Thinking about a career in radiation oncology? Learn more about the field and explore application and interview frequently asked questions. Also take advantage of the helpful resources for medical students interested in radiation oncology.
Generally programs wait for the Dean’s Letter to be released on November 1 of the application year. Do not be dismayed if you get rejections before November 1. Some programs will make initial cuts before the Dean’s Letter release date.
Some programs fill up their interview spots the day they begin offering interviews. It is best to contact the program as soon as possible to schedule interviews or you may lose your spot.
A good goal is eight or more interviews. If you look at the match statistics released annually from the NRMP, almost all applicants with eight or more interviews match into a residency position.
Interview anywhere you will be happy training for four years. If you absolutely know that you Do not want to move to a particular location, then consider not applying/interviewing.
Use your travel time to review your research projects, read about the program on their website. Prepare a few stock questions that you will ask at the end of interviews since you will likely be asked, "What questions do you have for me?"
Most programs will use an entire day. You can expect to interview with several attendings and residents. Do not be surprised if you interview with physics, radiobiology or physics staff. Some programs use a panel style interview rather than many individual interviews. Programs will generally inform you prior to your interview day of what to expect.
This is a good chance to get to know a program well and interact with residents. Keep in mind, this may be a place you will work for four years. Most programs make decisions based on the actual interviews, so missing the dinner to catch a flight is likely OK. Programs understand how hectic the interview season can be.
Aaah, the great thank you note dilemma. Although certainly the polite thing to do, decisions on ranking applicants likely are not affected by thank you notes. Unless a program specifies whether or not to send thank you notes, there is no right or wrong answer. With electronic communication, hand-written thank you notes may be overkill. Also, certainly do not hesitate to e-mail any of the residents or attending with whom you interviewed if you have questions about the program that were not answered. If you are still unsure, consider a second-look interview.