Thursday 31 March 2011

On asking for pre-match

Ask and you shall know
The way to know if a program is going to offer a out of the match proposition  is to ask for it AT the time of interview with the program director (PD). I interviewed at 12 places and asked if the program tends to offer out of match positions in almost all of them. 
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A time to segue in to that topic is when the PD asks if there are any questions about the program. "Do u have any questions regarding the program?" is a wonderful opportunity to be direct in asking for a out of match (prematch) offer. In response to that question, an example question
"Does the program offer out of the match positions? if so, I am interested in that opportunity should something like that come up". 
Plant the seed of possibility
They may not offer you a prematch at the time of interview but it lets them know that you are open to that option and if needed they can approach you for the same. 

Do not sound eager to jump at the question or sound desperate. If you present yourself with poise and converse professionally, there is no reason not to ask for a prematch. However, if you know that the program has offered prematches in the past then do not presume that its a given for you.

Revisit the chance to ask
If for any chance you do not ask about it to the PD during the interview, you can broach the topic again when you write them a letter after the interview. See this post about writing a thank you note after the interview. The post interview letter is a feedback, that provides the applicant an opportunity to be placed back in the 'spotlight'.

Nothing to lose
An IMG applicant should definitely ask if the hospital offers such opportunity. If this is done in a business like manner then it will be received well and there is nothing to lose.

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