Interview invitations are going out today. Yesterday’s final review included 10 hours staring at ERAS and spreadsheets, whittling down the categorical candidates to 470 finalists.* It’s a long, hard process because the applicants are exceptional.
The review boils down to asking specific questions about each applicant:
- Can they handle the work? Yale residents need to excel on demanding rotations that require knowledge, judgment, efficiency, and independence. For evidence, I turn to grades and narratives embedded in the MSPE and letters of recommendation.
- Do they have academic potential? We aim to train academic physicians. Candidates with research experience and publications are poised to take advantage of the opportunities we offer.
- Do they have leadership potential? We also aim to train leaders. Candidates with extracurricular experience, for example directing student-run clinics and interest groups, and those engaged in advocacy, are likely to bring their energy to Yale.
- Do they stand out? Letters of recommendation are slathered with superlatives, likely “extraordinary,” “exceptional,” and “the best I’ve ever worked with.” But I need to know what the candidate actually did to deserve this praise, like demonstrating command of the literature, making stellar presentations, or showing an advanced ability to connect with patients.
- Will they add to our diversity? Diversity is essential to our work to promote health equity and end systemic racism. Diversity brings fresh perspectives, dismantles tired ideas, and expands our notions of what a doctor should look like. Diversity comes in many forms, including race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, and sexual orientation. All are welcome. All are needed.
- Are they kind? It doesn’t matter how smart or accomplished a candidate is if they aren’t kind. We only want residents who value and respect colleagues, who prioritize the needs of the community, who know how to listen, and who act thoughtfully and compassionately. We can overcome any challenge when we’re surrounded by people who are kind.
We have many more qualified candidates than we can invite today, so we’ll also create a waiting list, and I expect many of them will have the chance to interview in the weeks ahead.
We have a busy season ahead us with 14 interview days, extending from October 26 to January 25. I’ll share the names of the candidates who accept our invitation as soon as we know them, so you can welcome them and let them know why Yale is the perfect place to train.
Enjoy your Sunday, everyone. I’m off to the Farmington Canal for a long bike ride before putting the final touches on the list.
* We’re reviewing physician scientist and preliminary applicants separately.