I am a miracle made up of particles and in this existence I'll stay persistent and I'll make a difference and I will have lived it - Medicine for the People

Interview Day At RMC Part II

Friday, October 18, 2013

HA! I'm sure most of you had despaired of me ever writing this post BUT HERE I AM! I am not really sure why it took me so long to get around to it. I think I just lost the momentum unfortunately and have frankly been enjoying relaxing a bit too much lately BUT I finally kicked my butt into gear and here it is: the second part of interview day at Rush. Enjoy :)

I left off on my last post on this topic as the interviewees were being funneled back into the original meeting room for lunchtime. At this point we were all quite hungry and tired so it was nice to take a seat and eat something. I was very impressed with the healthy food choices they had (it's a medical school so I guess that's an obvious one) and the best part was that several first and second year students joined us for the hour! One of my wonderful friends who is currently an M2 at Rush was able to volunteer for my interview day and it was so nice to see a familiar face as I ate my salad with terrifying speed (did I mention how hungry I was?). It was comforting to have a friend there but also really helpful because I was able to hear his answers to several questions posed by my fellow interviewees that I wouldn't have thought to ask.

After lunch the Rush students took us on another tour. This time we were taken through the Anatomy Lab, the Library, Classrooms and Lecture Halls and were able to learn about the academic part of the school directly from the students. It was great to have a first-hand account of how it was to be a student at Rush and ask about things like living on or off-campus, where was the best place to eat out and how much do you have to study in a given week. It was also amazing to see how happy the students were. They really seemed genuinely thrilled to be there and glad to show us around and their excitement was infectious. It was plain to see that, while they were clear about the difficulty of classes and the amount of hard work that goes into doing well, it's not hard to be happy at Rush - which I think is an important distinction and it really stuck out to me. I know students from other schools that don't feel the same way about their institution and I think it's really marred their experience.

The academic tour came to a close all too quickly and we were hurried back to HQ (this is what I'm going to call the home base conference room from now on) for the next set of interviews. I had Dr. Robert Leven who was a professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology next and I was a little nervous because this was going to be my open file interview which meant he would probably ask me more pointed questions.

When I was ushered into the room and met Dr. Leven I was relieved to see that he didn't look incredibly intimidating, which was good. Unfortunately for me, he jumped right into the interview and for the next 30 minutes rapidly fired questions at me. I definitely felt my palms get a little sweaty in this interview, not because I felt like Dr. Leven was harsh or unfair but because I hadn't quite expected the intensity. There were also a few times he asked a question that seemed to not follow from his previous question and I had to take a moment to sort out my thoughts and form a coherent answer. I've heard horror stories from friends who had an interviewer who was outright rude or mean and this was definitely NOT the case for me but I did feel like it was hard to catch my breath and still keep up! All things considered though I felt like it went well and was inwardly throwing punches gleefully into the air when he asked me a question on Obamacare because I had specifically read up on the ACA in advance so I would be prepared (thanks A for the tip!). I also felt reassured towards the end of the interview because, although the overall tone was less relaxed than my morning interview, Dr. Leven asked to accompany me back to HQ so we could talk further after our time was up which I took to be a positive sign and when we parted he seemed quite warm as he wished me luck and told me he had really enjoyed our talk.

After everyone completed their second interviews we were all escorted back to HQ for another set of talks. I feel like at this point I was so exhausted I didn't really properly take everything in but I do remember one of the speakers sharing her interest in pediatrics and community health which I am very interested in so I felt excited at the opportunities available for getting involved. There were several others who discussed their work in community service and outreach and really impressed upon us the importance of these endeavors at Rush (one of the reasons I love this school) and it was great to hear from the many fantastic individuals who are so dedicated to working with underserved populations.

By the time it hit 3 PM I was so ready to head home. Although the day had gone loads better than I had nervously anticipated, it had worn me out and as soon as I walked into my house I gratefully kicked off my heels and sat on the side of the tub and soaked my feet in cold water (and then I took a nap!).

While I'm really looking forward to my UVM interview, it's going to be difficult to top the acceptance and eagerness that radiated from those I met at Rush. The passion and excitement for not just medicine but excellent patient care and volunteer work that I encountered made me fall in love with the school and I'm waiting with baited breath to hear their decision on November 14!

Rush Med, Rush Medical College, RMC
Beautiful new "butterfly" building at Rush Medical Center


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