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Fri, 2009-10-16 15:03
What are your chances of getting a swap? I have no idea!
Seems like as the interviews a piling up and peoples calendar and getting tight, it’s all the rage to try and swap a date. But what are chances at any success? I don’t think there are any past stats to go on but just as a guess I would say pretty slim. There are a few reasons why we all, including me, want a switch. To try and keep an interview with one place while interviewing at somewhere else on that date is probably the most common. Others might try and swap so they can work out a better travel plan, especially for those long distance interviews. The only thing I know of to compare is when students try to trade rotations during 3rd and 4th year of medical school. Not sure how it works or even if it happens at other schools but at mine things could get very interesting. Money, dinners even tickets to football games have all been used as bargaining chips. But it seems like most people on the forum want people to swap dates out of the kindness of their hearts. Unfortunately like anything in life, it’s gonna cost you. I think if people used more incentives for swaps we may have more transactions taking place, although I am not endorsing it. Now correct me if I am wrong but I bet there are very few with any success so far, unless the swap is a win-win for both parties.
I also think a call to the program to let them know you want to switch is a must, probably done already by most people wanting a swap but it still needs to be said.
I also am guessing that like me many of you are questioning your interview booking tactics right now. For me I think I should have tried to book more in December at the start of all this commotion. Seems like there is a log jam in November and I should have left those spots as the last to be filled. But of course in the heat of the moment, especially the first few, we are all just to egger to get the date booked.
Of course when you can’t swap that leaves you with some hard decisions to make. I know. Especially if the two programs are ones you really, really, want to interview at. But also if you cancel all of your less competitive interviews to go to all the big time competitive interviews then you end up in a not great situation either. You need balance, even if it hard to fight the feeling to go to only your top programs. I think you would have to be pretty confident in your stats, personality and luck to fill your whole interview season with only top programs. I envision that is the story behind some of the tales we all have heard about the applicants with Step 1 260 and all honors who failed to match.
For me I am asking more about the programs that are on my do-not-cut list and also taking a hard look in the mirror. Yeah it’s scary. But I think I have to resist the temptation to get to full of myself and think ever program I interview at will “rank me highly”. I know that as I get out on the trail that meeting all of you will give me a reality check for my own ego. Remember this is a competitive field with a lot of self-selection and the applicants are all good, so plan wisely.