– Interview season begins in mid-September and continues through the end of the October. The peak of interview season is generally in late September/ early to mid-October.
– Make sure you have an easily accessible calendar (such as a Google calendar) to keep track of your interview dates and prevent double-booking.
– Most programs offer several interview dates to choose from; however, some programs will allow you to select the date that is most convenient for you.
– If there is a program you are very interested in interviewing at but you are unable to make any of their interview days, e-mail the program directors or coordinators. Often times, they will try to accommodate you by allowing you to interview on a different day.
– Make sure to allow for adequate travel time during interviews. It is often helpful to email each fellowship program’s coordinator to ask when the interview days begin and end prior to making travel arrangement. These individuals can also help with hotel arrangements by suggesting places to stay (some hotels have special discounts for fellowship interviewees).
– A good place to look for inexpensive air fares is itasoftware.com
– Be sure to look up information about each fellowship program before your visit. It is helpful to find out what the unique features and strengths of each program are prior to your visit.
– Prepare a list of questions to ask interviewers during your interview day (some question suggestions are provided below)
– Take notes after each interview day is over. After you have interviewed at multiple programs, it is easy to confuse them. Notes are very helpful when it comes time to rank your programs.
Questions to ask your interviewers during your interview day:
– How many shifts do fellows work per month and how long are the shifts?
– When do fellows begin precepting? (Some programs have you precepting from the very first day while others have you wait until your third year)
– Do you foresee any major programmatic changes or leadership changes within the next few years?
– If there is anything you could change about the program, what would it be?
– What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the program?
– What type of fellow succeeds in this program and what characteristics are you looking for in a fellow?
– How supportive is the program of research and what support systems are in place?
– Is the hospital a level I trauma center? If not, where do fellows get their trauma experience?
– Where do fellows do their adult rotations?
– How many patients does the ER see each year? What percentage of patients is admitted? (Admission percentage often serves as a proxy for acuity)
– Are fellows allowed to see patients independently at any point during training? (Many programs allow third year fellows to function as attendings)
Questions to ask the fellows during your interview days:
– If you could change anything about the program, what would it be?
– Who runs the traumas and who is in charge of the airway?
– On average, how many intubations, chest tubes, and central lines does each fellow do peryear?
– Is fellow education a priority of the program or is training compromised by other trainees?
– How are the PICU and adult rotation experiences?
– How many urgent care shifts are fellowships required to do?
– What, if any, moonlighting opportunities exist during fellowship?