Thursday, December 11, 2014

The EMStud Podcast

I recently became aware of a new resource that every medical student interested in Emergency Medicine should check out: the EMStud podcast.

Started this fall by Dr. N8 (@emstudpodcast), they are hitting on key topics of importance to students applying to EM. They have covered The 7 P's of RSI (Really Stellar Interviewing), had a 2 part Q&A on Interviewing (part 1 and part 2), and most recently got the rank list discussion started with 100 Days to Match Day.

These short (well under 20 minutes!) podcasts hit the key points that students need to know. He also provides links to longer form advice for those seeking more. EMStud is a welcome addition to the growing collection of resources for students interested in EM.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Interview Etiquette: The No Show

A comprehensive collection of Interview Resources is coming soon, just in time for phase 2 of the interview season (the time when interview spots really start to open up). There is one topic, not previously covered in detail, that I wanted to give more attention to: the Interview Day No Show.

The short version... This is a terrible idea and reflects badly on you, your advisors, and your school. 

The longer version... First a qualifier: a true Interview Day No Show is when an applicant who has scheduled an interview does not show up without notifying the program in a meaningful way. Programs understand weather-related travel delays and family emergencies. They don't mind you canceling your interview - there are plenty of other applicants who actually are interested in the program to take that spot. The program director will actually appreciate you giving someone else the opportunity. That reflects well on you.

However, you create an entirely different perception of your character if you cancel with so little notice that finding a replacement is impossible. Or, even worse, if you just do not show up at all with no attempt to contact the program and explain your circumstances.

Many reading this are horrified that anyone would have such an egregious lapse in professionalism. Though there are likely a few who are thinking, "well, I did not want to train at the program anyway, so what is the big deal?"

Here is a list of who the aggrieved program director will likely be notify of your No Show:

  1. Your dean
  2. The residency director at your home institution
  3. Anyone who wrote a SLOE or a LOR
  4. Your mom (okay, probably not your mom... unless she wrote one of your letters)

You may not care about the program you just No Showed. However, your home program director, and those at any away rotation that provided you with a letter, are going to care. Inferences will be made about your sense of responsibility, duty to your patients, and overall professionalism. This is a huge professionalism Red Flag. All it takes is one Red Flag to sink your chances.

Adam Kellogg is an Associate Residency Director and former Emergency Medicine Clerkship Director.  He has never personally hunted down a "No Show" to give them a piece of his mind. Yet.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Diagnosing the Match

We are in the heart of EM residency interview season here in the United States. This has been an anxiety provoking year for all involved.

Applicants and their advisors are worried because they do not have as many interviews as they expected.

Residency programs have unprecedented numbers of applications this year and are worried they are not interviewing enough candidates.

The Council of Residency Directors (CORD) Student Advising Task Force and the Emergency Medicine Residency Association (EMRA) worked together to try to shed some light on these events. The result of this collaboration, written by Zach Jarou (@zachjarou), a resident at the Denver Health EM Residency, and myself, was just published on EM Resident. We looked at recent match data and a survey of residency program directors to figure out how we got here and what we can do going forward.

This is a long article, with a lot of data, but after reading it you should have a better idea of where you stand in the application process AND what you can do now to improve your chances.