physicians take a break from the demands of their days (and nights) to offer information, guidance, and support to medical students and to share their residency experiences. Fourth year medical students are currently in the heart of residency interview season, and they are doing all they can to secure a position through the residency match process. In the first episode of Night Float, Dr. Desiré Christensen (R2: Psychiatry) and Dr. Matt Maves (R1: Pediatrics) discuss their interview experiences and offer suggestions about how to prepare.

Helpful links

AAMC Careers in Medicine – Careers in medicine is a resource designed to assist medical students in choosing a specialty and navigating the residency match process in a strategic way.

Doximity – Doximity is a network of physicians and medical students.

FREIDA – FREIDA is the AMA Residency & Fellowship Database.

We Want to Hear From You

What are your residency interview stories? What suggestions do you have for medical students preparing to match? Medical students, what questions do you have about the residency application process?

Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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