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I MATCHED!!

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I am super excited to announce that I matched into my first choice Internal Medicine Residency Program — Ascension Providence.

Providence has two campuses — both in Novi, Michigan and Southfield, MI. Both are perfect locations for me to rotate in and I think I will enjoy moving back and forth between the two.

Providence also has a wonderful Cardiology Fellowship Program. I hope to stay at Providence as a Cardiology Fellow in the future.

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Match Day Celebration – CANCELLED

 

On May 20, 2020, AUC holds Match Day Celebration parties in Detroit, New York, and Miami each year.  My Detroit Match Day Celebration was supposed to be at Triple Nickel  in Birmingham, MI. However, due to COVID-19, AUC decided to cancel all Match Day Celebrations for the 2020 Match. I was extremely bummed, but the decision was understandable.

 

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Instead, we received an e-mail from AUC on Match Day, gifting each of us a $50.00 gift card to Amazon as a way to make up for not having the party this year.

 

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Ranking Programs

Even though I attended 12/29 interviews, I decided that I was not going to rank the Downtown Chicago program, and stick with the 11 Michigan Programs.

During my interview process, I used an app called “Prism” to keep track of the programs I interviewed at. The app allows you to record the programs you applied to, the programs you interviewed at, and the score you gave those programs on various topics. It allows Screen Shot 2020-03-23 at 8.52.51 AM.pngyou to make notes about the programs and will then rank the programs for you based on how they did in each category. I highly recommend using it and writing as many notes as you can about the program directly after coming home for the interview. ¬†It will seem so fresh the day of the interview but will fade quickly. There were a couple of programs I didn’t write notes on until later and I regretted it. ¬†Below are some screen shots of what the app looks like, and it’s free.

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In order to rank your programs for the Match, you must used a different website called NRMP. You must sign up for the NRMP Website and there is another application to fill out. This, of course, comes with more fees:

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Here is where you can make your Rank Order List (ROL) using the programs you interviewed at. This is also the website that you go to to find out if you matched, and where you matched.

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Interviews – Part 2

I received 29 interview invitations total.  11 of these invitations were in Michigan. 1 was in Downtown Chicago.  Once I knew I had 11 rotations in Michigan, I cancelled the other ones that were out-of-state. The general recommendation is that you rank 7-8 programs in order to Match. I knew that I could rank all 11 in Michigan, and I went to the Chicago interview and turned that into a small vacation. All in all, I had 12 programs I could rank.

I knew I really preferred to stay home, and the out-of-state programs were of little interest to me. It was also extremely expensive to travel to these programs. I am happy with my decision to decline those invitations and to focus on the interviews I had at home.

Specialty: Internal Medicine

Programs Applied: 123

Interviews Received: 29

Interview Attended: 12

Interviews – Part 1

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You will receive your interviews via the same ERAS website that you used to apply. You can see the “Interviews” tab on the banner above. Note that most programs will send you a Message in addition to the Interview Request. ¬†Click “Message Center” to read the message, and click “Interviews” to accept or decline the invitation.

Example of what an Interview E-mail looks like from the ERAS Message Center:

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Example of what an Interview Invitation looks like from the ERAS “Interviews” Tab:

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Usually, after scheduling an interview date, the program will give you a follow up e-mail with details. They will tell you the general schedule for the day, if there is a dinner before, etc.

Your AUC/school email will alert you when you have new messages on your ERAS account, so you do not have to keep checking it.  The e-mail you will receive looks like this: Screen Shot 2020-03-23 at 8.27.10 AM

Also note that not all programs use ERAS to communicate. They will send an e-mail directly to your AUC/school e-mail.  In addition, they will send you the invitation using Interview Broker.  Below is an example of what the e-mail looks like:

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This can be really frustrating because all of your e-mails and invitations are not located in the same place.  Invitations start rolling in using both platforms and it gets confusing. Make sure you buy a planner or use a digital calendar to keep track of your interview dates and times.


 

Most of my interviews were pretty straight forward. The programs wanted to know more about me and who I was as a person. The conversations would flow naturally, and there was nothing tricky or difficult. ¬†Questions like “what do you do for fun” or “why do you think you are a good fit for this program” were asked often. ¬†You will get the occasional scenario of a patient coming through the ED with a PE and will be asked what to do next. I was asked “What are the Well’s Criteria?” during one interview. These questions aggravate me — we have proved through our exams that we know the necessary information, so interviews should be focused on if you are a good fit for the program. If that is not the case, I would not consider the program a high rank.

Make sure you come prepared with questions. ¬†Programs will “Do you have any more questions?” you to death. ¬†Think about the fact that most programs want you to interview with the Program Director, sometimes the Associate Program Director, and another staff member/resident. ¬†On average, each program had me interview with 2-4 people. ¬†Each one of those people are going to ask if you have any questions. ¬†In addition, the residents will be around all day asking if you have any questions. You may think you came prepared with “what fellowships have your residents gone into in the past” or “what types of research are your residents participating in”, but they get those questions every single year and have therefore already answered them in their Welcome Powerpoint. ¬†I STRUGGLED WITH FINDING QUESTIONS. My advice is to go to their website and try to think of unique questions based on that particular program. ¬†Save questions for your interview time and space them out between interviews. If you can find some unique question that shows interest in that particular program but doesn’t necessarily apply to others, then it gives you points. ¬†For example, I found out that the APD of one program I applied to was extremely interested in combating obesity, so I had a couple of questions concerning that topic. ¬†I think it made all the difference in my interview with her.

All in all, my advice is to be yourself. ¬†Be prepared with your answers, but do not over prepare. I once asked a APD what his worse candidate was, and he told me it’s “the robots”. Those who cannot have a natural conversation. ¬†Those who have memorized every answer to every possible question. ¬†There’s no personality. Be genuine. ¬†That’s most important.

 

Applying to Programs

To start deciding on what programs you are going to apply to, the best website to use is called Freida. It is a free website that lists all of the residency programs by specialty, state, etc.

I knew that I was applying to Internal Medicine, and I knew that my main goal was to stay home in Michigan. Because of that, I first filtered the IM results by state, and applied to all 34 programs in Michigan. ¬†Beyond this, I had to figure out where else I would be okay living if it came to that. ¬†I then applied to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois programs due to proximity to home. ¬†Then, I decided on both New York (because it’s New York) and North Carolina (I have family there). Finally, I applied to a few programs in the Northeast because that was somewhere I have always been interested in living. ¬†These brought my grand total to 123 programs.

From here, I made an Excel Spreadsheet of all 123 programs. I tried to find all of the information I could on each program. I ranked them based on proximity to where I wanted to live, if they had a Cardiology Fellowship, the % of IMGs, etc.  Below is an example of what my spreadsheet looked like.  I then had an idea of how I would rank my programs if I potentially received an interview.

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Please note that there are tons of sites that offer residency search services. You can type in your stats (scores, GPA, whatever), and it will tell you the programs where you have your best chance of getting in. Most of these sites charge a fee. I do know people who utilized these other sites, but I simply used free Freida and the individual residency websites. ¬†Even if they are not listed on Freida, simply googling “Beaumont Dearborn Internal Medicine Residency Program” will land you a link to the website. I do not regret only using free sources — I do not think paying for the others would have changed anything for me.

To actually apply to programs, ERAS is used. You must make an account, complete the application, ¬†and upload additional documents like a photo, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. AUC should upload your MS Transcript and MSPE DEan’s Letter. I attached two screenshots of emails I received regarding my MSPE. You can see the date it was sent vs when it was to be uploaded.

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I am also attaching the additional information we received regarding ERAS and how to complete the sections mentioned above:

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Dr. Lopez’s Powerpoint Presentations

For Pediatrics in Miami, FL with Dr. Lopez, he requires students to complete PowerPoint presentations and present them to the group. There are a great deal of topics that he wants to go over, and he will assign a set of topics to each student.

It really helps to go over the topics in this way. You become really familiar with the topics you representing, and it helps for the shelf exam.  Dr. Lopez invited us to his apartment a few times and either ordered food or cooked dinner. He is the nicest guy and I highly recommend him for Peds. If you are interested in reading more about him, click here.

Below is a list of all of the Powerpoint Presentations I made for his rotation.  They are pretty detailed and I had to present short versions of them because we had so many to get through.  Even if you do not have Dr. Lopez for Peds, they are still helpful for the shelf exam.