Saturday, October 18, 2008
Now time to wait...
After about 12 hours of walking around in high heels, I completed my Oral Surgery interviews at the University of Iowa. Friday afternoon we began at 1:00. "We" included me along with 8 other guys, all from the Midwest/Great Lakes states, (3 others from Iowa). We toured the hospital, the VA hospital, and the dental school (thank goodness I broke in my 3" heels at Abby's wedding), had a meeting with the program director, and were required to write an essay. We then had dinner at Taste on Melrose, a restaurant in our neighborhood I have been curious to try, with the residents. Afterward, we went downtown to play some pool. This was all an opportunity for us to ask our questions of the residents and for them to decide if they could stand working with us for the next four years.
This morning (Saturday), despite crazy game traffic and chaos, we arrived at the hospital at 7 am for a series of three interviews conducted by 2 members each of the staff surgeons. My first interview had some tough questions but overall I felt it went very well. My first question was on the person who has made the biggest difference in shaping my character. I talked about my father who gave me the confidence and support to do anything I wanted and taught me to live a life of integrity and honesty. When I was leaving the interview, the surgeon told me, "I am not sure if I should tell you this, but I hope if my daughter were interviewing she would say the things about me that you said about your father." I felt I must have made some impact. They also asked questions about my involvement in sports and lacrosse.
My second interview (after about 40 min wait period) was a little tougher. I was given a few questions I could have answered better but oh well. The trickiest part was answering some specific questions on dental knowledge. That made me squirm a bit.
Finally, I met with the head of the program and the head of hospital dentistry. I was pleased with how positive they were. I was told the program director found my essay to be interesting and she had some questions about it. They seemed impressed with the scope of my extracurricular activities and I talked about my goals as a SCUBA instructor to illustrate my interest in teaching. Overall, I think it went very well.
What happens now?
Most candidates will continue to interview at many other schools. Iowa will hold one more interview date (9 more candidates?). I will finish my GPR application before Nov 1. Each candidate upon completion of their interviews will submit their ranked list of programs to MATCH. This is the same system the medical school uses which consists of each candidate ranking their schools 1 to ... and each school ranking their choices. The MATCH then attempts to line people up. So, I will rank Iowa #1. If Iowa ranks me in their top #2 spots I should get in. Otherwise, it will depend on if the people in front of me choose another school. We will see!