Future Proof Detour - Interview Jitters


Welcome to another Future Proof Detour post.  Every once in awhile I like to talk about something outside of finance.  Many medical students and residents are currently jetting across the country in search of the perfect residency/fellowship.  As you may have read from a previous post, I myself am in the process of finding the perfect Interventional Radiology (IR) fellowship.  Today I want to take a detour and talk a little about what I call the "Interview Jitters." 

The "Jitters"

It seems forever ago when I went through the Match for Radiology residency.  But as soon as I turned in my fellowship applications on ERAS all those familiar feelings came rushing back.  You know the "jitters"?  It's that weird mix of excitement and anxiety, anticipation and apprehension that may cause insomnia in some, reflux in others.  I find myself checking my email compulsively for anything that came from "noreply@aamc.org".  Here are a few concerns that fuel my "jitters":

  • Lack of information - it seems the further along you progress in your medical training, the more difficult it is to determine what is the "best" training program.  Remember back when you were applying to medical school?  All you had to do to head to US News and World Report to get a list of the top ranked schools.  For me, it's near impossible to determine what's the "best" IR fellowship.  Every time I talk to someone, I get a different list of the "top" programs.  I suspect in the end, just like for residency, the interview experience will decide what is the "best" program for me.
  • Geographic uncertainty - while IR fellowship lasts only one year, I still care very much about where I spend that year.  I prefer warm.  But some of the programs with great reputations happen to be in cold places.  What if I interview and fall in love with a program that's in a cold place?  Should I even go on those interviews?
  • How much am I going to spend? - sure I'm the money man.  Heck I even gave you some pointers with Money Saving Tips for Interview Season.  But it doesn't change the fact when all's said and done, the costs of interview travel are probably going to add up to be the largest expense of 2017 for me.  Sure it'll be "worth it" in the end.  But it still makes me uncomfortable.
  • Mass hysteria - about one week ago, I stumbled onto the IR Fellowship Interviews 2017 thread on Aunt Minnie.  I'm still trying to decide if this is a blessing or a curse.  But for now, I check it almost as often as I check my email.  Whatever "jitters" I'm feeling, it gets amplified when I see so many others in the same boat.

If you're still reading at this point, thank you for indulging me.  Sorry about the rambling.  I realize there's no real point to this.  But hey, it feels good to share.  If you've got any tips on how to deal with these "jitters," I'm all ears.

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Future Proof, MD

Dr. Bo Liu is an aspiring radiologist-in-training and the founder and editor of the White Coat Money Blog.  He has an interest in interventional radiology and helping his medical colleagues get ahead in this mad world of medicine and money.  When he's not crushing the list at the PACS station or typing up your next favorite blog post, you can usually find him at the local badminton club, movie theater or the most recently opened restaurant.