Interview season is finally over! I never thought I would tire of it, but after 19 interviews even my travel-loving patience wore thin. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to be able to bring my fiancé along to my last several interview destinations. This was helpful for a few reasons. First, traveling alone is always more nerve wracking than traveling with a partner. Two heads are better than one when it comes to negotiating delays, gate changes, and shuttle services. Plus, it’s nice to have someone to watch your luggage for a moment at the airport and to have a shoulder to nap on during long flights.
Beyond just the travel perks, having my fiancé attend pre-interview dinners and one actual interview day was helpful for the perspective he offered. He was able to assess the city as well as the happiness of the residents. He can now help me remember which hospital had a physicians’ lunch room and other details that have blended together in my mind since the interview day ended. Now, looking back on it, I wish he had been able to attend more interviews with me!
With all the interviews completed, it’s time to chew over the rank order list. We first started working on the list over dinner in Anchorage, Alaska. We wrote out all the programs and chose a program that we thought was firmly in the middle of the list. We then used that program to anchor the list, deciding if all subsequent programs were better or worse than the middle program. This quickly separated the list into two halves, with the top half meriting more careful consideration. The top five in particular needed a lot of discussion. We considered educational merit and opportunities, the pros and cons of the program locations, the feeling of “fit” that I had while I visited, and more minor factors like salary and vacation time. It felt really good to be able to sort out the list in only a few minutes and to feel like we had made so much progress towards determining the final list.
Of course, there is still more to consider before certifying my rank order list. We’ve tried different strategies like opening an envelope with a program’s name inside to see how we would feel about it on Match Day. We have a few more weeks to think about it before the list is due on February 24th so maybe we’ll try other tactics to clarify the top choice. If we find a really effective strategy, I’ll be sure to report back and share it!