Info

The Myers Hurt Method Podcast

Countdown to the MATCH - the official podcast of the Dr Myers Hurt AKA the Match Gurus is the only podcast dedicated to helping residency applicants shine on interview day. Dr. Myers Hurt discusses specifics involving the NRMP and ERAS, and dissects common (and uncommon) residency interview questions for The Match.
RSS Feed
The Myers Hurt Method Podcast
2022
August
July


2017
July


2016
October
September
August
July
June


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: July, 2016
Jul 27, 2016

Milestone:

We crossed 100 downloads! Combined total of the first 5 episodes, still, an exciting milestone, and I hope you guys continue to find some value in this format.  If you have a free second please take a bit of time to leave a review on iTunes to help get the word out to other med students looking for answers.

We are ramping up our website over at the Match Gurus, so check the website soon to add your e-mail to our mailing list. We are primarily a consulting group, and work with individual clients to identify strengths and weaknesses in your application and hone your interview skills - so check out our website for the specific services we offer.

Any of you looking for a consolidated guide on how to approach to interview season - my book is titled “Getting In” - available on Amazon in both kindle and paperback format - currently the lowest price book on the market for residency interviews - I know how books add up in med school and am making a conscious effort to keep that product at a reasonable price point so you get more bank for your buck.

Residency timeline update: Hope you are all working on your personal statements, and working hard in those rotations and Sub-Is to get glowing LORs - remember if you are struggling with your PS we can help - drop us a line over at theMatchGurus or DM us on twitter

I want to get into our first topic today, and that is knowing who will actually be interviewing you.

Who will be interviewing you:

Short answer - everybody. THIs is not a figurative expression either. Literally everyone you encounter from the second you receive an interview invitation has a say in your future. As we mentioned previously in our who’s who sement - most if not all of your pre-interview communication will be through a program coordinator. Treating them with respect goes a long way. No need to go overboard and send them gifts or anything, they won’t help position of candidates on a ROL directly, but they can absolutely turn any candidate into a DNR with any evidence of disrespect or poor communication skills.

More formally, you will generally be interviews by two groups of people - residents and faculty.  Traditionally, 2-3 junior residents and interns attend a social event, or pre-interview dinner the evening before your actual interview. These are people who have just now made the transition you are about to - great opportunity to ask them about their process in choosing the program, how they are experiencing their first few months, things they wish they had asked, or things they thought were important that turned out were not, etc.

Very informal, very social, your chance to ask practical questions in a relaxed atmosphere.  Good examples would be typical cases they see, typical hours, curriculum for interns for didactics. Even things like parking, day care, housing, transportation - more day to day practical questions are good for the residents and especially these dinners, and less so for the faculty.

Essentially a “Getting to know you” or “meet and greet” session that is less formal Q&A interview, and more “can we work with this person. This is of course, part of the whole interview package, and don’t confuse “informal” with “unprofessional.” You are very much on display and these people have an incredible say in who gets ranked and ultimately hired.

Interview day is typically reserved for senior level or chief residents and faculty. Faculty can include MDs, DOs, NP and PA involved in resident education, PhDs, educators or behaviorist. Programs are starting to integrate people who can evaluate the more “soft skills” required to train in medicine.

These are the people with the best info about fellowship placement, careers of recent graduates, current faculty strengths, future department goals (as a lot can change in 7 years - while an outgoing chief is thinking about next 6 months) Building new hospitals, clinic, getting new equipment either specifically for resident training, or treatment.

Do your homework and look into the interests of those who will be interviewing you. A little will go a long way, and you’ll be able to make conversation outside of the expected, obvious questions.

The second topic of the day involves our question of the day - and this weeks question comes to us from Travis:

Question of the day:

Does it look better to get a letter from the program director or a department chair?

Classic question, thanks for asking Travis. This comes up all the time - and the reddit medschool forum, SDN forums, ValueMD forums all have versions of the same answer - the best letter comes from the person who knows you best.

We all know these pillars of medicine in our own institutions - big names with hundreds of articles, book chapters, grant dollars, caseloads, etc - anything that is seen as god-like in medicine, and hope that by getting a letter with your name at the top, and their name at the bottom is a golden ticket.

That can absolutely be true. However, you would have to spend a significant amount of time with that attending, and they would have to be a good letter writer.

Ask the recent graduates now in their intern year (your ex-upper levels) who was open to writing a letter, and who seemed to have good letters.

Ask the secretaries / administrative assistants who writes good letters - they usually dictate them and upload them to ERAS - they will have unique insight into who writes quick one-liners vs who tells personal stories of strong recommendation.

No need to feel intimidated, you are not the first person to ask for an LOR - in academic medicine, faculty expect to write these things monthly. They can always say no - and don’t confuse that with the worst thing that can happen - it isn’t.  The worst thing that can happen is they say yes, then write you a sub-par letter.  Impersonal, generic, cookie-cutter letters absolutely scar an application.

Best way to approach it is to lead off with your intentions.  Usually during AIs and away rotations, the implied understanding is that you are there to impress and are at least interested in the field, as well as that specific program.  There is nothing wrong with stating your intentions once you arrive that you would like to work hard for the time you are there in order to produce a strong LOR. Let your upper levels on the team know, let your admin assistant contact know, and let the attending know. Volunteer yourself up front for anything above and beyond.  Show up early, stay late, do the grunt work, there to learn and there to impress.

Towards the end of your month, not 6:30pm on the Friday your rotation ends, touch base with your letter writer and phrase your question in a way that gives them an out. “Dr. soandso, as you know I’m looking to go into Radiology and really enjoyed my time here. Do you think you know enough about me and my work ethic to write a strong letter of recommendation?”

I love it - as a faculty member on the receiving end of questions like “Can you write me a letter” I would always say yes, and generate a good letter, but sometimes had to struggle to find good aspects I would want to highlight.  

Often times, faculty will offer to write letters for outstandingly strong students - never say no, as those will likely be some of your strongest.

Waive your right? I understand some of the bias, but I know plenty of people who give samples to the students as well. My personal policy was you waived your right, but I want you to also be praised and proud of the work you put in, at the very least send it home and make your parents proud.

Longest possible answer to your question, Travis - and I could go on - but to summarize - letters are often used after certain objective benchmarks are met, cutoffs are passed, and departments are teasing out who would be a better fit with a team. I read hundreds of letters, and personally written dozens - there are PDs who have reads tens of thousands. Bad ones are usually outstandingly bad - no matter whose name is at the bottom - “Jimmy is a great students, he was on time every day and always read his assigned articles. Patients really liked him.” tells us nothing.  Stories about a specific patient interaction, well thought out research, outstanding clinical and critical thought - these things speak volumes, regardless of who they are from - and the content is what you should be primarily concerned about. Get as many as you want, ERAS lets you pick and choose which letters you send where, no harm in collecting an excess. Better to have the problem of which to choose vs scrambling at the end to piece one together from an old preceptor.

To join the Myers Hurt Method Course, visit https://www.drmyershurt.com/themyershurtmethodcourse

Jul 13, 2016

This is now season 1 episode 5 - 36 weeks to go until Match Day 2017 - let’s get into it:

First of all thanks to all of you for being patient - I know listening to me alone can get a bit monotonous, so I have arranged for a few interviews with program directors, program coordinators, and residents of different specialties to highlight specifics they recommend. I want to use this as a platform to share more specific, practical value with our listeners. Just like your questions - please feel free to send any suggestions you would like to hear on the show to me via twitter, snapchat, or our website.

Types of residency interviews:

Traditional - 1 on 1, interviewer has access to all of you application and can pull questions from all information

Blinded - typically also 1 on 1, however interviewer is blinded from some objective information (usually school name and USMLE scores) to help eliminate bias against higher scores or school

Panel - group of interviewers (residents and faculty) interview single applicant at a time

Group - “mix and mingle” format where faculty, residents, and applicants all interact - good look into group dynamics, see who functions well in team environments, who is a good listener, etc.

Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) - originally Canadian, great at observing “soft skills” and EQ, format similar to USMLE Step 2 CS - 5 to 10 rooms, applicant moves around, questions rage from traditional to very abstract.  

Telephone - falling out of favor, typically reserved for IMGs during the SOAP

Video - starting to emerge as an option to help keep costs down, recent studies show more programs offering it as an option, California Anesthesia program showed similar match rate for video applicants.

Question of the Day:

What specifics made applicants stand out for the right reasons, and what specifics made applicants stand out for the wrong reasons?

Dr. Olson’s: answer: Poorly coordinated and poorly communicated interview process was a strong negative. Applicants that were engaging, timely, and sincerely interested in program goals are strong positives. Knowing something about the program helps convey genuine interest.

Dr. Hurt’s answer: Emphasis on the disrespect for office staff / program coordinator.  The legend of Puff Daddy. Positive standouts I personally remember involve travel stories, and interests outside of medicine.

Closing:

    Unfortunately that’s all the time we have for today’s show. Please subscribe to catch each new episode as they are uploaded each week.  If you find the content valuable please take a bit of time to leave a review on iTunes to help get the word out to other med students looking for answers.  Also feel free to give us some feedback on what you think we could improve on.

To join the Myers Hurt Method Course, visit https://www.drmyershurt.com/themyershurtmethodcourse

Thank you to everyone for listening, remember to send you questions to us through our website at www.thematchgurus.com, twitter @theMatchGurus, or snapchat.  Our book is also now available on Amazon - please take the time to leave a review if you enjoy the material.  Take care.

Jul 13, 2016

In true countdown style, this season we’ll release one podcast each week for the 40 weeks leading up to Match Day.  This is season 1 episode 4 - now 37 weeks to go until Match Day 2017. Let’s get started:

We got some feedback about poor audio quality in the first few episodes, so I upgraded the microphone and added a pop filter - hopefully it is a bit more crisp now for all of our listeners.

Residency timeline update: now is the time that all of our DO listeners can start submitting applications for AOA residencies - for all MD candidates - you won't start until September so hang tight. If you wanted to start working on anything, you can start exploring MyERAS by using your token to register, complete your profile, and researching programs.

NRMP Numbers

  • NRMP - the numbers episode - who is applying, understand what you are up against
  • Data for 2016
  • Infographic
  • Applicant pool is made up of allopathic US seniors, allopathic US grads from previous years, DOs, Canadian grads, Fifth Pathway, US born IMGs and foreign-born IMGs
  • 42,370 total applicants in 2016
  • How to interpret the data
  • US seniors - the odds are not only that you will match, but that you will match at one of your top three choices. Relax a bit, and really tease out which program will be right for you, and focus on standing out among people exactly like you. Even if you are an all-star at your school, you will be interviewing alongside other all-stars for a limited number of spots. Also realize that you are only about 50% of the application pool, and don’t get cocky. Even if you think you are overqualified and extremely competitive for certain spots, take the process seriously. Every year since 2012 at least 5% of US seniors go unmatched.
  • Foreign grads - rejoice! We are still in a position that the number of US residency spots outnumber US allopathic senior graduates. While the odds are nowhere near as comforting as those for US grads, getting a US residency slot is far from impossible. When you do match, you are just as likely as a US grad to get one of your top 3 choices, as a total of 403 programs (over 1,000 spots) didn’t fill last year - apply correctly and you can stack the odds in your favor and avoid the SOAP.

The ACGME and their role:

  • The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education is the body responsible for accrediting the majority of graduate medical training programs for physicians in the United States. They conduct audits / site visits of each program ratings from every 1 to 10 years to evaluate each residency program.
  • Duty hours, duty hour restrictions, elements of program funding, surgical and some speciality case logs, and how you will be evaluated during your residency
  • Knowing this now - before you start residency - will give you a leg up during your interviews.  The faculty conducting your interviews are already well-versed in this ACGME core competency system, so you can construct your answers to fit the molds already in place. You will come across as very informed, and have a leg up.
  • You may have heard the adage: to stand out during your fourth year work and act like an intern, to be a good intern work like a second year, etc.
  • Stanford site - throughout your residency, you will get feedback on the 6 core competencies  of: patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, systems based practice, professionalism, interpersonal skills and communication.
  • Why is this important - accreditation - does indeed impact your career both in residency and after graduation.  Stripped Hopkins Internal Medicine for violating 80 hour work weeks in 2003, Yale General Surgery in 2002
  • Link to search programs

Question of the Day:

How important is undergraduate, medical school geography in my application?

Dr. Olson’s: answer: communicate how each location has influenced you, and how it will reflect in your training, also communicate clearly why this geographic region fits with your goals.

Dr. Hurt’s answer: You need to make it very clear that you would do well in any geographic region you want to train in. Residency is very difficult - having friends or family nearby communicates to programs that you have a sort of built-in support system, and can be seen as a strength. In your specific situation, if you are far from friends and family - mentioning that you were able to live far from home in the past and adjust well, and achieve success can be seen as a strength - it’s all how you present it.

I would also mention future goals when geography comes up - where you want to practice when you graduate, as even a subconscious bias exists trying to recruit top talent to the region, or even stay on as faculty where you trained. (Exactly what I did - family medicine in Texas while training in New York) Also consider what you would learn being in a certain region you couldn’t get elsewhere - training near a coal mine in West Virginia exposes you to lung pathology not seen other places in the country, Emergency medicine programs in Chicago are likely to have higher percentage of gunshot wounds than others, and coastal regions may have more fish hook trauma and jellyfish stings. Make sure to highlight exactly why the region is right for your situation now, and will benefit you moving forward.

Closing:

    Unfortunately that’s all the time we have for today’s show. Please subscribe to catch each new episode as they are uploaded each week.  If you find the content valuable please take a bit of time to leave a review on iTunes to help get the word out to other med students looking for answers.  Also feel free to give us some feedback on what you think we could improve on.

To join the Myers Hurt Method Course, visit https://www.drmyershurt.com/themyershurtmethodcourse

Thank you to everyone for listening, remember to send you questions to us through our website at www.thematchgurus.com, twitter @theMatchGurus, or snapchat.  Our book is now available on Amazon - please leave a review there as well. Take care.

Jul 12, 2016

Intro Music:

Ryan Little “Get Up”

Hey everybody this is Myers Hurt with another edition of “Countdown to Match Day,” the official podcast of the Match Gurus, and the only podcast aimed at helping applicants shine on interview day. Remember to send any questions you want answered on the show via twitter @theMatchGurus or snapchat thematchgurus and we will get your questions answered.

In true countdown style, this season we’ll release one podcast each week for the 40 weeks leading up to Match Day 2017.  This is season 1 episode 3 - 38 weeks to go until Match Day 2017. Let’s jump into today’s topics of discussion:

The 5 Simple rules of Residency Interviews:

Rule #1: The program coordinator is your best friend

Rule #2: Know your goal

Rule #3: Do your homework

Rule #4: You are always being interviewed

Rule #5: Be yourself

Question of the Day:

What are your thoughts on taking an extra loan out for interview season?

Please subscribe to catch each new episode as they are uploaded each week.  If you find the content valuable please take a bit of time to leave a review on iTunes to help get the word out to other med students looking for answers.  Also feel free to give us some feedback on what you think we could improve on. Check out our book on Amazon titled "Getting In" and please leave a review on Amazon if you find it helpful.

To join the Myers Hurt Method Course, visit https://www.drmyershurt.com/themyershurtmethodcourse

Thank you to everyone for listening, remember to send you questions to us through our website at www.thematchgurus.com, twitter @theMatchGurus, or snapchat.  Take care.

 

Jul 12, 2016

Intro music:

Ryan Little “Get Up”

Hey everybody this is Myers Hurt with another edition of “Countdown to Match Day,” the official podcast of the Match Gurus, and the only podcast aimed at helping applicants shine on interview day. Remember to send any questions you want answered on the show via twitter @theMatchGurus or snapchat thematchgurus and we will get your questions answered.

In true countdown style, this season we’ll release one podcast each week for the 40 weeks leading up to Match Day 2017.  This is season 1 episode 2 - 39 weeks to go until Match Day 2017. Let’s jump into today’s topics of discussion.

Why focus on the interview?

Where and when the interview comes into play. Anecdotally, umbers get your foot in the door, interview gets you a job. To prove that, this is the Program Director Survey. This is 2014 data, but is the most recent they have available, and I’m hoping for a new document soon. If you read the introduction the response rate is just over 50% from program directors, but I would say it is still a good resource. The full doc is 148 pages, and divided into speciality-specific data sets, we can dissect those later in the season, but now I would invite you to look at Figure 1 on page 3 and Figure 2 on page 4.

Figure 1: Percentage of programs citing each factor in selecting applicants to interview.

THIS is why USMLE step 1 is so important. The USMLE is primarilty a test for state medical licencing borads (NBME / FSMB), desigend to see if students pass or fail, not necessarily a ranking system to see which students are best - residency programs adopted it as an objective comparrison tool. DoctorsInTraining, Kaplan, Pass Program, MedQuest, USMLEWorld, Pathoma, SketchyMedical - the list goes on  - these are such successful entities for this reason.

FIgure 2: Percentage of progarms citing each factor in ranking applicants.

I'm guilty of speaking in hyperbole - but this is any area I think deserves it. No exageration, these are the two figures that I think are life changing - they show how students with 99%ile scores don’t match, and how mediocre IMGs can get their first choice.  They answer almost every question on the ValueMD and SDN message boards. 

Is Step 3 important? Look at the chart.

Should I do an away rotation? Look at the chart.

How important are letters of recommendation? Look at the chart.

If you look through the entire document at the speciality you are applying to, you will be able to tease out nuances that your speciality values, and wht program directors in that speciality have explicitly stated they are interested in.

AAFP Strolling through the MATCH

The 2016 AAFP booklet. Admittedly, as a family practice doc I am mostly exposed to AAFP materials, but this is a document that serves all medical students, not just thoise interested in primary care.

My previous institution has a family medicine interest group that hosts an annual event that highlights this document.

General residency application timeline and checklist, listing the Table of Contents:  

Section 1 - Choosing a Specialty

Section 2 - IMG resources

Section 3 - Preparing your Credentials - CV, personal statement tips, LoR tips

Section 4 - Selecting a Program

Section 5 - The interview Process - etiquette, question types, etc

Section 6 - The Match: What is it and How it Works

Section 7 - The SOAP - Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program

Section 8 - Resources

As you can see, a fairly robust document that is beneficial to all applicants, and a good place to look for up to date answers.

Question of the Day:

Alistair asks: Is research I did in undergrad signifignat enough to “count” for my ERAS application?

Closing:

    Unfortunately that’s all the time we have for today’s show. Please subscribe to catch each new episode as they are uploaded each week.  If you find the content valuable please take a bit of time to leave a review on iTunes to help get the word out to other med students looking for answers.  Also feel free to give us some feedback on what you think we could improve on. Check out our book on Amazon titled "Getting In"

To join the Myers Hurt Method Course, visit https://www.drmyershurt.com/themyershurtmethodcourse

Thank you to everyone for listening, remember to send you questions to us through our website at www.thematchgurus.com, twitter @theMatchGurus, or snapchat.  Take care.

1