Dear residency program applicant, thank you for your thank you note
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Got your thank you note, it was much appreciated, and it told me a tiny bit more about you.
- It told me you cared enough to follow up on that clinical conundrum or ethical quandary we discussed during the interview.
- I learned that you spent a few more hours/days in our wonderful city exploring the sites.
- It showed me that you have nice handwriting; that you are careful enough to avoid typos when emailing; that you sent it from your iPad; that you felt comfortable enough to text me your TY!??
- It reiterated to me that you could easily see yourself fitting in to our residency program.
- Oh wait, I never actually received a thank you note from you at all...
So, what have you heard? To send or not to send? To email or not to email?
Some say (even some residency program directors say) that a thank you note is not
necessary after your interview. That it doesn't matter. That it neither enhances nor diminishes your chances of matching.
However, what would make your mother/grandfather/great aunt proud? What is your inclination?
I say, do
send a thanks. Take a moment to compose a thoughtful thank you. Maybe mention something that occurred on or shortly after the interview day. Or convey something you meant to say during the interview. You can
be brief. But be sincere. You could send it immediately, or take a few days if you are pressed for time. You can
email, particularly if your interviewer gave you his/her email address (i.e. it was on his/her card or conveyed to you otherwise). Or you can send it the old fashioned way. Wouldn't text or tweet it, though.
About the Expert
Terry Kind, MD, MPH, is Director of Pediatric Medical Student Education at Children's National Health System. For the last decade she has also served as a primary care pediatrician at the Children's National Health Center at Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue, in Washington, DC.