Saturday, March 17, 2012

Late but never...more tips for Midyear

Posted by Bernadette at Saturday, March 17, 2012

So if anyone if interested in Rutgers, see Eric Zhao's post - it's pretty much to the letter of what happens. I just wanted to briefly add to it - not on the Rutger's portion, but on the PPS interview for other companies and programs.

The school doesn't really teach you/tell you about PPS, but it's not just for people who are interested in getting jobs upon graduation. It's also the "secret" way for you to talk to programs and get an upper hand.

What is it?
PPS is a system set up so that candidates and interviewers (employers and residency program directors) to talk to each other before Midyear to set up interview times. If you upload your resume well ahead of time, some programs will actually contact YOU to set up interviews based on what you list as your interests. You also get a chance to contact the programs you're interested in and set up an interview.

You do have to pay for PPS, but the companies participating are listed in advance so you can always check to see if it's worth your money.

**note: you can also set up different profiles of yourself. For example, if you want to interview for both jobs AND residencies, you can set up a profile focused on your strengths for a residency and another one focused on a job.

Who is it for?
1) PGY1 clinical residency candidates: Certain programs will be there usually interviewing for PGY2s, but if you're part of PPS and interested in a PGY1 program, you can still contact the programs and set up an interview - which is MUCH better than being ONE out of the THOUSANDS of other students at the showcase.

2) PGY1 Managed care residency candidates: A lot of programs don't require you to interview at PPS, but again, they're there and it only gives you advantage to meet them before the real interview invitations are sent out.

3) If you know you want to do PGY2s (already set on the specialty you want), some programs prefer/need you to sign up for PPS and interview for their PGY1 program (I don't know the exact details - you'll have to look into the program)

What do you do?
Once you sign up for PPS, you can contact the programs that are participating. I contacted them before Midyear to set up interviews. Now, if you're also doing Rutgers, keep in mind you don't know your interview times until you get onsite, so don't fill up your schedule. Also, PPS is running concurrently to the Residency Showcase, so if there are places you MUST see at the showcase, don't schedule interviews then. Remember to give time between interviews as well - if one runs over, YOU are the one that gets blamed for showing up late to the next one. You can also schedule interviews when you're AT midyear, but the times are more restricted. For some programs, I didn't even realize they were at PPS and I was able to schedule interviews just by stopping by their booth.

Practice! This IS a real interview, so make sure you're ready and prepped for any questions that come your way. Remember, if they like you, you'll more likely to get an interview in February. Bring plenty of copies of your CV - some people will already have it, but you still never know. I don't think I gave out 50 copies or anything, but definitely around 30 or so (at least at PPS). Also, I'd bring granola bars or other snacks and water. If it's 10 minutes before your next interview, you don't have time to leave and stand in line for 20 minutes for food outside. I definitely used up my stash at Midyear.

What to do after?
Thank you cards/e-mail! Always remember to follow-up, even if you ultimately don't like the program or you thought the interview went bad - it's just professional courtesy.

Those are the main pointers I can think about for now. Even though it is early, good luck to all the P3s entering their P4 year! =)

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