With my first interview for residency just a few weeks away, and multitudes of them lined up before hand, I thought I should send an update about how things are going.
First things first: I think I was a little over-zealous about applying. Everyone scares you with the idea that you won't match anywhere, and you will have to scramble, and therefore should apply to 100+ programs, even if it means you won't have the money left to actually travel to any of them.
(Don't worry, I will explain that match process and the scramble and all those delicious details at a later date. So patience...)
I didn't quite go so overboard. I applied to 25 programs: 17 anesthesiology programs and 8 transitional years (remember, a transitional year is the required year of additional training I have to complete before I can start my anesthesia training.) T
he problem is this: I have interviews at nearly all the programs. And there is no way I have the time (or more importantly, the money!) to travel to nearly 25 places around the country in a 3 month period. So I have to cut it down to a reasonable amount. For me, that means 10 anesthesiology programs (not including Utah, since that doesn't cost anything other than a day that could be spent interviewing elsewhere.), and 6 transitional years.
Here are the programs I'm scheduled to interview at so far: Utah, University of North Carolina, University of South Carolina, Loma Linda, University of California San Diego, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, University of Iowa, University of Colorado, San Antonio, University of Texas Southwestern, Virginia Mason (Seattle), and Oregon Health and Science University. (I also have transitional year interviews at Utah, Colorado, Virginia Mason, and Arrowhead in Southern California). And roughly in that order as well.
If I'm counting right, that is thirteen programs. Which already puts me over my limit, and I haven't heard from 3 programs.
Needless to say, this is just a little stressful. You feel so happy to have an interview, that someone actually wants you, that it is hard to say no.
But, methodically, thoughtfully, and painfully, that is what I have to do.