June 2018--The application season is a time of stress for our medical students. Students spend significant time researching and applying to programs, and commit considerable financial resources to apply and interview at programs. Moreover, the Alliance has heard from students and faculty that the interview invitation process, as it stands, detracts from the educational experience of fourth year.
Many students are distracted on rounds and educational conferences, do not scrub in to the operating room, and are otherwise missing opportunities for valuable educational experiences that would better prepare them for internship in our programs. Anecdotes suggest that students are fearful that not responding immediately to an interview invitation may result in losing a spot to interview at a desired program.
As such, the Alliance strongly urges all programs to extend interview invitations in a manner that preserves and protects the educational value of the fourth year and allows students to fully participate in educational activities without the fear of missing interview invitations.
Options could include, but are not limited to:
- Extend interview invitations in the afternoon
- Clearly state in the invitation message that the student has up to 48 hours (or other similar time frames) to respond to the invitation without fear of losing an interview opportunity
- State in the invitation that the program, based on typical interview acceptance and cancellation rates, has the capacity to interview all who are invited, even if they are initially placed on a waitlist.
Clarification about Available Interview Slots
The guidelines urge programs to issue no more invitations than interview slots are available. However, students who are invited to interview are expected to accept any available interview slot, even if not at their preferred time or date.