2013 Interview Season Awards

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2013 Interview Season Awards

2013 Interview Season Awards: Biggest surprise: the program that had it all together and beat all your expectations Biggest disappointment: great reputation, but it turned out to be undeserved Best food: they pulled out all the stops to show you a good time, and it showed Worst food: it can be a fancy restaurant or take-out, but the food sucked Best organized: comfortable schedule, low pressure, fun to be there Worst organized: Who’s in charge of this place, anyway? Best interview: after 20 minutes, you felt like you had a chance to shine Worst interview: you just couldn’t get out of that room fast enough Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment: Notable Applicant Stories (anonymous, of course):

Edited by: nicky on 05/11/2015 - 19:51 Reason: Updated by FeedsNodeProcessor
People be eatin' hater tots

I remember being a 3rd year and looking at all of these UroMatch traditions like Top 5 Lists and Interview Season Awards and thinking "can't wait until it's my turn to contribute!" Sure these things are subjective and sometimes troll-y, but I'm all for keeping traditions alive. I hope that the poster above me didn't go and ruin this whole thread by some silly name-calling. Let the awards commence!=========================================================================================Biggest surprise: NYU - great program (best in NY imo), impressive faculty with especially strong endo presence. Definitely loved how close the hospitals were to each other. Great track record of chiefs going on to great fellowships. Faculty coming out to have drinks with the applicants after was a nice surprise. Biggest disappointment: Emory - Not sure what happened tbh. Strong facilities, residents were personable and spoke positively about the program, and the PD definitely read up on the applicants. New chairman seemed to have a good sense of where he wanted to take the program, but just couldn't sell it to me. Coordinator was a little intense for me.  Best food: UC Davis @ the Hook & Ladder. Great hipster-esque restaurant with amazing food + cocktails. Hopkins and their smoothie bar breakfast station wins best breakfast. Worst food: Nothing really stands out as the worst. There were some dinners where the seating arrangement could have been a little less awkard. Baylor might get dinged a little bit for not being to buy drinks for applicants "officially." Best organized: UTSW - included info regarding hotel, transportation from hotel to airport and interview site, and a very concisely packed 4-hour interview blitz and done by lunch (AM session). Worst organized: No one dropped the ball too hard, but UC Irvine's day was wayyyyyy toooooo longgggggg. Best interview: Seattle with Dr. Joyner -- most refreshing, unique, and "sincerely trying to get to know you" type of interview. Went in a little anxious given that I was meeting the famous "Devil is in the details" author. Worst interview: The "If an apple costs 5 cents...and an orange costs 10 cents...how much should a pear cost?" guy Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment Best: Meeting so many new friends on the trail, going on post-interview day touristy adventures, and confirming how awesome my future colleagues are. (I like things cheesy)Worst: An applicant who shall remain anonymous knocked over one of my slices of pizza. :(===================================================================Hope other people decide to share! It'll take your mind off of the fact that we match in <1 week!

Anonymous (not verified)
Thank you!

Dear whoever the first replier is: you are a jerkface.To whoever actually filled this out: you are awesomeBiggest surprise: University of Rochester - Came in here thinking it was going to be a good practice interview and was not expecting much. Suprisingly, I was really impressed with how amazing the faculty was, the fact that we got to play on the robot as part of the interview, and was even more impressed by the amout of support and independance they give the residents for the research year. Biggest disappointment: MGH: Short white coats. This is the worst! Need I say more?Best food: Stanford provided 3 meals, so quantity wins in my mind. Although Johns Hopkins did provide a smoothie bar during the interview...Worst food: Beth Isreal did not have a dinner, and only provided breakfast. Whats up with that? Best organized: Wash U in st louis. continuious round robin of interviews? super slick and smoothly run day!Worst organized: Johns Hopkins. This was only because during the down time of waiting, the residents only talked to each other, and NEVER engaged the applicants awkwardly sitting there. Best interview: Madison, WI, interview with the chief resident -- I couldn't breathe becuase I was laughing so hard.  We talked about duck penises, and told jokes the entire time. Worst interview: I AGREE WITH THE GUY ABOVE!! I had the exact same question.  "If an apple costs 5 cents...and an orange costs 10 cents...how much should a pear cost?" Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment Best: Airport drinking!!!Worst: Not necessarily the worst, but most nerve racking feeling was meeting a re-applicant (a normal and cool guy) who had 15 interviews last year, and didnt match. AHHH

Anonymous (not verified)
Interview Season Notes

Biggest surprise: Duke. For some reason I hadn't heard any buzz about this program on the trail, but they really impressed me. Interview day was very well organized, with 15 back-to-back interviews. Kind of a "speed dating" format but it meant that you never had any boring down time in the conference room - you were always on the move, getting to know people. Dinner was also pretty good - a stand up pizza and beer thing, which normally I wouldn't like, but they had it in a private room at a restaurant so it wasn't too loud and it was very easy to mingle and get to know the residents, all of whom were friendly. It seems like their old reputation of being somewhat "malignant" is a thing of the past, as well. They have a new night float system (so you never have to take call), and although their daily workload is heavy, they have great weekend schedules and a rotation in Ashville with good hours. Operative volume also seemed to be pretty great. Their residents participated in the interview process (meaning that two of them actually interviewed candidates themselves), which I think is always a good sign for any program. All of the residents seemed friendly and happy - I didn't read anything negative "between the lines". Attendings were also quite friendly during interviews and seemed pretty supportive.Best food: Mass General took us out for sit-down meals not once but twice. Dinner beforehand at a pretty good meat/beer restaurant and lunch the day afterwards at a good Thai place. You could order whatever you wanted. Can't think of any other program on the trail that shelled out for two meals. Yale and Stanford also took applicants out to pretty nice restaurants for dinner the night before interviews. Vandy and Michigan both had nice dinners at the home of a faculty member. These are not my preference (I prefer getting to see the city and having time alone with the residents), but I'll still acknowledge them for having great food and friendly, welcoming attendings. NYU also had a pretty good beer/appetizers mixer with both residents and attendings. The attendings there in particular seemed genuinely cool and fun to be around. University of Washington also put on a good show with a buffet dinner and drinks at a cool bar in a very cool section of town.Best organized: I will say that in general, the best places did the following things: (1) Cancelled clinic and all OR cases for the day to focus on applicants, (2) Provided simple, easy to understand correspondence prior to the interview, focusing on the when/why/where, (3) Provided a copy of your personal interview schedule prior to the interview day, (4) Started the day no earlier than 8 AM (this is particularly important for the east coast schools, given the jet lag involved for west coast students to get there in the mornings), (5) Ended the interview day no later than 2 to 3 PM, so applicants could get to the airport as needed, (6) Provided time for every applicant to interview with both the chairman and the PD, (7) Had a few other interviews that were at least 20 minutes long each, so that applicants could feel like they had time to be heard, (8) Had residents conduct some interviews. The University of Washington stands out for having done a pretty good job on most of these points. Baylor stands out for having three separate interview stations manned by current upper level residents, all of whom were welcoming and friendly.Worst organized: Won't name any names, but there were a couple of schools in particular that really just didn't respect the applicants' time, money, and effort put into attending the interviews. One interview day stretched on to almost thirteen hours, and the department chair was too busy to interview applicants. There were a few places on the trail where the attendings didn't cancel their cases and clinics for interview day. This in my mind is always a bad sign, as it shows the applicants that they are not a #1 priority.

Biggest surprise: UNC.

Biggest surprise: UNC. Amazing robotics experience, great/friendly residents and faculty, really good QoL/call schedule, and was impressed by the raleigh durham area also.Biggest disappointment: Brigham.  Great setup with Brigham/BI/faulkner/VA, but couldn't shake the sense that the residents were worked to death without much additional benefit.Best food: Penn had the best dinner, amazing appetizers and cocktails. Best lunch was a tie between St. louis BBQ at WashU and sandwiches at BU. Bonus points to Penn and Rush for having a hot breakfast.Worst food: Nothing too bad, though I admit that by the end of the trail I was getting tired of dry panera bagels.Best organized: WashU. Everything ran like clockwork and we were done by lunch.Worst Organized: USC, Aka sit in a room for 12-14 hours to get called out one at a time for anywhere from 5-9 10 minute interviews, may or may not meet the chairman.Best interview: Wisconsin with Dr. Nakada. Very friendly and just felt really genuine about finding the right fit for applicants.Worst interview: UCLA. One of my interviewers spent most of the time critiquing my research project design and discussing how his techniques would have been so much better.Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment. Exploring the cities and grabbing drinks with fellow applicants, especially after that last interview.

Anonymous (not verified)
Interview Season

Biggest Surprise: Rush.  Great location, awesome residents, very nice faculty in all areas of Urology. They get a great operative experience.  Would have probably been in top 2 if they took 2 residents a year, which hopefully they will be starting next year. Biggest disappointment: Would say USC, but mainly due to the fact that it just wasn't the right fit for me. Nothing negative about the program, just don't think I would fit in at the program or in LABest food: Ohio St. for the dinner the night before, minus the fact the hospital as a whole (not just the Uro department) doesn't pay for alcohol. However, food was awesome. Kansas had the best lunch with the BBQWorst food: NYU for limited food at social event, but made up for it by open bar. Best organized: MCW, thought the day went very smoothly. I liked how we were split into 3 groups for interviews, tour of city, and tour of hospital. Was very efficientWorst organized: USC for sitting in the same room for countless hours. Though, the residents did warn us that the day was long and frustrating so at least we knew it was going to be long before it started. Best interview: Dr. Davis at MCW, easy conversation and she was very personable. Dr. Lerner at a couple of the Boston programs was also very easy to talk to. Best Interview Moment: Meeting all the other applicants and being able to spend time grabbing drinks, getting lunch, and hanging out in airports with awesome people. Worst Moment: Snow storms wrecking havoc on travel plans. Flight cancellations, missing connections, running through airports, etc.  

Anonymous (not verified)
Love this thread

Biggest surprise: utswbest food: yalebest organized: baylorworst organized: case westernbest interview: Vanderbilt 

Anonymous (not verified)
Biggest surprise: SIU. 

Biggest surprise: SIU.  You'll probably find this sentiment echoed on the board a few other times, but it's a bit of hidden gem.  They have a great group of residents and really care about resident education and using your valuable time wisely.  Tough to say how the program will change with McVary taking over for McKenna but I think it's on the up and up Biggest disappointment: Nothing major comes to mind Best food: The dinner before Ohio State was great.  I ate so much dessert I almost barfed in the bathroom.  They also had these awesome breakfast burritos the next morning. At least I think it was them?  Minnesota had a great lunch too.  Worst food: Rush.  No dinner the night before and lunch was at some dive bar in little Italy.  Best organized: I would agree with Wash U.  Very smooth, kept on time. Worst organized: God Case Western was a nightmare.  Interview with chair was with two other applicants!  So awkward.  Best interview: Bahnson at Colorado was awesome.  Got along well with the Ohio State guys too.  Worst interview: Baylor.  Just got grilled.  So much flop sweat. Best (or Worst) Overall Interview Season Moment: At the last interview seeing all the familiar faces, everyone finally dropping all the pretenses and just acting like normal human beings at the dinner the night before, drinking a few too many beers and not giving a shit about it.  Notable Applicant Stories (anonymous, of course): No magic man this year unfortunately.  Here's to next year!

Anonymous (not verified)
Biggest surprise: Iowa.  Got

Biggest surprise: Iowa.  Got a more collegial feeling from the residents and faculty than anywhere else.  Seemed to have an excellent operative experience and research year where they encourage an MPH or MBA if you want it. Biggest disappointment: Hopkins.  Interview day just felt weird, residents didn't seem to be a cohesive group and faculty seemed to have a high and mighty attitude. Maybe just not the place for me.Best food: UCLA.  Sit down lunch at Palomino is tought to beat.  Worst food: All the places that just served sandwiches and chips.  At least throw us some barbeque or italian food. Best organized: Duke.  Loved that since I was interviewing in the afternoon I didn't have to show up till 10 AM.  short tour, lunch, then interviews started - I liked the rapid fire with no breaks format. Worst organized: USC.  PD gives the intro that's scheduled for 8 AM at 1:30 PM.  Never saw the chair, tour was way too long, spent ~10 hours sitting in conference room with nothing to do and maybe 1 resident around to ask questions.Best interview: Pitt.  Nothing special about it, just felt everyone genuinely was interested in getting to know me beyond what was on paper. Worst interview: Dr. Freedland at Duke.  Mentioned above that the day was really well organized and most interviews were great. However, Dr. Freedland fell asleep 3 times while I was talking.  Maybe he was on call the night before or I just didn't have anything that interesting to talk about.Best: Had a great time meeting everyone, post interview beers especially.Worst: Without a doubt all the time wasted sitting around in airports.

Anonymous (not verified)
My take

Biggest surprise: Emory. Obviously a strong program but having heard very mixed things about it, was a little on the fence about going to the interview. Glad I did! The new chair and the PD have a really solid vision for the program and despite interviewing with a million faculty and the bell thing being weird, the day went smoothly and I felt like all my interviewers knew a lot about me. The residents were great and the faculty were very focused on the fit of the program and how they could support you and you specific goals if you went there, which I found to be kind of rare. Biggest disappointment: Northwestern. Residents were not cohesive at all and with a few notable exceptions took themselves way too seriously and were all some kind of mix of smug and awkward. Faculty were very stand-offish and made some actually mean comments to other applicants. So unprofessional. The hours of lecture the day before the dinner really set the tone.Best food: CCF. The swank dinner the night before was amazing and nothing I would be able to afford on my own! Clever set-up wth faculty attending for cocktail hour and then leaving before dinner so we could have alone time with the residents. Michigan, Utah, and Vanderbilt had dinner in homes of faculty with all very good food and I really appreciated the hospitality. It says a lot abut the program. However, personally I appreciate the chance to unwind a little more and interact with the residents more naturally without the faculty around. Worst food: Baylor. Nothing wrong just not into fried chicken for breakfast, personally. I'm sure others appreciated the hot food thoughBest organized: UW. Half day with dinner on the same day enabled a compact interview schedule with time to see the city. Many residents in the break room and all willing to talk. Didn't get to interview with everyone but everyone met with the chair and PD (both excellent interviews!) and I'm OK with that format to allow for a smoother day. Worst organized: Mayo. I really didn't appreciate any of the places that didn't have set schedules but Mayo seemed worse because not only were you randomly pulled out by a faculty member but you were pulled out by one who seemed bored and disinterested. Best interview: Iowa. Faculty and residents were both so easy to get along with it didn't seem like an interview at all. Very impressive group of individuals and extrememly laid back. A small note on Iowa though - they get one of their residents to casually tell you at the dinner that they're interested in you and this seemed like a sneaky way to make you believe it. I know for a fact they say the exact same thing to multiple candidates. I know most programs do that but it just seemed more deceptive to execute it this way. Still loved it Worst interview: Arizona PD. Spent the interview criticizing my career goals and telling me that I certainly couldn't achieve them at Arizona (no kidding) Waste of time and moneyBest: Seeing so many new cities, starting to recognize familiar facesWorst: That I am now completely broke