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 300 to 1200 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 skills and accomplishments, passions, personality, leadership and other factors as well as academic achievement. Successful applicants are almost always multidimensional and have accomplishments beyond academic achievements.
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 in November, later than other programs. This year ERAS opens to programs September 27th. We anticipate that it will take until Thursday, November 9th to complete the review of all our applications. 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. The ten interview days for 2023-2024 are:
- Friday, November 17th
- Tuesday, November 21st
- Tuesday, November 28th
- Tuesday, December 5th
- Friday, December 8th
- Friday, December 15th
- Tuesday, December 19th
- Friday, January 5th
- Thursday, January 11th
- Wednesday, January 17th
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 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 we expect they 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 some textual material and videos of resident experiences, hospital tours, various conferences, and 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. If you wish, we will also connect you with a resident “buddy” ahead of time to answer questions and help with any details.
The past two years 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 suggest applicants 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 afternoon before the December 15th interview day and the Wednesday afternoon before the January 11th interview day. 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 in late January or early February 2024, 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 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.
Other Second Visits
Second visits are not expected and do not influence the selection process in any way. However, since many of you will stay for fellowship as well as residency and may end up spending 10 or more years in Boston during an especially formative period of your life, we realize that you may want to see the program and city in person before deciding where to rank the BCRP. To facilitate this, we can arrange for in person second visits. These can include attendance at rounds, visits with faculty or residents, explorations of fellowship opportunities or whatever else you wish. The one exception is that they may not include meetings with anyone involved in the selection process. The faculty and rising chief residents who are involved in selection will not know that you have (or have not) made a second visit. If you are interested in a second visit, contact Elayne Fournier, who will work with the chief residents to arrange it.