Well, it’s a wrap!
Yes, at long last, my CaRMS interview tour has come to a close. Actually, there is a social tonight, but nonetheless the interview, which is the most important part, is done.
6 provinces (plus the pending visit home-home and then back home makes it 8)
It legitimately felt as crazy as it seems to look on paper. And now it is done.
Today’s interview is at a program where I have done electives and where I knew I would know the majority of people on the interviewing panel. Such a comfort. And yet, I think because I knew so many of them, I was more nervous because the last thing one wants to do is look like a tool in interviews, especially in front of people you know and respect.
I wasn’t scheduled to interview until 3:30, but we were all invited to attend Oncology Grand Rounds and get lunch there, so I went in for 12:30… Free food and education, what a bargain. The topic was breast reconstruction post-lumpectomy and mastectomy. It was fascinating. I know, you may not agree. But, I didn’t know there were so many options available and the thought process behind when and how to do the reconstruction.
Most of the people interviewed in the morning. Only three of us were scheduled for the afternoon. There were 5, but two cancelled. So, thankfully, the interviewers agreed to move our times up, so we wouldn’t be stuck loitering in the department for hours and also so they could finish early… Win-win.
We went on a tour of the department. They are currently expanding and getting some new machines in the next few months but construction was not yet complete for us to see it. Nothing else has changed since my time there. It is an older facility… No real natural light in the rad onc department. Clinics are decent, but somewhat crowded. The resident room is nice… Everyone has their own desk and computer and there are two windows (epic!!). They have 10 rad onc dedicated inpatient beds… And new floors (yes, he pointed out the new flooring). The floor is shared with gyne onc and palliative medicine. It felt pleasant.
It was so nice to be back at interviews with the people I have gotten to know. Chatting before the interview. Sharing plans for the afternoon. Planning for the post-social fun to come.
The interview itself was great. The panel was big. Not UBC big, but the next largest for sure. Semi-overwhelming. At least I knew 5/6 of them and knew of the other person. It makes things a lot easier. But nonetheless, the first chunk of the interview I spent glancing around as if I had a nervous tick in an attempt to make eye contact with everyone. So weird. It got more relaxed and I felt very comfortable. It was definitely more of a get to know you type interview with only a couple standardized questions and then others about me as a person and about my CV.
Most unusual question: This is a two part question… What is your favorite hockey team (this was prefaced with the fact that this answer could make or break my residency career)? Part two was where were you and how did you react to Sidney Crosby’s OT goal in the Vancouver Olympics. I answered honestly and told them the Montreal Canadiens to which I got two high fives and two loud groans saying they will beat that out of me later. They then asked if I was brainwashed as a child. I said yes. As for the Olympics question, we watched the game on Patrick’s laptop with his parents and we were somewhat time delayed, so I had received a text alluding to the fact we had won before the goal happened. So I cheered and followed it up with a “I knew it!” They thought that was pretty funny.
Question that took me most by surprise: Obviously the above questions won this as well. If I had to pick another question unique to this, it would be the why are you interested in teaching question, which was followed up with a how would you feel about doing something like a medical education elective or masters in medical education. All of which are appealing to me.
I rewarded myself on the walk back to the hotel with a tiramisu cake pop and a latte. I also took a stroll through the medical school campus and took a few pictures.