Monday, September 30, 2013

MiM Mail: Bringing family on the residency interview trail

I've been reading MIM since my M1 year, and I'm finally an M4 applying for residency!  Come interview time, I'll have an almost four year old and a six month old.  My husband has a lot of time off between Nov and Jan, plus my mom offered to go with me on any trips my husband can't come on, so we're going to make the interview trail a family thing.  I know I'll be busy with dinners and interviews, but being able to tuck in my three year old and nurse my baby at night will mean so much to me.  Did anyone bring kids along on their interview trips?  Any tips?



  1. That sounds like an awesome way for your family to also be involved in your decision about where you want to live (as much as any of us really get to choose with the match and all). I'm also interviewing this year, but not bringing the fam along.

    I think the only thing I would suggest is to remember during your interviews that these are job interviews, and the program directors want to see that you are a reliable worker who will never give them any problems. They are going to be looking for red flags that you will be a flake. Personally, I think your husband's job flexibility to come with you is a huge positive, but some people may think*Alert Alert!! She has kids and will be a flaky employee!!** Ergo, keep the conversation about the program and not about your family during interview time.

  2. I didn't have children (or even a husband) at that phase in life so no real-life tips. Just ensure that you get adequate sleep, time to get ready/make yourself presentable in the morning, and no possibility of getting sucked into stressful/messy kid situations when you are trying to get into a calm and confident headspace. Otherwise, it sounds ideal, especially since you are nursing. Say yes to any dinners, social outings that are suggested...those things can count, and they are a good way to get to know your potential future colleagues.

  3. Good luck to you! I don't mean to hijack your thread, but along the same veins... I am giving birth during interview season (November). I plan to interview after I give birth. I will be leaving the baby with family while I interview during the day. Any tips to make this manageable? Am I a terrible mother for pumping during that precious first month of life while I run off to interview? Thank you!

    1. Can you make sure your baby is close enough to cuddle at night? You and baby will need it. I wouldn't spend an extended period of time away as your milk supply will suffer and it will add to your stress.

  4. I brought my six month old daughter with me. A friend of mine came along and watched her during interviews.

  5. We brought our first when she was 4-6 months old on interviews. It was incredibly stressful getting from point A to point B with a nursing baby, engorged breasts blah blah. Have your battery pack ready to go at a moment's notice for pumping. Bring the family when they are invited to dinners and leave them behind when they are NOT invited. At one interview the director held our daughter the entire time and ignored everyone because he thought she was so cute and he missed his grand-daughter. At other interviews family was not invited so they stayed behind. For nursing purposes very important but it might be hard on your older one all the hustle and bustle. Just make time for it. And if (God forbid) you miss a dinner don't sweat it. We matched at the one place we missed a dinner because we ended up at the wrong location of restaurant chain where dinner was scheduled. Dinner's are important but clearly not a deal breaker. Just keep that in mind if you have to miss a couple. And I second what another person said: you want to have a clear, calm, confident zen mind. This will be good practice for you as a mommy resident. The multi-tasking only gets more challenging from this point forward.

  6. I am a Peds Resident. When I interviewed I had a 3 month old; we grouped interviews and my husband came along with our newbie in tow, they stayed with family while I interviewed. I was apprehensive at first, but my Med Clerkship Director (a mother) recommended emailing each Secretary prior to each interview to help arrange a place and time to pump. This was a great way to learn how family-friendly programs were and to see where I'd be spending considerable time pumping as an Intern. I had nothing but good experiences. It was funny because all of the mother-Attendings saw my black and tan Medela bag and knew where I was going and would stop me to tell me all about their days of pumping during residency and fellowship interviews. Pumping also gave me a great time to take a 15 minute break from smiling and getting to know folks. As a new mom, I really needed this time to decompress. Weirdest experience was pumping next to the Residency Directors office while she talked on the phone, she was great and told me all about pumping when she was a Fellow.

    Similar to another poster, don't forget that this is a JOB interview. Take your pumping breaks briefly and discretely and then get back to it. I didn't engage in family talk or baby talk unless someone else brought it up (it was always in a very sweet, "here is a picture of my kid, let me see one of yours"). Your Interviewers will respect your efficiency. I had nothing but the best experience interviewing and I was too busy to miss my baby boy too much.


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