Transferring from the Caribbean: Preparing for the Interview

iserson.jpgThere are a lot of things you should do for your interview, and Iserson’s Getting into a Residency covers all of them. I bought this book a month before I anticipated any interviews and read it cover to cover in the first two days. I was left dumbstruck by this book. When speaking about special situations like being an FMG, his advice is that the most important thing you can do is transfer to a US medical school. That knocked me in the head. There is a chapter called “The Questions – The Answers” that lists over 300 questions that people have been asked in residency interviews, what these questions are trying to discover about the interviewee, and strategies for handling them. I sat down and typed out every single question, printed them out, and then spent the next week forming my best answers. He will teach you how to stand, how to sit, and how to pack your suitcase so that things do not wrinkle. What to wear, what never to say, and what to do before during and after the interview are all topics that are covered very well in this book. If you walk into this interview without a resource like this, you are making a mistake.Why am I recommending a book about getting into a Residency? As a transfer student, you are already in medical school and are expected to know a little more about the field, its problems, and your place in it. There is an assumption made that if you have the grades and the recommendations to transfer, then you must be a very serious and driven medical student. Serious, driven medical students know what they want and have researched how to get it. In this way, you are much like a residency applicant who knows what type of physician he wants to be, where he wants to live, and which program will help you achieve this.

After reading this book, doing the research that it outlines for each institution to which I was applying, and answering all of the questions, I was in a place where I could enter the interview confident that I had not forgotten anything and that I had prepared as well as I Possibly could have. The confidence that comes when you can stop worrying about these things is invaluable, and I highly recommend the book for this purpose.

carnegie1.jpgThe second book I recommend it Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. This book changed my life. The way I read people’s response to what I say, the way I understand what they are saying, and how I handle every situation has been informed and altered by this book. I can say with confidence that a great deal of the good that has happened to me in the last year has happened because of the way I handled situations after reading this book. During my interview day, I saw so many of the other students making mistakes (some of them crippling) that are outlined by Carnegie. There was also one applicant that I noticed because she was so expertly handling the same questions and situations that were killing the other applicants. After the day was over, I told her that out of the entire field, she had her best foot forward the entire time and that if anyone was going to get in based on their interview today, it would be her. She emailed me a week later with the good news that she had been offered a spot. Do yourself the favor of reading this book. There are almost 500 reviews at (avg 5 stars). Here is a review of the book and how it changed someone else’s life.


10 Responses to Transferring from the Caribbean: Preparing for the Interview

  1. amy says:

    thanks for your recommendation..I’m going to buy and read them right after my step 1 exam…thanks :)

  2. amy says:

    by the way, 2nd link leads me to the same page as the 1st one..’getting into a residency’

  3. Mark says:

    When did you first read Carnegie’s book? I’m curious if you incorporated his philosophies years ago… or if it was just within the last year that you started using his principles.

  4. Sarah says:

    Have you always had this “go get’em” attitude? I’ve always been envious of the people who not only have the attitude but actually go get them.

    Hope Drexel is going well for ya….

  5. p4a99 says:

    No new posts since July 7 :(
    Please come back. You have alot of fans.

  6. Whoa RWT, I come back from my blog hiatus and discover that you were doing the same. Hope things are going well for you over there. Merry Christmas and a Happy Noo Yer!

  7. Friend says:

    I’m big fan of Carnegie’s audio book, How to win friends and influence people.
    Great advice and can also recommend it to all.

    I didn’t have time to read the physical book yet but will soon…

    Enjoy the Caribbean and I hope you make lost of new friends there!

  8. stephanie says:

    i’m confused, did you ever actually transfer?

  9. Mo says:

    Thank you for the great advice. I am hoping you will be able to help me even further. I just received a letter from Drexel inviting me for an interview for transfer. That will be in about a week! Can you please give any advice based on the whole interview process and what I should expect and how I should prepare? Please I’m stressing out big time!!!

    • MP says:

      hey MO! did u also go to sgu and did you follow tophers advice in being succesful with getting a drexel interview? how did ur interview go ?

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