Today marks the official interview halfway point… For numbers of interviews. Tomorrow is the half way point based solely on days. Definitely starting too feel the busyness more and more. Today, I hit the snooze button. First time pre-interview jitters did not prompt me to leap out of bed with gusto.
Due to some ridiculous snow and traffic, I got to the social about 40 minutes after it had started. Snow in the GTA is not helpful at anytime, but especially not rush hour. It took 2 hours to get to Hamilton, as opposed to the usual one. And I was in a shuttle with a very enraged man who was just returning from 3 months in Ghana who could not understand why we were going so slowly or why we had to stop in several places. Beyond fighting with the driver, he slowed us from leaving for about 5 minutes as they debated the need for him to wear a seat belt. Ugh. Some people. He was quite nice in the end, though. The social was nice. The McMaster program is really big, so a good chunk of residents came out, as well as the program director. We had the whole top of a pub downtown, which was also nice. It was sufficiently quiet to have good conversation. I, the social grace I am got cheese stuck on my nose and had to have someone inform me of it. So classy.
Big plus to this morning was that the hotel had make-your-own waffles in the free breakfast. I may not be able to eat much on interview mornings, but free waffles are a grand creation.
One thing of note both at the social and at the interviews was that the residents all seem to get along really well. Also, the staff are all really nice. They seem to be social and agreeable. And happy. It is good to see places where everyone comes out and wants to share with us how much they like it at the program. It doesn’t happen everywhere. They all pointed out that Hamilton is not necessarily people’s first choice to live in, but that it is actually a great place to work and it is reasonable to pay to live there.
The hospital facilities were epic. This is another brand-new centre with lots of windows, wide hallways and well-designed wards and clinics. They have a cyber knife and are considering buying a PET-guided treatment planning unit. They are very research involved, but do not have mandated research and publications for residents. There is a staff library in the cancer center. The resident room is the biggest and most well-lit we have seen. Very favorable.
The interview was very relaxed. They had said that it was one of the most relaxed interviews and that it was rather informal. They were right. It was nice, actually. You could tell that the interviewers actually read our CVs and personal letters. They geared the conversation to us and only asked about three standardized questions. It was nice. Although I question how much people get out of 20 minute interviews, I have to say that they would likely know the most about me as a result of this one.
Most unusual question: How does someone who was around 18 get involved with a Hospice? They were very curious both about how fresh out of high school I did the whole nuc med and then hospice thing. It was fun to talk about and explain why those are so important to me.
Question that took me most by surprise: Are you a Habs fan? Yes, this was asked. The reason being that we were talking about the perks of Hamilton and I said I was excited about the Hamilton Bulldogs. The person then started asking me if I liked Montreal and proceeded to explain you can get dirt cheap tickets for Montreal-Buffalo games in Buffalo, as well as seeing all of the new prospects play in Hamilton. So awesome.
Post-interview, I went for a walk around the hospital before driving to London with one of my classmates from home. I saw little of the actual city, but what I saw was not as bad as what people describe.
Overall, this was one of my best interviews and I was surprised how much I liked the program and the city. The places are starting to get a bit jumbled, but interviews are going to wrap up soon. Thank goodness.