Friday, November 12, 2010

First interview and rash of rejections

I recently had my first interview. I had a great time, residents and faculty were both very nice. The interview was pretty low stress. One thing, though, surprised me. The institution that I interviewed at is well known for its research, but I had no comments made about my research and when I asked about research opportunities, each faculty member replied with a quick "yeah, we've got research" and seemed to not be so interested. The tone of the response of one faculty member almost made me feel like I asked an inappropriate question. I understand that in residency it's fairly difficult to work on a real research project and I have no intentions of working on a PhD level project, but I expected at least some acknowledgment of their research strengths.
I feel that most residency programs want a token amount of research in your background, but would rather not have your clinical training soiled with research. As such, someone with a background like mine actually has a big disadvantage. With average grades and boards scores my strength is in my productive research (and recommendations). This leads to a strange situation in which some mid-/lower- tier programs decide not to offer me an interview (I assume because they think I will go to a research heavy institution) and many upper-tier programs decide not to offer me an interview (I assume because of less than stellar grades/boards score). I end up with a small number of fairly random interviews with some of the best and some mediocre programs. Of course, maybe I'm just trying to rationalize a (essentially) random process. Anyway, another week or two of potential interview invitations, but I'm feeling a bit more pessimistic now than I did a few months ago.

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