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Well, fall appears to have arrived for good at the moment. Although it is Michigan, which means that 80-degree temperatures in October are not out of the question. Either way, it means that classes are back in session, fall sports are duking it out (and in some cases, approaching the end of their seasons), and, for M4s out there, it’s the beginning of interview season!

We submitted our ERAS application to residency programs on September 15, and the race was on! Urban legend suggests that interview slots can fill up quickly – within an hour and some even cite it as within 10 minutes. Needless to say, we were all slightly concerned about this need for speed. Some began forwarding emails to their pager so that program invitations would blare loud signals for all. In my case, I started forwarding emails to my smart watch, so that I could (mostly) discreetly check emails as they came in without having to obviously check my phone.

One trick I heard from previous classes (and emphatically agree with) is to carry an ideal schedule with you starting September 15. It was a lot easier to cluster interviews together by location when you had already decided that the week of November X would be reserved for interviews near X place. That doesn’t mean it always worked out nicely (in my case, the week I had reserved for a location was not an option for interview dates for that location – oops), but it mostly does.

So, it looks like I’ll be bouncing around the country for the next few months, racking up my frequent flyer miles. I’m looking forward to exploring different locales and learning about each residency program. And, I have a plan for long layovers between flights – embroidering gingerbread houses to make a quilt for my grandmother for Christmas. So, really, I can be very productive while waiting at airports 🙂

(This design is one of nine blocks. Design is by Crabapple Hill Studios).

Sara is a fourth-year medical student at UMMS. When not in the hospital, she can usually be found on the golf course or at a Michigan sporting event cheering on the Wolverines.