Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 .. It's Finally Here!

Posted by Jenna at Saturday, January 07, 2012

2012 .. the year we've been waiting for is finally here! It's hard to believe that May 19th is right around the corner and that soon we'll join the list of distinguished Michigan Pharmacy Alumni. Just 4 rotations (or for some 5) stand in our way! 

2012 .. also a year of huge uncertainty. Many of us spent our winter break finalizing applications to PGY-1 residency programs or fellowships while others may have started job hunting. The next 3 months will be the most exciting, nerve-wracking, and unexpected times that many of us will face. Applications are in .. now we sit back and wait to hear back from programs, leaving our futures in limbo until that magic day in March, aka Match day. 

So, I'm trying to compile all of my advice regarding Midyear, residencies, and applications into 1 spot. Here goes nothing:

Before Midyear

1. Start identifying what's important to you in a residency.
2. Research, research, research. Go to Midyear prepared.
3. Work on an 'elevator speech' - who you are and why you want to complete a PGY-1 residency.

4. If you're looking at 'specialty' PGY-1 programs (administrative, pediatrics, managed care) or fellowships, join PPS. 
5. Come up with thoughtful questions to ask, it may help programs remember you if you deter from the 'run of the mill' questions.

At Midyear

1. Be yourself. 
2. At the beginning of each showcase, visit programs that are lower on your list to get your nerves out of the way. You don't want to be stumbling over your words at your top choice program.
3. Take 2 minutes after each program to jot down some notes, otherwise you're guaranteed to confuse programs when you go back later to jot down notes. It's okay to write (minimally) during your conversation, just try to maintain as much eye contact as possible. 

4. Be open-minded. Programs that were lower on your list may move to the top and vice versa.
5. Don't ask questions whose answers are on the program's website. 
6. Don't embarrass yourself when you're outside the convention center. It seemed like I saw a handful of people from my PPS interviews everywhere I went, which was nice!

After Midyear

1. Handwritten thank you's to everyone you spoke to, asap!
2. Make a master list of each program's application requirement. The 4 basic components are your CV, letter of intent, pharmacy transcript, and 3 letters of rec. Some programs specify who they want their letters from, some want your undergrad transcript, some have an online employer application, etc.
3. Get delivery confirmation once you send them. This helped me realize that one of my apps didn't get to the program! My faith in the USPS isn't the highest so I'd suggest FedEx for programs that want paper materials. 

I'll update the advice as more thoughts come to me :-)

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