发信人: aknail (亦心), 信区: MedicalCareer
标 题: Matched to My Dream Path Program--A Successful OB Experience
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Tue Mar 17 13:22:58 2009)
I know I’ve matched to my dream Path program since this is the only program
My credentials: 10+ years from graduation, US Ph.D., 90+ (not 99) for step 1
and step 2 CK, step 2 CS pass, < 10 publications (no CNS), EAD, no working
experience in Path, 4 months Path OB.
My dream program is my home program. It’s not as big name as MGH, JHU, Wash
U etc, but it’s still a pretty good program, and my hubby has a job in the
same school. They rarely take any IMGs, no mention very old IMGs. With so-
so credentials like I have, I didn’t think I had any chance to get into
this program until I did my OB there last year.
Initially, I planed to take 1 months off (maximum time I could take off) to
do full time OB; later I changed it to doing a part time OB for 4 months.
Several advantages by doing so:
1. Four months OB sounds a lot better than one month on my CV.
2. The PD only signs out every 3 weeks, he could hardly know me if I only
spent one to two weeks with him (1~2 hr each time).
3. I could still work full time in the lab, I just squeezed some time out
here and there to go to Pathology.
What I did and what I got from my OB:
1. I went to their morning conference most of the days. I’m not a
morning person, I used to get up after 9 am, but I managed to get up at 6 am
for the conference. It’s a good time to learn about pathology, and also a
good place to meet the residents and faculties.
2. I went to the PD’s sign-out. I wasn’t really interested in his sub-
specialty, I went there just because he is the PD. Later I actually found
out that his sub-specialty is more interesting than I thought. I reviewed
basic histology and Robbins before I went there, and also took notes when he
taught us anything. This way, I built up knowledge with time. At the end of
my OB, I asked the PD whether he felt comfortable to write a supporting
letter for me, he said yes without hesitation.
3. I picked up a very nice resident (somebody I met at morning conference),
watched him grossing, went to the Surg Path sign-out with him, and also
observed autopsy with him. I offered to help whenever possible, just some
little things, such as taking notes when he did autopsy. He was very happy
with it. I also had interactions with other residents. You would feel a lot
more comfortable once you got some friends there.
4. I went to the sign-outs of another sub-specialty to meet some
attendings. There, I impressed an attending who interviewed me later.
5. I also spent some time on CP where I met some attendings including 3
that interviewed me later.
6. My primary purpose of doing OB is to find out whether I’ll like Path.
I was convinced at the end that this is what I want to do. Even more than
that, I could tell that the PD and some other attendings were happy with me,
and I realized that I had chance to get into their program.
7. I got chance to know more about their program. The residents and
attendings are very nice. They have good schedules for the residents, so
that the residents are exposed to vast varieties of pathologies, and at the
same time they still have time to study and for family life. I knew this is
definitely my first-choice program (also considering family reasons).
I had a very relaxing interview day at this program since I had met all of
my interviewers during my OB, and most of them still remembered me pretty
well. One of the most influential persons on the committee told me that it
was so smart of me doing OB there, and got a letter from their PD.
I think I did very well on my interviews, but the PD told me that they got
lots of applications, and the competition is very high this year. I wasn’t
surprised since I had heard that this year many AMGs applied to Path, and
many of them have great credentials.
I had my interview there pretty early on in the interview season. Some
people suggested me to contact the program early this year to remind them
about myself. I was very sure that the PD knew their program is my first-
choice, and I didn’t want to annoy him by saying it again and again. I
decided to remind them about myself in a different way—I started to go to
their morning conference again this year. Since the PD goes to a couple of
the conference himself, I met him there from time to time. Every time I just
say things like “Good morning”, “How are you?” without mentioning Match
. About two weeks ago, the PD told me that he was happy to see me continue
coming to their conference, and they have ranked me very competitively.
I’m so glad that my dream came true. Of course this is just a start (at
least I can start finally).
Here are some suggestions to people who are going to participate in Match
2010 or later:
1. Do OB if possible, and do it as long as possible so that you have time
to impress them. When I look back, I think it’s better to do it in summer
so that you can get letters from them for the applications, and they still
remember you at the interview season. It wasn’t possible for me since I was
due in early summer. I had my baby one week after my OB. If you have to do
it early on, ask for letter(s) before you leave when they remember you best.
2. If you are very interested in the program where you did your OB,
continue to expose yourself to them even after your OB (plus, it’s also a
good chance to learn if you go to their conference).
3. Keep very good relationship with your boss. I’m lucky that I have a
very nice mentor and I got strong support from him. He’s a Ph.D., and the
chairman of our department. He has never met the Path PD, but he called the
PD, told him I am “extremely bright and dedicated.” Maybe that’s why the
PD was very nice to me from the beginning. Some people ask “What if my
mentor is not a M.D.?” A supportive Ph.D. is a lot better than a M.D. who
doesn’t want to help you.
4. Communicate well and get support from your significant other (if you
have one). My hubby was very supportive when I studied for the exams and
when I did my OB. He also thought it was a very good idea for me to go to
their morning conference again this year, even though he knew it meant that
he had to handle two little ones by himself in the morning (which is not an
easy thing sometimes).
Last, congrats to those who have matched; good luck to those who didn’t,
don’t give up your dream, try again.
发信人: aknail (亦心), 信区: MedicalCareer
标 题: Re: Matched to My Dream Path Program--A Successful OB Experie
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Wed Mar 18 10:55:36 2009)
Thanks, everybody. I'd be very happy if my experience can help any of you.
To answer some of your questions:
1. Part-time OB: my home program makes schedules for the students taking
rotation there, but they usually don't do anything for you if you are not a
student. It turned out to be good for me--this way I can schedule my day
according to my lab work. I usually started the day with the morning
conference, then went back to the lab to do some work. The sub-specialty
sign-out usually starts at 1pm, so if my lab work allowed me, I usually went
back to Pathology at that time and stayed there for 1~2 hours. If I was
busy in the lab, I would only go to the conference; if I didn’t have much
to do in the lab that day, I would spent most of the day in Path (good time
to watch grossing or go to Surg Path sign-out). It wasn’t difficult for me
to mix the two since I was in charge of my own time both in the lab and in
Path. It may or may not work for you depending on what kind of work you do
in the lab and what kind of boss you have (I have to admit that I’m very
2. Pregnancy: they don’t have any problem with my pregnancy. I was there
during the later half of my pregnancy. Usually I had to walk back and forth
between Path and our lab (different buildings) several times a day, I took
it as my “walking-walking” of the day. In fact, I was in a much better
physical condition this pregnancy than the first one, I attribute it
partially to my “excise” (I barely moved during my first one). However, I
got shooting pain down to my leg sometimes when I walked during the last
couple of weeks. So I think it’s more about whether You are OK with the
3. Shining point: I think attitude is the most important thing. I
remember once the PD told me that there would be a XX conference next
morning at 7 am. I was thinking “OMG, 7am?” But I smiled, and asked “
Where is it?” I saw smile on his face next morning when he saw me entering
the room. I think my pregnancy may have helped me too, I may have impressed
them more when I run around with such a big belly (My belly got so big later
on that strangers asked me whether I was carrying a twin). Being jealous,
They don’t expect you to know a whole lot about Path if you didn’t have
related working experience. That’s being said, you should know basic
histology and pathology (sometimes anatomy or medicine etc.) so you don’t
go blank when they ask you some easy questions. I suggest you to take notes
when you attend their sign-outs, so they know you are serious (“good
attitude”), and you can review your notes from time to time, so you have
something to say next time they brought up the same topic (“he picks up
things very quickly”).
4. Yes, you are observing them and they are observing you too. I was very
careful especially at the beginning. Later I was more relaxed, and even
made jokes with some easy-going residents and attendings. I also tried to
update the PD with my OB. I only saw him every 3 weeks, but from time to
time I would tell him what I did and what I was going to do there. He seemed
to be pleased with it.
Those are just my experience. Different programs may have different rules.
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