I promise that this will hopefully be the last post about CaRMS interviews for a really long time. I have been thinking about my recent experiences and how they all play together. And I had an interview nightmare last night. You think those would be done by now.
Last night was by far the most fun I have had on the CaRMS tour (minus when I actually got home). We went to the social, at which most of the staff and residents came. It was very East Coast. We ate at a pub, you know, fish and chips, lobster rolls, burgers. It was very relaxed and fun. After that, a core group of us went to this fabulous Halifax spot called My Father’s Moustache where we basically sat around and had drinks whilst discussing our adventures in interviewing, sports, TV and life, as well as where we all actually want to match. All the while watching the Habs game where Gomez FINALLY got a goal after a 365 day dry spell.
It is funny, but I am really going to miss those people. At least the cool part is that we will all be colleagues in the future and we will see each other at conferences and all that fun stuff. I was right when I said earlier on in the tour that we will likely get along because of the whole premorbid personality for the specialty. We are all a bit different, but we just seemed to work well together. It felt normal to be hanging out like that and we have only known one another for a few weeks.
So, all that to say… Here is my version of the tour in revue.
Prettiest Hospital: It’s a tie between the Juravinski in Hamilton and CancerCare Manitoba.
Ugliest Hospital: McGill University Hospital.
Best interview day meal in Hospital: London… Pasta of all kinds. Ottawa came in a close second with Greek food.
Best interview day meal outside of Hospital: Well, Calgary wins this by default, but it was ridiculously good.
Best social: This is a tough call, I liked a few for differing reasons. If I had to go with food alone, I would pick either the Thai place in Ottawa or Italian in Edmonton. They were all good.
Longest and most expensive cab ride: Edmonton and Toronto tied. Halifax would have won, but we all knew better and took a shuttle.
Most fun in a city non-interview related: Ottawa… You just can’t beat the All-Stars.
Best museum-like place (because Patrick claims this was more of a museum/sushi tour for me): Vancouver Aquarium, hands down.
Best sushi: Halifax. This is not a reflection of overall sushi quality in any one city. Everyone says Vancouver has the best sushi. Its just the sushi I had there was sub-par. The sushi in Halifax, however was the best in my tour.
Best other food place: Pakistani/Indian restaurant in Kingston. Any place where you have the choice of mild, medium, Canadian hot or Pakistani hot has to be a winner.
Best hotel: Atlantica in Halifax.
Scariest interview: Vancouver. Giant man-eating panel and the first interview… Eep.
Most relaxed interview: Hamilton. Only a couple scripted questions and more conversation about hockey than anything else.
Most shocking question for me: Why didn’t you do your Masters?
Most shocking question for others: Getting grilled about doing their USMLEs.
Strangest question for me (not scripted): Name your favorite hockey team and where and what you did when Sidney Crosby scored the “golden goal” in the Vancouver Olympics.
Strangest question for others (not scripted): What do you think about fighting in hockey?
Strangest question (scripted): First place- Rorschach Ink Blot. Second place- Name a fictional character that would make a good radiation oncologist. Third place- What is your favorite word?
Most challenging question of a technical/knowledge variety: Define statistical significance.
Most awkward moment: Walking into the Vancouver interview room and seeing the giant panel at the giant table and feeling terrified. Then someone saying, “yes, it is rather intimidating.” Then, realizing that I actually did have a “deer caught in head lights look.” Second place is when I got asked if I could speak French and answered yes, then was told that I should have answered in French, so I did and the person asking told me never mind.
Stupidest thing I said in an interview: “We really just want to get out of Newfoundland. Its nice and all, but anywhere on the mainland is better than there for us.” Interviewer: “I’m from Newfoundland. And are you saying that we are just anywhere?” Annnd commence digging self out of hole.
Craziest thing I saw: In the Toronto airport… There was this woman who sat across from me waiting for my flight to Kingston and she seemed to be talking to herself. Then out popped a small dog from her bag. She was talking about herself in the third person saying things like, “Get out and walk around for a bit, it is going to be a long flight and Mommy doesn’t want you to get blood clots in your legs.” She then proceeded to take out what she called the dog’s suitcase… A large purse… And got some kibble telling the dog, “You need to eat something, Mommy really thinks you need some food.” She gave the dog a drink from a water bottle she just drank from. She also offered the dog a clementine saying, “Do you want an orange?” When the dog sniffed it and carried on sniffing the floor… Like a dog should, she concluded, “I guess you don’t want an orange, so Mommy will have it, but you still need to eat.” This was unreal. I tried so hard not to laugh out loud. And failed a bit. I know people love their dogs. But really? This was ridiculous. Especially when I was so sleep deprived.
Coolest God moment: If I am just going for the most random God moment, then hearing “Your Love” in the elevator on he way to the BC interview. For an overall God is awesome moment, it was knowing that I had friends and family praying for me over this entire journey and truly felt a peace that I think only God (and excessive repetition) can bring during the interview process.
And… That’s a wrap. I am headed home-home for a few days with family and friends and our church’s famed winter carnival. Something that I have missed so much since I have been away… Potlucks, bad variety shows and my church family. What a way to relax and rejuvenate post-interviews.