Post-interview Communication

Post-interview communication is an important issue. Ethical conduct is often misunderstood on both the sides. The general rules of the match state that programs can contact you by letter at any time and vice versa.

1) Thank-you notes:Should you send them? Not necessarily, but it shows interest. Should they be handwritten or typed? Sent to everyone or just the chair and program director? These questions are harder, but thankfully, less important. Sending a note to let the program know that you enjoyed your visit demonstrates a modicum of gratitude, respect and thoughtfulness. Please fight the urge to send the same email to multiple members of the faculty. They do talk to one another, and the lack of originality will likely be noted.

2) Telling programs where you are ranking them: Should you tell your No. 1 program where they rank? This is not necessary and NRMP regulations prevent programs from asking you. Do honestly share your interest with programs. Do Not tell multiple programs you are ranking them No. 1 – this is dishonest, and as previously stated, people talk in the small world of neurosurgery.

3) Revisits/Second looks: Second looks are absolutely not necessary, and may add extra cost. Most programs are happy to host you to return for a second visit should you desire, but they do not and cannot require this. A second look is for the applicant rather than the program. Programs understand the financial constraints that applicants are under.

4) The final lap: This is the period in early January after you have finished your interviews, sent in your thank-you notes and crafted your preliminary rank list. It is reasonable to send a last-minute note to the top two or three programs on your rank list to reiterate your interest in these programs.

Thank You Letter Sample and Guidelines

Basic Principles

  • Thank them for the interview.
  • Tell them what you perceive as their strengths.
  • Match that with your strengths.
  • Thank them again.

Dear Dr. XXXXX,

I greatly enjoyed my interview experience last week at XXXX. Thank you very much for your hospitality. Your commitment to training leaders in neurosurgery is evident. The well-rounded surgical experience and research opportunities that are afforded to your residents are extremely impressive, and the achievements of your graduates speak for themselves. I was greatly attracted to the atmosphere of camaraderie that unmistakably pervades your residency program. XXXX’s location is also ideal, as my family is in the area.

My interest in both clinical care and research makes your program especially attractive. Having been involved both in basic science and clinical investigations, I have found research to be a compelling and productive adjunct to clinical training and believe that I could become an asset to your research program.

Again, I had a great day interviewing at XXX and left XX(City)XX with a very positive feeling. I would be honored to train at XXXX and would strive to further such an outstanding program. Please contact me if I can provide you with any additional information about my candidacy.