Friday, April 8, 2016

Dr. Thinker: Contacting the programs after Sep 15th

1.      Can you contact the programs to review your application? If so, when is the right time?
-          Of course, you can contact the program coordinators to review your application.
-          One of the biggest misconceptions during the interview season is to NOT contact the program early (like until end of October).
-          You will see a lot of people especially on facebook pages and usmle forums strongly advising you not to contact them. Don’t believe them. Most of those, especially the ones with fake identities would be just trying to screw with you. They would mislead you to cut down their competition.
-          You can start emailing program coordinators from the end of September or preferably
first weeks of October.
-          The tone of your email should be in a requesting manner.
-          You can even call the program coordinators. But, before you rub your information on them, first enquire if they are free and comfortable to talk about your application. Proceed only if they say yes.
-          I just stated this from my own experience. I am just clearing the misconceptions. I am in no way forcing you to do it.
2.      Does contacting programs increase your chances of getting interviews?
-          It definitely can.
-          From my own experience and that of friends’, I have noticed that on an average people who are proactive in contacting programs tend to have more interviews than their counterparts with similar or better profile. This many not hold good for everyone. I am just saying it from the people I came across.

3.      I got a rejection after I sent an email to the program coordinator. Is it because I contacted the program?
-          This is another biggest MISCONCEPTION.
-          First you should be clear about the objective of emailing the program.
-          THE MAIN GOAL OF CONTACTING A PROGRAM IS “TO REVIEW YOUR APPLICATION” and not “TO GUARANTEE AN INTERVIEW”. As most of the times, a program might download your application but may not get to review your application since they get nearly around 5000 applications or more.
-          So, once you send them an email you should expect one of the following:
A.      They directly send your email to trash without even opening it.
B.      They may open see your email, but not respond to it.
C.      They see your email and review your application. If they like your application they might send you an interview or note it for later. They can send a rejection too for their own reasons, but definitely not because you emailed them.
D.     They can reply asking you not to trouble them with further emails. Don’t take it as a rejection. It’s totally understandable for them to say that because of the number of emails and calls they get every day.
-          So, if they send a rejection after you sent an email then:
    It could be just coincidental that the timing of both happened at the same time, or that your email made them review your application and they sent a rejection for the same reasons they would even if you didn’t contact them. 

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