Here is a curated list of frequently asked questions. I've pulled most of these from the chat page and other resources I've come across. Please remember, most of the answers here are opinions and should be taken in that context. If you'd like to contribute to this page, please use the contact form.


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I. Applications / ERAS

  • When can I send in love letters / interest letters?
    • Consider waiting until mid-October, or at the very least until some time after MSPEs have been released. Some programs may view it unfavorably to receive letters like this too early on.

II. Interviews / Post-Interviews

  • I haven't received any interviews yet, should I be worried?
    • Before mid-October: not time to stress yet, majority of programs wait until MSPEs are released before they begin to extend interview invitations. Additionally, programs that extend invitations before MSPEs also tend to send invitations after MSPEs are released, so just because you didn't receive an invite early on does not mean you won't receive one.
    • After mid-October: may consider sending interest letters to programs at the top of your list to see if there are any available interview slots. Anecdotally, this has resulted in receiving interview invitations, typically when other interviewees cancel or there is another opening. Use your best judgement when contacting programs, application and interview season is very busy for them.

  • Questions to ask residents/at pre-interview dinners (use your best judgement):
    • Free money, parking, meals, journals
    • Research/travel/conference funds (often on program websites)
    • Attending oversight (i.e. do they go over each of your reads with you one by one or are they in another room and just write on the reads what to fix?)
    • Resident cohesiveness, resident social life/events
    • Daily/call schedule, holidays/vacations (when are these days off decided, day by day vs. week-long blocks)
    • Housing
    • Moonlighting, perks
    • Things to do for fun

  • Questions to ask during interviews (use your best judgement):
    • Weakness in the curriculum/particularly weak rotations
    • Planned changes coming to the program
    • How is resident feedback handled
    • Independent call: why or why not?
    • Strengths of the program
    • Program-specific questions (i.e. why do their residents go into certain specialties, why residents stay there for fellowships, etc.)

  • What should I wear for interviews?
    • Men
    • Women
  • What questions might I be asked during an interview?
    • 1. Why do you want to do radiology?
      2. Which aspects of your personal history can help you relate to an interviewer in this specialty and this
      interviewer in particular?
      3. What makes you unique?
      4. What have you accomplished, experienced, or set as a personal goal that sets you apart?
      5. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
      6. Do you have any hidden achievements or qualities of which you are secretly proud? What are they?
      7. What are your team-player/leadership qualities?
      8. Tell me about yourself 
      9. List 3 accomplishments you are proud of and what they indicate to you?
      10. List 3 abilities that you have will make you a valuable resident in the specialty.
      11. What clinical experiences have you had in this specialty?
      12. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
      13. Why do you want to come here?
      14. Why are you a good fit?
      15. Something you failed at
      16. Teach me something
      17. What would you do if you didn't do radiology?
      18. Tell me about an interesting case that you saw
      19. Are you worried about not getting patient care in radiology?
      20. People are saying a lot of bad things about the future of radiology, how do you feel? Are you worried? 
      21. An important decision you had to make
      22. What do you like to do for fun?
      23. What is one thing about you that you want me to mention to the committee aka what will make me
      remember you?
      24. One strength and one thing you could improve upon.
      25. If you could change one thing about your personality what would it be?
      26. What are your three strongest qualities?
      27. What are your two worst qualities?
      28. What subspecialty would you like to practice.
      29. How do you make important decisions.
      30. What were the major deficiencies in your medical school training?
      31. With which types of people do you have trouble working with?
      32. How do you normally handle conflict?
      33. With what subject or rotation did you have the most difficulty?
      34. Worst grade in med school was in what?
      35. What will be the toughest aspect of this specialty for you?
      36. Why should we take you over other candidates?
      37. What error have you made in patient care?
      38. Where do you see yourself fin five (ten) years?
      39. Why did you chose the medical field?
      40. What moral/ethical situations have you faced and how did you respond?
    • Tell me about yourself.
    • Why radiology?
    • Why our program/what are you looking for in a program/tell me your ideal program.

III. Prelims / TY

  • Which type of intern year should I do?
    • This answer will depend on who you ask and what your end goal is.
    • Traditionally, TY years are considered the most "cush" with the least amount of ward time (depending on program) and most schedule flexibility with dedicated elective time at almost all programs. Many radiology residents, and even some attendings, suggest doing a less intense intern year.
    • Prelim medicine programs are a step up from most TY programs in terms of workload. These are typically easier to match than TY years, but are a viable option.
    • Prelim surgery years are also viable options, but not always recommended due to the schedule and traditionally heavy workload. With that being said, many residents enjoy their surgery intern years and it may prove beneficial should you be interested in ESIR or pursuing the independent IR residency. There is mixed anecdotal evidence of PDs preferring residents who have completed surgery years (helps demonstrate long-term interest in IR). However, many residents will say that a surgery prelim year will not benefit you as an IR physician in terms of the knowledge you gain, only that it may help when trying to secure a position in an IR training program.

  • What questions should I ask during prelim/TY interviews?
    • Do you do 24 hour calls?
    • How many months of nights do prelims have?
    • Does the program cover step 3 price?
    • How many weeks of vacation for prelims?
    • Any housing stipend?

IV. Ranking / NRMP

V. Post-MATCH / Pre-Residency