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Is There an Optimal Time to Schedule Residency Interviews?

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(12):1128. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130240012005.
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The process of applying for a primary care residency position has become increasingly complicated in recent years. Some senior medical students seem to spend an inordinate amount of time and energy on this effort that may begin at the end of their junior year and extend up until the deadline for the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) during the first week of January. The prospective applicant generally schedules interviews with five to ten programs that often vary in size, geographic location, and university or community affiliation. Larger residency programs may set up predetermined interview days, whereas smaller programs tend to schedule interviews at the convenience of the applicant.

Does it matter when the prospective applicants schedule their interviews? Applicants say that they are told, usually by faculty advisors or fellow students, that interviews should not be scheduled too early in the course of the academic year for fear that they


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