Three and a half years of medical school education led up to this past week. The centalized residency interview process, in Frisco, TX ends today. With our board exams being about a week and a half ago, I think we were basically as prepared as we could be. The toughest part, though, is really knowing your stuff. On boards, or any exam, we have the answers in front of us. Multiple choice tests always give us a semi-false sense of security. The pure recall necessary in an interview is just unparalleled and very tough to prepare for.
First, though, we’ll talk about where we’re at. Frisco, TX seemed like a real odd choice to me.
Here’s the thing. It worked out relatively well. The taxi ride was expensive from DFW airport, right around $60, but once we got here, there was really no need for any more transport. There are restaurants, grocery stores, bars, other hotels, and shops all within walking distance. The Embassy Suites, itself, was well suited, too.
In any given room, we may be interviewing. On the second floor here, there are some conference rooms for the bigger interviews. Those included both interviews with multiple doctors and one student, which were more common, and those with multiple students and fewer doctors, which were very tough to handle. They also housed some social events and slide presentations in the evenings. Anything on floors three through 14 were fair game for most other interviews. The bar area here, incredibly, provided free beer during happy hour: one of the perks of being in Texas, I presume.
The interviews themselves, for me, went real well. I ended up doing 16 interviews for 10 programs with an additional 5 socials in 6 days. Holy cow. Some interviews were with programs I knew nothing about and did for either experience or to fall back on, though the vast majority were programs I’d gladly attend for three years. They ranged from 10 minutes to 75 minutes, with varying degrees of educational and social questions plus various skill assessments. I had to build towers out of blocks, retrieve foreign bodies with an arthroscope from a mock ankle, and throw various screws and plates on Sawbones fractures.
In looking back at the week, I think Frisco could’ve been significantly worse. No interview really through me off my game, though some were tougher than others. I was notably flustered in two of them, but still did my best to answer what I needed to answer or do what I had to do. I get that the central location offers no school a competitive advantage, while offering a (generally) nice climate. I still think they could find a place closer to an airport, but for what it was, Frisco did just fine.