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The impact of CaRMS interviews on selection process...


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I applied to plastic surgery and I only received 3 interviews. In my home school interview, there was a riddle question that I was not able to solve... Now, I feel really bad about my interview performance. I am also disappointed that there is a high chance that I wont match to it despite putting in so so much effort during medical school in terms of research work/building connections.  I also feel that I am the type of person who has difficulties selling myself and I am just worried right now about not matching to my first choice specialty.. 

I also applied to FM as a back up and I am confident in my FM interview performance.. but just disappointed about my poor interview performance in top specialty as I really suck in solving riddles/quick thinking....

 

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  • plastic.surgery changed the title to The impact of CaRMS interviews on selection process...

Is it possible that they were just looking to see how you approach the riddle? Im thinking you can't know for sure that you absolutely had to solve the riddle to get the "max score"

I can totally relate how frustrating it is though to put in so much work across many years and then for it to get down to a riddle

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This is all conjecture, but I presume that interview performance will likely assume a different (and likely more impactful) role in the selections process this year - particularly for 'away' students who have not rotated with a given division/program to which they have applied and are interviewing with. Again, this is based on here-say/speculation, but in previous years (particularly for small and competitive specialties), programs likely had a very good idea as to who their top candidates were at the pre-interview stage based primarily on elective performance and rapport/connections forged through the elective process. Interviews, then, served more as a sieve, whereby candidates only change their standing significantly by performing remarkably well compared to their peers (quite uncommon), or by demonstrating serious interpersonal deficits. Now that everything is far more homogenous given lack of away elective activity, you have a serious leg-up having established connections/rapport with your home program. You have the unique advantage of having 'interviewed' for the position throughout medical school (and in person). Their opinion of you is likely biased (hopefully positively), and 45-60 minutes on a zoom call is unlikely to change that. Nobody applying from anywhere else has had the opportunity to establish connection(s) to your institution, which is a huge deviation from prior years. Unless you really floundered the entire time, your performance will not tarnish what you've built and  I would wager that you are still at a significant advantage in terms of matching to your home program this cycle. In matters concerning a 5-year binding relationship, 'the devil you know' approach will likely prevail, particularly for small programs where a gamble resulting in a bad match costs them dearly. Of course, the playing field evens out with other home school candidates - conversely if your performance was not outstanding for the other 2 PRS programs, they are likely to consider similar/slightly worse performing students from their own institution before you. I believe the effects of this will hold truest for the smallest/most competitive disciplines, and taper off for larger/less competitive disciplines. Again, this is all speculative and we won't know how things were factored this year until the match results and we see the % of home students staying put for residency (and as this data isn't stratified further by discipline, we will never really know at all outside of anecdote and observation).

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14 minutes ago, anbessa21 said:

This is all conjecture, but I presume that interview performance will likely assume a different (and likely more impactful) role in the selections process this year - particularly for 'away' students who have not rotated with a given division/program to which they have applied and are interviewing with. Again, this is based on here-say/speculation, but in previous years (particularly for small and competitive specialties), programs likely had a very good idea as to who their top candidates were at the pre-interview stage based primarily on elective performance and rapport/connections forged through the elective process. Interviews, then, served more as a sieve, whereby candidates only change their standing significantly by performing remarkably well compared to their peers (quite uncommon), or by demonstrating serious interpersonal deficits. Now that everything is far more homogenous given lack of away elective activity, you have a serious leg-up having established connections/rapport with your home program. You have the unique advantage of having 'interviewed' for the position throughout medical school (and in person). Their opinion of you is likely biased (hopefully positively), and 45-60 minutes on a zoom call is unlikely to change that. Nobody applying from anywhere else has had the opportunity to establish connection(s) to your institution, which is a huge deviation from prior years. Unless you really floundered the entire time, your performance will not tarnish what you've built and  I would wager that you are still at a significant advantage in terms of matching to your home program this cycle. In matters concerning a 5-year binding relationship, 'the devil you know' approach will likely prevail, particularly for small programs where a gamble resulting in a bad match costs them dearly. Of course, the playing field evens out with other home school candidates - conversely if your performance was not outstanding for the other 2 PRS programs, they are likely to consider similar/slightly worse performing students from their own institution before you. I believe the effects of this will hold truest for the smallest/most competitive disciplines, and taper off for larger/less competitive disciplines. Again, this is all speculative and we won't know how things were factored this year until the match results and we see the % of home students staying put for residency (and as this data isn't stratified further by discipline, we will never really know at all outside of anecdote and observation).

It was only that 1 question that i stumbled on, but it was with PD... PD is really nice, but that could be how they interact with all applicants... It's just a cruel process - that is unforgiving..and they interview 16 applicants for 2 spots and there are probably so many outstanding applicants. 

 

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37 minutes ago, plastic.surgery said:

It was only that 1 question that i stumbled on, but it was with PD... PD is really nice, but that could be how they interact with all applicants... It's just a cruel process - that is unforgiving..and they interview 16 applicants for 2 spots and there are probably so many outstanding applicants. 

 

I agree, very unforgiving. There is certainly an abundance of amazing applicants. Remember that you are amongst this cohort of 'outstanding applicants'. FWIW, 16 for 2 spots, while not great, isn't horrible - I've seen (and am banking on) worse odds. Remember some interviewees will rank other programs ahead of your home program. Consider what your home school competition is like (how many people from your school interviewed for those two positions). If that number is favourable, take solace in that. If not, oh well. You've done all you could, worked incredibly hard, and managed to receive multiple interviews for a very competitive specialty. All of this has shaped who you are today. Take pride in that. I wish you all the luck in the world and hope you match to your desired specialty. 

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