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Useful Adjective in LOR

Outstanding, superior, exceptional
Best, phenomenal, superb, excellent
Terrific, wonderful, great, stellar
Highest, most enthusiastically, wholeheartedly
Strongest, highly enthusiastically, heartily

Free Webinar: I MATCHED! April 5, 5-7pm PST

Dr. Wing is going to host a free webinar "I MATCHED!" on April 5, 5-7pm PST. She will invite a few guest speakers who successfully matched to the residency program this year. The guest speakers will share their experience and success stories with the audience. It is a great opportunity for the students who are preparing for the match 2015 to learn from the guest speakers and Dr.Wing directly.

To register, please click the following link. You will need to register using a working email address.

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4943027503254227714

I Didn’t Match, What Am I Going to Do?

Match day is very nerve racking. You opened your email and… you didn’t get matched! You have worked very hard and spent lots of time and money for the match. Everybody else seemed all matched, even the ones with less credential than you. You are very frustrated, disappointed, and you felt like a loser. Now what?

First, please keep in mind, you are not the ONLY ONE. 65% IMG don’t get matched. The people who didn’t match keep their mouth shut. You have an IV invitation so you are better than 20% of IMGs already. Then take a deep breath, talk to your loved ones, think about your life, then ask yourself, is this something I want to do again? Is this something worth doing again? There are many other things in life that are very important and you probably have missed in the past few years. With the extremely intensive training, stressful job, pressure from insurance companies, sky high malpractice insurance, lawsuit, more and more physicians left medical practice. It may not be as a great career choice as you thought to be.

If you decide you want to give another shot. It is time to reflect and plan. The things you learned during this match season is invaluable to you. Learn from your and other people’s mistakes – this is what medicine and life is about.

1. Attend the online webinar to hear other people’s success stories. DO NOT compare credentials. Please keep in mind, people may not tell you everything. What people think important for the match may not be the real reason to get matched.

2. Sit down and look at your file critically and carefully. Know yourself. During my mock IV, I have met a student who failed CS once. When I asked him which part did he fail, he didn’t remember. If you don’t know what you have done wrong, how can you convince the program that you will be a good resident? The most important thing is to know yourself.

3. Write down the reasons you think you failed. The most common reasons are:
• Long year of graduation
• Low test scores
• Poor interview skills
• Bad application materials
• Lack of US clinical experience
• Weak LORs

4. Take action plan. There are things that you can’t change such as your score and YOG. However, there are many things you can improve in a relatively short amount of such as US clinical experience, LORs, document preparation and communication skills. Many things are related to each other. For example, without better US clinical experience, you will not get strong LOR. Without understanding of US health care system, you will have a hard time to ace your OB/EX and get a strong letter.

5. Talk to people and ask for help. The more people you talk to, the more you learn from success and failed stories, the more help you will get.

Please keep in mind, persistence and careful planning will eventually pay off.

How the Interviewer Evaluate Candidate?

There are a couple of steps that the interviewer evaluate the candidate:
1. The candidate is evaluated on "paper" before he/she walked into the room. We generally spend 3-5 minutes to go over all the application package including MyERAS document, USMLE score, MSPE, transcript, PS, LORs.
- MyERAS document needs to be clear and concise. Sometime, less is more, specially for the applicant with complicated experience. We pay a lot of attention to the medical schools (less important for CMGs since interviewers generally don't know Chinese schools very well); past experience, honors (for AMGs), and publications.
- USMLE score is extremely important. A great score will give me a great first impression and set up a positive tone for the interview. If you failed in the past, please make sure you know which part you failed, why you failed, and what you have done to fix it.
- LORs - EXTREMELY EXTREMELY important! A strong LOR speaks for everything.
2. When the candidate walked into the room, he/she is evaluated in person. If you look good in paper, please make sure you look good in person as well. There are many times I found a candidate looked very good in paper, but was a completely disappointment in person. On the other hand, if you good less competitive in paper of you didn't prepare your application very well, you still have the chance to make up in person by showing your great personality and thoughtful ideas.
- Everyone is hard working, team player, responsible etc. You really need to find out what is the most shinning point you have and be ready to use example/past achievement to make your point. Don't be afraid to repeat what was in your application. We only spend 5 minutes to go over 20 pages document. Most likely we didn't notice your strength, or we have forgot about it when you walked in. Please help us to remember your achievement that is relevant to residency training.
- You need to show us you know what you want, why this is what you want, what have you done to get what you want, and what you want matches your experience (strength). The last point is very important for candidate who switch specialty for various reasons.
- We like people who can show their maturity, independent thinking about not only medical knowledge, but also life in general
- Please keep in mind interview is a two way communication. We like people who can talk with us, not simply answer my questions. We like people who can ask challenge and thoughtful questions to show your thought process.
- Please know your application well, including LORs. We will notice any discrepancy between paper and person.
3. After the interview, based on interview "in paper" and "in person", each candidate will be assigned a score, which will decide your ranking or a pre-match offer.

How the Interviewer Evaluate the Candidate?

There are a couple of steps that the interviewer evaluate the candidate:
1. The candidate is evaluated on "paper" before he/she walked into the room. We generally spend 3-5 minutes to go over all the application package including MyERAS document, USMLE score, MSPE, transcript, PS, LORs.
- MyERAS document needs to be clear and concise. Sometime, less is more, specially for the applicant with complicated experience. We pay a lot of attention to the medical schools (less important for CMGs since interviewers generally don't know Chinese schools very well); past experience, honors (for AMGs), and publications.
- USMLE score is extremely important. A great score will give me a great first impression and set up a positive tone for the interview. If you failed in the past, please make sure you know which part you failed, why you failed, and what you have done to fix it.
- LORs - EXTREMELY EXTREMELY important! A strong LOR speaks for everything.
2. When the candidate walked into the room, he/she is evaluated in person. If you look good in paper, please make sure you look good in person as well. There are many times I found a candidate looked very good in paper, but was a completely disappointment in person. On the other hand, if you good less competitive in paper of you didn't prepare your application very well, you still have the chance to make up in person by showing your great personality and thoughtful ideas.
- Everyone is hard working, team player, responsible etc. You really need to find out what is the most shinning point you have and be ready to use example/past achievement to make your point. Don't be afraid to repeat what was in your application. We only spend 5 minutes to go over 20 pages document. Most likely we didn't notice your strength, or we have forgot about it when you walked in. Please help us to remember your achievement that is relevant to residency training.
- You need to show us you know what you want, why this is what you want, what have you done to get what you want, and what you want matches your experience (strength). The last point is very important for candidate who switch specialty for various reasons.
- We like people who can show their maturity, independent thinking about not only medical knowledge, but also life in general
- Please keep in mind interview is a two way communication. We like people who can talk with us, not simply answer my questions. We like people who can ask challenge and thoughtful questions to show your thought process.
- Please know your application well, including LORs. We will notice any discrepancy between paper and person.
3. After the interview, based on interview "in paper" and "in person", each candidate will be assigned a score, which will decide your ranking or a pre-match offer.

Should I Bring a One-page Resume During the Interviewe?

Generally speaking, I don't think it is necessary. The program coordinate should have prepared all the documents for the interviewer in advance. If a program doesn't give your C.V. to the interviewer, it tells me the program is very dysfunctional and disorganized. This is not a program you want to spend the next few years to get trained.

However, after reviewing hundreds of MyERAS document. I discovered that many of the applicants could have done a much better job to fill the MyERAS document. A lot of them are very messy and give a negative impression to the interviewer. For the applicants with complex experience, it might be a good idea for the applicant to prepare a 1-2 page C.V and clarify to the interviewer.

Is It OK to Tell the Program They are My Top Choice? Will This Affect My Ranking?

Yes, it is OK to say "your program will be my top choice" or "I will rank you on top of my list" etc. However, most likely, this will not affect how the program rank you. Personally, I think it is too early to tell the program " you are my No. 1 choice" right after the interview (unless it is at the end of the interview season). It makes the program to think you are too desperate. I prefer something like: I still have a few interviews to go. However, from all the programs I interviewed, I like your program the most. I think it will be my top choice. You can always send a follow up email at the end of the interview season to let them know you are going to rank them No. 1 (again, this WILL NOT change how the program rank you).

How to Answer the Question Regarding Specific Clinical Knowledge Which You are Not Sure During Interview?

Please keep in mind, you are interviewing a training position. We don't expect you can answer medical question like an attending (although it will be a huge plus if you so!. We want to see level appropriate answers. The most important things is not to get the right answer because there is no right or wrong answer in most of the time in medicine. The most important thing is to show your thought process: why I think this way and why I chose this work up/test. Therefore, you should focus on: I will do this... because I think/worried...

Level appropriate means if you have limited clinical experience (fresh graduate, only a few months observership etc), we expect you function as a medical students (means know almost nothing) to tell us a few differential ddx and possible management/work up, very similar as the ones you encountered in your CK exam. If you claim you had lots of experience in the same specialty, we would like to hear more about your thought process and why.

Residency Interview Frequently Asked Questions

1. How was your trip (how was your day)?
2. Tell me about yourself
3. Why do you choose this specialty?
4. Why did you choose our program? How did you hear from us?
5. Tell me about your medical education (training) in your country?
6. Why did you choose to come to the U.S (for residency)?
7. What is the difference in health care system between U.S. and your country?
8. Tell me about a case
9. Tell me about your research
10. Why apply residency now (after so many years of research)?
11. Why there is a gap in your training?
12. What do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years?
13. Are you interested in fellowship?
14. What is your strength and weakness?
15. Give me a reason why we should rank you (why choose you over other very qualified applicants)?
16. What kind of people do you enjoy working with (or having trouble to deal with)?
17. What kind of patients do you have trouble to deal with?
18. How well do you function under pressure?
19. What do you do outside of work?
20. Do you have friends (families) in the US?
21. Where else have you got interview calls from?
22. Are you looking in a specific geographic area?
23. Do you have any questions?

Recording to Q&A Webinar

Please click the following link to access the recording to the Resident Match Q&A Webinar. http://youtu.be/AaCMzhmC8Es

Dr. Wing will look thought the other questions asked the students, and post the answers to the website in the next few days.

Use Your Brain!

The most common problem for a resident is "they do not think, don't ask why, just follow routine and order". Here is a typical example: In my hospital, when oncology patient develops fever with neutropenia, the standard of care is to add meropenam. If patient looks sick, add vancomycin and amikacin. One of my leukemia patient developed fever on a Saturday night. The resident started with meropenam, then quickly added vancomycin and amikacin. The patient received multiple fluid bolus due to low BP and went to ICU the next day.

If you looked at the management overnight and early in the morning, you would think the physicians did everything right, started antibiotics on time and gave fluid bolus appropriately. However, the patient had "capapenam resistent klebsiella sepsis" a month ago. The Klebsiella is resistant to
meropenam and amikacin, only sensitive to gentamicin. This is everywhere in the medical record and sign out - but no one bother to think "should this patient be on meropenam and amikacin just like other neutropenic patients?" The patient could have died.

It is extremely important for the trainees to follow the order from attending and standard of care. However, it is even more important for the trainee to use their brain!

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your PS

  • What experience have shaped you?
  • Why you want to go into medicine?
  • Why you choose this specialty?
  • What are you passionate about medicine/this specialty?
  • What is your understanding about this specialty?
  • What have you done to show your commitment to the specialty?
  • What are your strength (stand out from other applicant)?
  • What do you do outside of medicine? (and how does this related to your professional life?)
  • What kind of program you will thrive and why?
  • What are your career goals (short term and long term)?
  • How would summarize your story in a 2 minutes pitch?

Key Words in LOR And PS

  • Efficient, multi-tasking, prioritize, focused
  • Problem solving, decision making
  • Reliable, accountable, accept responsibility
  • Extremely motivated, actively seek effective feedback
  • Love the challenge and complexity
  • Committed to…, determined…
  • Intelligent, exceptional, outstanding, extraordinary, remarkable, impressive
  • one of the best (top 10) trainees…
  • Comparable or exceed intern…
  • Quick learner
  • Effectively utilize resources
  • Dedicated and advocate for patient
  • Enjoys helping family and patient
  • Responsible, respectful, superb work ethics
  • Work effectively under pressure, maintain composure under stress
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Effective team member and team leader

Things to Talk About in LOR And PS

1.Specific details about the strength
2.Compare the applicant to the other trainee
3.Describe the trainee’s potential (as physician scientist, clinician)
4.Medical knowledge
5.Patient interaction
6.Passion and commitment
7.Professionalism
8.Interpersonal skills
9.Detailed skills related to the specialty or medicine – important for surgical specialty
10.Accomplishment related to the specialty for which they’re applying

Discount for People Registered for Strategic Planning Session

Per Dr. Wing's request, students who registered for the strategic planning session will be eligible for several discounts:
1. A guaranteed slot will be reserved for the one to one mock interview session in the future if he/she choose to do so.
2. 30% discount for the two webinars planned in the future:
1) How to prepare documents for residency application. It is scheduled on July 30, 6pm Pacific Standard Time
2) Residency Interview. It is scheduled on Sep 06, 6pm Pacific Standard Time
After registration, please send us an email indicating your eligibility for the discount. You will receive refund after we confirmed from our records.

Second Case Presentation Workshop

We have received many people's requests for another case presentation workshop. Dr. Wing decided to add a second workshop on 7/19 6pm PST. There are very limited seats available. Please register on our website. The registered person will have a guaranteed slot of mock interview with me if you choose to do so in the future.

Welcome

Welcome to visit us. Please feel free to post your questions to Dr. Wing on this website. We hope we can work with you together to have a successful residency match season.