July 26, 2022

The Interview Process

Video Transcript

- Hi, good evening, everyone. Welcome to our PEM Fellowship Webinar, part two, the interview process. My name is Sherita Holmes, I'm the program director here at Emory, and I'm very excited to meet with you guys virtually, and we have an awesome cadre of PDs and APDs joining us this evening. I'd like to, at this moment, introduce Josh Nagler. He is the program director at Boston Children's and is also the chair of the PEM section within the AAP. At this point I'd like to hand it over to Josh.

- All right, thank you, Sherita. I'll just start by welcoming everyone. This is a couple years we've been having these now, and I think they've been great. I'll just put in a plug to say, this is just this great collaboration between two great groups. One is the American Academy of Pediatrics, has a section on emergency medicine, and then within the other group that we're talking about is the American College of Emergency Physicians, also has a section on pediatric emergency medicine. And so those two organizations are coming together to work on this. And as Sherita said, there's a great panel of PDs and APDs to speak with you this evening. I'm gonna start by then transited property, introducing someone else who will launch us. So Tricia Swan is gonna be our moderator for tonight. Tricia's wonderful. She's an associate professor and the program director of Paeds Emergency Medicine Fellowship at the University of Florida at Gainesville. She finished her medical school training at the University of Oklahoma. She was a pediatric resident at the University of Florida in Jacksonville, and then she did her fellowship training at Children's Mercy in Kansas City. Her academic interests include innovation in medical education, in curriculum design and development. And she's done a lot of work related to the pre-hospital setting as we think about pediatric emergency medicine. She is currently the chair of the ACEP Pediatric Emergency Medicine section. Again, this collaboration being the benefit of that. The last thing I'll say is we like to think about ourselves, not only in terms of our work life, but there are things that we do outside of work as well. And so Tricia has a couple loves. One of them is spending time and snuggling with her kids. She grows vegetables in her garden. She takes care of honeybees, and much to my dismay she's also a big Steelers fan and likes to cheer for the Steelers. So welcome to everyone. And thank you, Tricia for leading us in this evening's webinar.

- Absolutely, thank you, Josh. Yes, so I actually blurred out my background because it's a bunch of Steeler stuff back there. So I thought that, you know, I probably should for a national webinar I'll just keep it, I'll keep the Steelers out of it. So, I have the great opportunity to introduce all of our wonderful panelists and I am so excited. These are always a lot of fun. And for all the attendees that are joining us, we really try to select different panelists for each webinar that represent programs from across the United States. And we want big programs and little programs and medium size programs represented, because we think that all of these program directors and associate program directors bring a vast insight into what you can expect with interviewing processes and applying for fellowship. So we're very excited to welcome everybody. So I'm gonna start off and introduce everybody. So, I'm gonna start off with Dr. Kane. He is the associate fellowship director at the medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. And he completed his PEM fellowship at Vanderbilt and actually worked at Colorado Children's Hospital before going to MUSC, and currently he's the coordinator for the resident and medical student education in the pediatric emergency medicine department. And then we have Dr. Little down there. I see you. She is the PEM fellowship director at Baylor College of medicine, Texas Children's Hospital. And she actually told me as we were logging in that she is a long time Houston eye, and she did all of her training in Houston at Baylor. And really cool, she actually has dual appointments in Baylor College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Education, Innovation, and Technology. And her academic interest include curriculum development, e-learning and innovation in medical education. And Dr. Magill, she is the program director for the Pediatric Emergency Fellowship at Atrium Health, Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her research interests include pre-hospital treatment of pediatric asthma and the use of ultrasound in pediatric emergency medicine, which is amazing, 'cause that's a really great emerging field with PEM. So I was glad to see that in your bio. She has collaborated on several papers, focused on pre-hospital assessment and management of pediatric pain from traumatic injuries, an evaluation of food insecurity and resource use in the pediatric emergency department population. And screening ED patients for adverse childhood events and exposure to violence. She enjoys teaching all learners, from medical students straight through the fellows. And she is actually one of the teachers for the PEM procedures course at ACEP and faculty on the difficult airway course. That's a great course, so that's really cool. And then finally we have Dr. Seaton. She is the program director at Children's Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I love her bio 'cause she says, she's an accidental Midwesterner. She grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Bates College in Maine. And then she returned to Pennsylvania to complete her medical training at Penn State University College of Medicine. She then did a residency in pediatrics at Yale New Haven Hospital and then moved to Minneapolis to start her fellowship at Children's Minnesota. She said she had every intention of moving back to the East Coast, but she stayed on in Minnesota and now has the privilege of being the program director where she actually once trained. And when she is not at work, she and her partner, Jonathan enjoy being outdoors in the summers, running and biking at the lakes and then spending the rest of their time griping about the winter, right? She even included a fun fact that she once had lunch in a castle with the president of Finland. So that's pretty cool. So, I'm gonna start us off and actually what I'm gonna do, you guys are welcome to submit, all the attendees are welcome to start submitting your questions into the Q&A part. And we're going to answer some of your questions with the panelists and then Dr. Nagler and Dr. Holmes are going to also type in answers to questions if we don't have time to get them. So you will see answers to both sides. Like we're gonna talk about it if we can get to it. And then also they'll be typing in the chat box back to you. So, I'm gonna start off and actually gonna ask each one of you to take a turn answering this question, because I think one of the biggest questions from our prior webinar was about virtual interviews. So, now we have some guidance and we know that we are going to be virtual this year, is been decided amongst the programs and everybody it will be virtual. So, I'd like for each one of you to tell us a little bit about how the virtual experience has been for your programs in the past two years and what your experience going forward is going to look like for interviewees and kind of talk about your process in the virtual realm. So, Dr. Kane, do you wanna start out?

- Sure. All right, thanks for having me here. Yeah, so our virtual, we're gonna be virtual obviously this year again, and I think certainly it's been an iterative process and something that has gotten better each year. And so, we have less and less, I think, angst on the program director side. As the years go by we figure out the technology and I think, you know, and I hope the, you know, the applicants feel the same way, but I feel like we still feel like we get the gist of a person. We get the gist of an applicant in a similar way that we did when we were doing this in-person. And so while I think there was a lot of concern initially, I think, you know, making the decision to do virtual this year was even easier than last year, which was even easier than the year before. I think it's just gotten to the point where we're all so much more used to doing this in a lot of different settings. And so having the technical piece more or less figured out has really taken a lot of the worry away. And so I think just from the applicant side, I hope they share that this is not really a scary thing. And because we're all in the same, you know, basically level playing field now in terms of how to deal with this, that I think it's worked out pretty well. And I think better than we probably expected when this whole thing started.

- Dr. Magill, how's your experience in the last two years been?

- It's honestly been great. You know, just as Dr. Kane said, there was a lot of angst at the very beginning. And even last year when we were going through kind of the second round of virtual interviews, there was a lot of angst that was surrounding, you know, how do we show up our programs? How do we get to know people super well. But I think as we have moved into the era of feeling comfortable with communicating through video chat, that, you know, I agree, I think that we're able to get to know people a little bit better. You know, one thing that I think is much more difficult from the applicant perspective is when you're interviewing at these different programs, how do you get a true feel for the program? And I think that you can get a feel of people by the people who interview you, but, you know, I think that the onus is on us as the program to be able to give you more of a flavor of the program, you know, be able to do an adequate virtual tour to show you what the facilities are like, where you're gonna be practicing. And also to let you know a little bit about the city that you'll be living in when you come to practice. And so, you know, that's how I think that the virtual interview environment has changed a little bit. But I also do very much like the fact that candidates are able to interview at a place across, you know, across the country without actually having to go through the stressful expense of traveling to that place. So I definitely think that there are some pluses and minuses, I think overall it has allowed for a lot of flexibility. And I also am very happy to see that we have an increased overall in the number of applicants who have been able to apply to programs because it is easier to interview at, you know, a higher number of programs. So very much have enjoyed that.

- And Dr. Little, let's hear from you, your experiences? I love to hear all of these ideas. I agree totally.

- Yeah, I would echo what has already been said that we went into it the first year with a lot of angst, but it has become easier every year. We try to take the stress off of the applicant by using breakout rooms versus providing them with individual leaks to minimize any concerns that they may have with tech issues. Also providing backup plans, if you should lose connection and really just kind of trying to put them at ease as far as this is not what we want you to stress about, right? And so providing options for our applicants. I agree with, you know, continuing to, how do we best showcase our program virtually? And we've had thoughts of adding a couple of social events with fellows this year for all of the applicants and having a couple of options for them to join in virtually as well, but just to get a feel for the community and how our fellows interact together as well.

- And Dr. Seaton?

- I would like to say for those of us who are technologically challenged like myself, the first two years of doing virtual interviews was very stressful. I had not had all that much experience with Zoom. And then we switched from Zoom to Teams after the first year, which posed some additional challenges. So, I am looking forward to this year, maybe having worked out some of those technological kinks. We certainly have had some disruptions both on our end and the applicant's, and we certainly don't wanna penalize anyone for that. We want, I agree, we want everyone to feel comfortable. And we know that, I mean, the applicants are probably using multiple different platforms for each interview. So certainly anytime you're not comfortable or have questions we wanna hear about those, so.

- So, I'm gonna move on to another question, and I think let's start off with Dr. Magill and Dr. Little. I'll ask you these question, but if anybody else wants to jump in and answer, feel free. So, tell me when you are, what do you look for in a candidate that you are choosing to interview?

- That's a great question, and it's one that I get asked very frequently on interviews. But somebody who is interviewing, who's gonna be successful at our program, that the things that I like to see, number one, are they a good person? Is it somebody who, you know, is just, you know, a good person all around, somebody who is dedicated and driven, somebody who's going to make good decisions for their patients? Somebody who is motivated by the right things? You know, that's the most important thing. That actually I kind of stole from my department chair when I interviewed at my, you know, at the Carolinas. As you said, the first thing I wanna know is that you're a good person. So I just assumed that about all candidates, about all applicants who come through, but it is important. And I think it's worthwhile to be said, is that, you know, we want people who are going to move forward our specialty in a very good way and be able to be great advocates for children in the emergency department. The other things that I think make a successful candidate at our program and the things that I look for is somebody who's going to be self-motivated and driven, somebody who has a very curious mindset, who wants to know more, who wants to learn more and who's going to be dedicated at their own education and functions well in an adult learning model. And then somebody who you know, is going to be very much a team player. When you're working in our emergency department, it is all hands on deck. It is really everybody needs to be able to function well together. We are not sticklers about the hierarchy of the emergency department. We just wanna make sure that every child is getting taken care of in the best way possible. And so to be able to function well with our team, you really have to function well with everybody and to not say, "Well, I'm the doctor and I told you so." I want somebody who's going to really collaborate with the nurses, with our child left specialists, with all of the different consultants who we have come, you know, who help us in the emergency department. You know, somebody who's going to be respectful of everybody, but also again, just to be an advocate for children. But people who are gonna be successful in fellowship, you know, really just wanna make sure that they are dedicated, that they recognize the amount of work that they need to put in to be successful in fellowship. Because it is a lot of work. It's not just a super residency, but it also creates a wonderful platform for you to be an advocate for children after you graduate from fellowship. And it's totally worth it in the end.

- Thank you. And Dr. Little, what in your mind it makes a good applicant? What do you look for in a candidate?

- Yeah, I agree. I think in that interview we're really trying to assess the person and are they a good person? Are they a good fit for our program as well? Do we have the mentorship that we can provide to them? Are they bringing something unique and different to our program that we feel like would, you know, lead to advocacy for our children and our patients? But we're, you know, you're looking at work ethic and communication with others, how you work with the team. And so those are the characteristics that you're looking for in a fellow that's gonna be successful in the program as well too.

- Love it. So, Dr. Kane and Dr. Seaton, I'm gonna ask this one from, this is coming now from our audience. We've finally got some questions filtering through. So one of our participants has a question. She says, or they say, "I'm a pediatric resident who is going through the fellowship match with a partner who is applying for fellowship in a different field. As opposed to residency applications where couples matching is a possibility, how do you recommend navigating this in the fellowship/interview application process?" So, sounds like she's got a partner applying for fellowship in a totally different field. So how do you recommend that they approach that with programs? I'll let you go first, Dr. Kane.

- Sure. So, I mean, I think what I would say is you just have to be transparent about it and reach out to both of your program director and your partner's program director. Just let them know the situation. I mean, I think that we all understand that and medicine there's a lot of folks that are, you know, medicine type couples and we get that situation. And it's a little tough because there's not a couple match obviously for fellowship, but at least at a place like MUSC, it's relatively small. There's a good chance that the PD probably knows the PD on the other side and they could at least discuss it, at least be on their radar. And then I think beyond that, you can, you know, see how, you know, the interview goes and hopefully get a sense. I mean, they're not gonna be able to give you an answer to that, but I think that's probably the best you can do in that kind of situation.

- And Dr. Seaton?

- I agree, this is a really complicated problem. One of the things I think in addition to just being transparent about it would be to actually look at your options for different cities. Because for example, in Minneapolis, St. Paul we have a huge variety of medical training programs across a number of different hospitals. And so there might be additional opportunities where there's multiple institutions. And so finding a place where you could work together, even if it wasn't at the exact same institution might be so targeting sort of an area or a city, rather than a specific program. But then also letting us know so we can reach out and communicate to other people. I certainly know a lot of people across the graduate medical education throughout the Twin Cities, whether they're through my hospital or any of the other ones, we often have meetings and get to know each other. So, that can be really helpful as well.

- That's excellent advice not to just pigeonhole for one institution, but look at geographic areas that have multiple training institutions. And so we have another question about, oh, this is a good one. So when are, and we had a lot of chat going on about this. "When are programs planning on interviewing applicants now that the season was shortened to two weeks?" And I'll actually, I think all four of you, we'd love to hear from all four of you about when you're planning on doing your interviewing season, 'cause I think that'll be helpful. So we'll just start and we'll start with Dr. Kane and I'll work my way around. When are you guys planning on doing, conducting your interview season?

- Sure, we're gonna do, start in the last Monday in August and essentially each Monday after that for eight weeks, that will, we're planning on doing four interviews per day, interviewing about 32 for three spots. And so that'll take us, you know, just, you know, into beginning October, I guess.

- Okay, Dr. Magill, when is your interview season gonna be held?

- So, we're gonna be starting in mid-September and going through the end of October. We also will be, so we typically will interview four to five candidates per day and we have a total of eight interview sessions. And we typically will interview on Wednesdays and Thursdays, kind of scattered throughout that time.

- Dr. Little?

- Yes, we also start mid-September through the end of October. We will have six interview days and interview six applicants each of those days. And we usually do Monday and Friday as well. That was a kind of carryover from the in-person days when it gave people an opportunity to visit for the weekend. But so that just made me realize that's something we might build to change later.

- Dr. Seaton, when are you guys doing interviews?

- We start our interviews on September 14th, and then all of our interviews are on Wednesday and we go through the end of October, and we also do about four candidates a day.

- Okay, so sounds like very similar interviewing patterns. It is a much shorter interview timeframe this time around, but I think we'll be able to fit everybody in. Okay, well, let me ask, so Dr. Little, one of our participants wants to know about how to, what does a fellowship interview day look like? Is it a full day, a half day? And how many interviews does each applicant go through at your program?

- Yes, I definitely think this is probably different for every program. We are a full day because we are interviewing six applicants a day. We try to not start it at the earliest time, but we start at 9:00 a.m. and end about 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. We're fortunate that we are in the middle. And so we don't have as huge of a time difference between applicants and our situation. But we're just trying to keep in mind that people aren't having to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to join us for interviews. We do five interviews at our program, three program directors and two of our chiefs as well.

- Dr. Magill, what does the interview day look like at your program?

- Sure, so the past couple of years it has still been a full day of interviews, but really where we try to condense the interviews is in the morning. So like I said, we interview four to five people per day and you're going to meet five different attendings when we do the interviews. Sometimes we'll also have one of our senior fellows be an interviewer, but we really do try to keep the fellow time to more of like the social time. We have our fellows have lunchtime sessions with the applicants for the day. And then they come back to talk with me at the end of the day to ask questions and kind of go through some additional information, I have a little presentation that we do. So it ends up ending around 2:00 p.m. or so. We typically will start at eight o'clock in the morning. I do recognize on the East Coast that that would be super early for people who are on the West Coast. And so, you know, one of the things that we had talked about as a program is to have one interview day for those who are in, you know, on the Mountain Time. There was a specific time to start a little bit later to accommodate those candidates, depending on how many we have who would like to interview in our program. So, but we that's a, I'm also looking at ways to keep it. Oh, sorry, go ahead.

- I was gonna say, that's a really good idea about the trying to manage the different time zone schedules, 'cause that has come up a lot. So it's an interesting point that you make.

- It's definitely has been something that's the topic of debate, you know. When we've had candidates in the past who have been on the West Coast, I think to them it seems like the interview date is more important as opposed to the time and they just really enjoy their coffee first thing in the morning as well. So, and that's something I would highly recommend for everybody who's interviewing is just coffee is, coffee is your friend, that's a good thing. So yeah, we're also trying to figure out ways to make the interview be more efficient. I.e. giving more of the resources in electronic format to the candidates to review asynchronously. So that's something that we're kind of looking at as well.

- Dr. Seaton, what does the interview day look like in your program? Is it a full day or a half day?

- We also have the advantage of being kind of in the middle of the country. So we start our interview day at 10:00 a.m. Central Time. And then we usually go till I think about 3:00 p.m. So, it's a good portion of the day and what time that falls depends on what coast you're on, I suppose. We do sort of an opening where we give an overview of the program and show a little video and tour. Then we do our interviews and then we have a little bit of time at the end of the day with our medical director and our fellows and a brief wrap up. So, I think it moves pretty quickly and we do offer a break, a short break in the middle of the day, so everyone can have a snack or a lunch and get some more coffee. I usually need a second cup by then, so.

- Dr. Kane, how does the interview day look at your program?

- Yeah, we go about 08:30 to noon. We'll start out again, like Kara said, myself, the program director, and one of our fellows will sort of give a spiel. We'll go through some just nuts and bolts of the program. Although we do try to give a lot of the stuff ahead of time and hope that the applicants look at it beforehand. Then we do four faculty interviews and then have a little break. And then they'll interview with, all the applicants will individually meet with myself and the program director, and the ones that aren't interviewing with us we sort of meet. And this is a change from last year. We're actually, last year we sort of had these breakout rooms with multiple applicants with all the fellows. And we found that actually that sort of was, you know, some fellows were more talkative, or some applicants were more talkative than others and sort of talked over. And so what we have now set up is that we'll have actually two fellows with just one applicant, just so they can get a better sense of talking to the fellows almost in a one-on-one situation where they're not also in a Zoom room with another applicant who they don't know, but yeah, that's it. And then we wrap up right around lunchtime.

- Awesome, okay. Well, we have another question. So, I'm gonna ask Dr. Little and Dr. Seaton, "If you do not hear from a program, is it viewed negatively if you email the program director?" If you are not, if they're not hearing back about an interview, do you guys view it negatively if they try to reach out to you? Dr. Little, I'll let you start there.

- No, I don't think we view this negatively at all. And I think we try to respond neutrally, but at the same time we'd love to hear from you, especially if there is a reason that you need to be in this city, 'cause you know, we of course are wanting to make sure we are considering everybody that is interested in the program.

- Dr. Seaton, how do you feel about that?

- I agree, I think it never hurts to reach out to us. I wouldn't view it as negative. You may, you know, it's a very busy time for us. So you may get sort of a more formal, this is our timeframe, you know, for responding email, but certainly us knowing why you're interested in our program or our city is not a negative thing to me.

- Awesome. So Dr. Kane and Dr. Magill have one, this is actually a great question. So I was wondering if this question was going to come up. "Will applicants be allowed to come for an in-person tour of the area? I understand it may or may not positively or negatively impact our interview rank/position?" So, will you guys talk a little bit about allowing for in-person interviews or, well, I guess not really interviews, but in-person tours of the area or the hospital? Dr. Kane, do you wanna start out?

- Sure, this is a sticky question. Actually, we met with Josh and sort of the program director group and it was difficult to come to a clean consensus on the best way to handle this. I think it has to do with your program and your geography, and the city and a lot of other factors. And so I don't think we actually came to a consensus, and Josh, please jump in and stomp on me if I'm saying, if I'm talking out of turn, but I think we're not encouraging it. We, in Charleston, obviously a lot of people are down there anyway for vacations and things like that, or they wanna see the city. And so what we've tried to do is if someone reaches out and they're gonna be in town, they wanna see the place. Then what we would try to do is set you up with one of our third year fellows who could just show you around. You wouldn't meet myself or the program director. And our third year fellows really don't participate as much in the choosing of the applicants. We sort of use, we sort of take the first and second year fellows and they help choose the next crowd of, you know, future fellows. And so we tried to as much as possible divorce, you know, the people meeting you with the ones who are making the decision. That's not always probably possible, but we, you know, don't feel like, you know, we'd feel bad like turning people away if they're gonna come walk around our hospital. And there's not enough bandwidth from our GME side to completely use people that are unaffiliated with our fellowship program. So that's kind of where we're at. It's certainly not something we're encouraging. We're not gonna deny it. And it's certainly not going to be anything that we're trying to make a hard line and say, "This is not going to move you up on the list or anything." But if you want to see it, your spouse wants to see the city, we understand that. And so, we are not going to stop you.

- Dr. Magill?

- Yeah, I think we're very similar. I think, you know, just so that, you know, you as applicants kind of know, there's a lot of talk about this behind the scenes and what we want to do is make sure that things are as fair as possible. And also, there are some programs that are very highly regulated by their graduate medical education superiors. And so there are some GMEs that are drawing a hard line and not allowing for any on-campus experiences. Our GME is allowing it, but our CIO is having to work with each of the program directors to make sure that, you know, if they are allowing for people to come on campus, you know, what are the regulations surrounding that to make sure that it's as fair as possible to all applicants? You know, certainly I think, you know, we haven't had anybody specifically reach out to ask me quite yet, but when that question does come, I think it does make sense to have one of our senior level fellows, you know, be kind of the liaison for the program and to be able to kind of talk about the city, you know, give it to us the hospital, kind of sit down and answer questions to make sure that, you know, you get as good of an experience as possible. You get to see the place where you'll be working. You know, our fellows are a very social group and I'm sure that they would all, you know, love to hang out with you and make sure that you feel welcome if that comes to play. But, you know, I think from the perspective of making sure things are as fair as possible, you know, that's why we as program directors may not be able to actually meet up with you, depending on what the regulations are and you know, what we've decided as a program directors group. We do wanna make things as fair as possible, but of course, you know, if you happen to be in a city, I agree it does make sense to be able to look around and see where you potentially would be practicing for the next two to three years.

- Yeah, I agree. I think as a PD group our goal is to make it as fair and as equitable, you know, as an application and interview process across the board. So I do think we all have that in mind when we're, you know, interacting with our applicants. So thank you for shedding some light on that. 'Cause I'm glad somebody asked, 'cause I thought that was gonna be a really important question. So, I have another question and I tell you what, are any of you guys, you guys are all from pediatric backgrounds. Is that correct? Is anybody from an emergency medicine background? Well, this one let's start, let's let Dr. Kane and Dr. Seaton speak to this then. "Do you have any specific recommendations for applicants coming from an emergency medicine background, applying for PEM fellowship? Any advice for being prepared and positioning myself as a good applicant?"

- I guess I'll start. I think the number one thing coming from the EM side is to really give us a clear idea of why. Because you can do, you can see kids, you can make a good salary. You can do a lot of this without a PEM-specific fellowship. And so really kind of, you know, laying out for us, what is your future goal? Are you gonna be envisioning, you know, working half and half, do you really wanna be a PEM academic, or you wanna be just someone who's a really great community EM doc, who has that PCR training and all of those are fine answers. But I think we always, again, from the ped side look over at the EM applicants, and we we've taken them and they're great, but just wanna, I think specifically, wanna know why do this when you already are technically trained to do, to see kids?

- Dr. Seaton?

- I was actually gonna say a very similar answer. We actually have, we have one emergency medicine trained resident in our program currently. We've had a number in the past and we absolutely love them. It's great to have both emergency medicine and paeds trained resident or fellows in the program, because they do have such diverse backgrounds and such diverse skill sets. But I think our EM trained fellows have a lot more experience with some of the procedures and can be really great teachers, where our paeds trained fellows really can teach a lot more about interacting with kids, and it can be a really nice balance and a really nice dynamic, but I agree we really wanna know what your motivation is and what your plans are for the future and how we can help you achieve that.

- Absolutely. Dr. Magill and Dr. Little, I have a, this is a good question. "What are some major red flags during interviews?" Is there anything that you guys can think of that kind of stand out as red flags that you don't want to see applicants doing or saying? Dr. Magill?

- Yeah, that's a, that is a very good question. And it's kind of hard to say, but I mean, I think things that would stand out would be, you know, as much as we do want to, you know, learn about you as an applicant, you know, the interview process should be, you know, a conversation. And so, you know, I think in an interview and in an interview being able to give the right amount of information for an answer, but not, you know, taking up the whole time with an answer is very important because when the, you know, when the people who are interviewing you, they have kind of not necessarily a set list of questions to ask, but they wanna get to know you fully as a person. It's all of the time that's going to be spent on one question, then they don't really get an adequate picture of who you as a person, as a candidate, as somebody who potentially would be a good fit for our program. And so I think, you know, maybe even asking how much time are you going to have with each interviewer so that, you know, kind of how to appropriately time your responses to questions is gonna be very important. I think sometimes it's a turnoff that the candidate, you know, gives one answer the entire time and then doesn't allow for, you know, for other answers. Of course the interviewer is not going to interrupt you. They do wanna find out about you as much as possible. And the other thing that I think is a little bit of a red flag. If somebody doesn't know very much about the program when I ask them, you know, "What is it that makes you interested in our program?" And somebody says, "Well, you're in Charlotte and I love the city of Charlotte, so that's why I wanna be at your program." You know, being in fellowship is like I said, it's a lot of work. It requires a lot of dedication and we wanna make sure that you're happy at the program, of course, and that, you know, we want you to be happy in the city where you're living, but I think it's very important to know the program that you're getting into and making sure that the program itself is a really good fit. And being able to direct your questions and being able to answer your questions, to know, you know, what type of program you're getting into. Just because different programs have different strengths that they offer. And each of the programs wants to know that you have done your due diligence and looked into the program enough to know that this is already a good fit for program for you. I think that that's something else that's important.

- Dr. Little, are there any major red flags for you when they're doing their interviews?

- I think it's important to stay positive on anything that you're talking about. So avoid being negative, even if it's about another specialty. So always kind of spinning your answers so that you are not kind of speaking poorly about anybody that you have worked with before. 'Cause I think that does show up as a red flag for me. And then I agree with what Dr. Magill said as her second statement, showing that you are interested in the program that you are interviewing at, especially in this virtual world. Having questions that you wanna ask that you've done, you're showing that you've done your research about the program is very important as well. 'Cause we are all trying to tease out, you know, who's really interested in coming with us in this virtual time.

- Yeah, thank you for the insight into that. Dr. Seaton and Dr. Kane, tell me, somebody is asking a question, "How important is the medical school transcript and the MSPE letter compared to other parts of the application when considering offering an interview?" How do you view the parts of the application? Is there something that's more important, or you have a way to you look at your applications? And Dr. Seaton, do you wanna start off with that, answering that?

- Sure, I definitely look at the medical school transcript or the MSPE. I guess my primary motivation for that is it does give me a little bit more of a sense of how hard a worker you are, but also if there are any major red flags in your educational background. I don't think that's the most important part, but I do like to consider the application as a whole, rather I don't necessarily have one piece that I would say is the most important for any one application. I really think the personal statement, if you're gonna focus hard, probably tells me the most about your motivation and who you are as a person. And especially as a person now entering fellowship, rather than who you were a few years ago. So, I don't think you should be alarmed if there are any major red flags in your medical school transcript or your MSPE, it's probably a good idea to let us know about them ahead of time.

- Do you recommend that they speak to those things within a personal statement or reaching out to a program director directly if there's something in the application? What is your recommendation for that?

- I think there's a number of options. Certainly one option is to address it in the personal statement. If you don't want to be quite that transparent about it, another thing would be to bring it up in your actual interview day if you are to get one, or just send an email directly to the program director. I think they're all options. And it probably depends a little bit on what the situation is.

- Absolutely. Dr. Kane, how do you guys look through your interview? You know, when you're looking through the applications, what stands out or do you weigh anything more over, less as part of the applications?

- Sure, I'll second what Kara said, I do not focus on the MSPE or the med school transcript. That might be something that we comb through among those we've selected for interview, if we're really trying to, you know, get down to the nitty gritty. But when I'm making my first sort of, you know, look through I'll scan the scores real quick, and then I'll go straight to the personal statement and then I'll look through the letters of recommendation, especially if I happen to know anyone who wrote it. And then it'll just kind of look geographically, like where you coming from, do you have any connections to this area? And then I'll go through your CV. And when I look through the CV, I'm really not so much looking for length. I'm really looking for trying to find a passion of what you've done. So if you, I would much rather see you start and struggle through your own project that gets published in a very low tier journal, then have your name attached to a bunch of great things as like the eighth author. So that's sort of what I'm looking for is passion and hopefully some direction in terms of, can I look at your CV and see what you're interested in? Is it global health? Is it ultrasound? Is that disaster? Is there some sort of common thread, or are you just kind of floating and getting a little bit of this and that? It's not disqualifying or anything, but I think that both in the personal statement and in the CV, I think stuff that stands out gets our attention. And so I'm all for transparency in the personal statement. For good or bad, if there's something really interesting about you or your past history, I would love to hear about that because you know, dealing with, you know, over a 100 applications, there's a lot of repetitive stuff. And so if you have something that really is different, then don't be afraid to put that. Even if you're, you know, it just doesn't seem like could be that neat, but it it pays to stand out both in the CV and the personal statement.

- Absolutely, that's great things to highlight too. Like find your passion and let others know about it. So let's, Dr. Magill and Dr. Seaton, I'll ask you the next questions. "Since there's a delay for ERAS to release letters of recommendation, would you recommend applicants email each program to let them know once all of their letters are available? Also, most programs are asking for three letters. Is there any harm in asking for a fourth letter, or submitting a fourth letter?" Dr. Magill and Dr. Seaton, do you wanna answer that?

- You can go first.

- So I, if you have four wonderful people that are able to speak to your strengths, that's not a problem for me. I'll read however many letters are submitted. You don't necessarily have to reach out to us. We will know if your application is complete or not. And when we are getting down to the wire and making decisions, if your application is not complete at that point, I will usually reach out, or we'll have our coordinator reach out to you through ERS to let you know that. If you know there's gonna be a significant delay, it's fine to let us know.

- Yeah, I would agree. I would say, as far as the letters go, however many letters you feel like it takes to be able to describe you as a person and, you know, to describe your previous accomplishments through residency, I would much rather have you have three really strong letters from people who know you well, who are able to describe what your strengths and passions are, rather than four, you know, bland run of no letters, if that helps at all. But certainly having an extra letter is not frowned upon by any means, you know, if it gives additional information or gives a different perspective on you, certainly that's welcome. And, you know, and I agree, our program will know when your application file is complete. Our program COO coordinator does go back to make sure that we, you know, we keep track of what has been downloaded and what is not available. And so she will go back typically on a weekly basis to see what additional information is available for each of the candidates. And also if there are, you know, new applications that go through the system, because there are some people who do have their applications that are submitted a little bit later. And so we wanna make sure that we're giving everybody their, you know, their due diligence and looking for that. So, you know, I would not necessarily say that you needed to spend your time emailing all of the program directors to let them know that your application is complete. Now, if you got to the point where you were not hearing somebody, kind of going back to the previous question, and if you are not hearing from a program that you were extremely interested in, that would be a good impetus to message the program director and let them know of your interest. But other than that you don't necessarily need to email all of us about that.

- So we are getting close to time. So I'm gonna ask one final question. Dr. Kane and Dr. Little, if you want to take this last question. We will start to wrap up 'cause I want to be respective. And I know that we have our fellows logging on, to give them an opportunity to talk with the attendees. So last question, Dr. Kane and Dr. Little. One of the attendees would like to know, "When should we anticipate to receive interview offers? Over the next two weeks, or throughout the entire interview season? And also, are interview offers similar to residency interview offers where you need to stop what you're doing immediately to get an interview spot, or can we finish our shift before responding?" Dr. Kane, I'll let you start.

- Sure, so we may be on a little bit, you know, on the front end in terms of scheduling stuff. So we're gonna probably send out invites in the next couple of weeks, probably two weeks. We try to send most of them all out together. That will, so we have 32 spots. So we'll probably send out 30 of those. And so, and we'll say, we'll hold back one or two, just in case we have someone who needs a letter submitted, or if there's some other, something else that's outside the applicant's control that they just don't have their application finished or something like that. So we try to send most of them out all at once, and you're not in danger of losing your spot, but responding quickly is gonna be the best way to schedule the time you want. So I will say in the past, it's they go very quickly in terms of picking the day you want. And so you don't have to worry, you're not gonna miss a slot, but you're gonna be stuck with whatever's left, unless you respond quickly. So I don't, unfortunately it seems like the fairest way just to kind of send them out mid-morning lunchtime when everyone is, you know, woken up and just kind of see who gets back to us most quickly to schedule you in on one of our dates.

- Dr. Little, how do you respond to that question?

- Yeah, we go several times through our application. So we do send out interviews throughout the really interview season. We'll probably start in the next one or two weeks and then continue to send out interviews, at least even through when we start interviewing. And I agree with the fact that we don't send out an interview if we don't have a spot for you, but at the same time as they go out, the dates get filled. And so if you want a specific date, the faster you respond the better, but we will have an interview spot for you.

- Thank you so much for all of you. So, I wanna wrap up by saying a few things. One, at the end of this webinar, for every, all the attendees, we are, actually the program directors are all gonna log off and we have some fellows who are currently logging on who are going to stay on to answer your questions so that we actually offer part of this webinar for you to ask questions directly to fellows. And they are all currently logging in. But I do wanna say a big thank you to the AAP section on emergency medicine for co-sponsoring the event with us. I think that this is very helpful. I think that our panelists, thank you so much for joining us, because I think that being able to talk through some of these questions really offers some reassurance about the interview process and kind of getting an idea about how program directors across the country feel about some of these questions is very helpful for the applicants coming up on this interview season. So, I wanna, you guys provided excellent insights, so thank you all to all of our panelists that joined us. I wanna especially thank Sherita Holmes. Dr. Holmes really took effort in organizing this and collecting everybody together and making this happen. So thank you Sherita and thank you, Josh, for joining us and answering the questions. We really couldn't do it with all the people in the background making it happen. Stephanie Wauson is our section liaison for ACEP. So she has done a lot of the organizing, and Raoul joins us to help navigate all of the technical issues that arise. So it takes a lot of people to make this work, and it was fun and it's fast paced and it really is a great opportunity for us to kind of join together and highlight why pediatric emergency medicine is really an awesome career. So very fun. And I actually, let me just take a quick minute, 'cause I'm gonna introduce the fellows who are logging in. We have Kathleen Waters is coming in, Missy Lollidge. Did I say that right, is coming in, and I see JC Gonzalez is on. So what's gonna happen now is all of the panelists and myself and Stephanie is gonna stay on with you and the fellows are gonna stay on, and we're all gonna log off. And the attendees can ask you questions directly, and feel free to answer candidly. We will not record. Although it says recording, this will not be processed in anything that is going to be available. It will be edited out. So you guys are, I'm gonna turn it all off. The panelists are gonna say goodbye. We're gonna log out and let you guys take over. Thank you so much for joining us, everyone.

[ Feedback → ]
LIVE CHAT