Holistic Application Review
We do not use board scores, grades or other metrics to filter applications. All applications are examined and the majority are read thoroughly and summarized in a 200 to 700 word paragraph that incorporates all the information we have. Decisions as to whether to interview or how highly to rank an applicant depend on the totality of the applicant’s record from college onward, including extracurricular accomplishments, passions, personality, leadership and other factors as well as academic achievement.
We do not read applications in any systematic order and we issue invitations for interviews when enough information is available for us to make a decision. However, because our holistic review process takes considerable time, most of our interview invitations are issued late in October or early November, later than other programs. This year ERAS doesn’t open until September 29th and we do not anticipate completing the review of all our applications before Friday, November 12th. We expect that all applicants will be notified about their interview on or before that date unless applications are incomplete at that time. We will also let applicants know if they are not being offered an interview invitation on that date. Often, some applicants from a school will be invited to interview before others are. This is usually just a consequence of our reading some applications before others and should not be a cause for concern. As noted earlier, we review applications that are received after the October 31st deadline, but interviews are only rarely granted to those who apply late unless there are extenuating circumstances. Interview days for 2021-2022 are:
- Tuesday, November 23rd
- Tuesday, November 30th
- Tuesday, December 7th
- Friday, December 10th
- Friday, December 17th
- Tuesday, December 21st
- Friday, January 7th
- Friday, January 14th
- Tuesday, January 18th
Approximately 32 candidates are invited for each interview day or about one of every 6 applicants .
The Interview Day
All interview days this year will be virtual again this year and will be conducted entirely on the Thalamus and Zoom platforms with some written and video materials to be reviewed ahead of the interview day. We are still organizing these days but they will likely be similar to the virtual interview days last year. We expect the day will include two interviews, several informal information and question-and-answer sessions, an educational conference, and breakout sessions with the residents, as well as a virtual Happy Hour after dinner at the end of the day. It is likely that the day will begin at 9:30 am EST and last until about 5:30 pm not including the evening Happy Hour. There will be about two hours of breaks interspersed throughout the day.
We will provide some material regarding the program and events before, during, and after the interview day after you are invited, and ask that you review it before the interview day. This will likely include a some textual material and videos of resident experiences, hospital tours, various conferences, diversity mixers, among other things. There will also be information about the people you will meet on the interview day, the interview day schedule, the Happy Hour, and technical aspects of the Thalamus and Zoom platforms. We will also connect you with a resident “buddy” ahead of time to answer questions and help with any details.
Last year we asked all participants, including faculty, to dress “business casual”, and expect to do that again this year. That means shirts (no ties), blouses, sweaters, etc., but no suits.
We will ask applicants to use computer tablets, portable computers or desktop computers for the virtual sessions and not smart phones, since it will be important to have a reasonable screen size for the group sessions to see the other participants.
Candidates with MD/PhD degrees or PhD-like research experiences who plan research careers following residency are invited to participate in additional virtual sessions on one of the Thursday afternoons before the December 17th and January 14th interview days. These sessions have been very popular in the past. They are designed to acquaint applicants with the research and fellowship opportunities in the Boston area. We will arrange for applicants to meet virtually with several scientists in their areas of interest followed by a brief information session about research in local institutions and research tracks available to BCRP residents. The MD/PhD days are entirely optional and are not part of the evaluation process.
Diversity Second Look Day
The BCRP is committed to training a workforce that reflects the diversity of our patient population. As part of our intern recruitment program, we offer a Diversity Second Look Day for traditionally underrepresented minority in medicine (URiM) interviewees, as defined by the AAMC. The goal of this program is to provide more familiarity and exposure to our program, our affiliated institutions, the city of Boston, and both BCRP residents and faculty from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.
We plan to hold this second look day for URiM interviewees as a virtual event in late January or early February 2022, approximately two-weeks after our final interview day. We will notify applicants of the date after they are invited to interview. As in past years, the day’s virtual program will likely include introductions from leadership at both institutions, a faculty panel, a candid discussion about race relations in Boston, lunchtime sessions with residents, individual meetings with faculty, and a Diversity Council Mixer with invited residents and faculty. In the past, the BCRP has provided second-look attendees with lodging and meals for the visit and financial support to defray travel costs to attend this event; however, the need for a virtual event this year obviates travel expenses.
Other Second Visits
In the past we have offered second visits to attend rounds, meet with selected faculty or residents, and explore housing or other issues for those who wish them. Last year Boston Children’s Hospital decreed that all such visits had to be virtual and unfortunately that will also be the case again this year. We are happy to do whatever we can to assist you in evaluating the BCRP. Second visits are not expected and do not play a role in the selection process. If you are interested in a second visit contact Elayne Fournier, who will work with the chief residents and Dr. Lux to arrange it.