Ah, the Residency Showcase. This is probably what you're going to Midyear for - but it’s hard to anticipate exactly what to expect. Don’t worry: we’ll walk you through all the essentials so you feel 100% prepared during Midyear week! (Be sure to check out our PRO TIPS, in red!)
B E F O R E M I D Y E A R
One important thing to remember before going: the Showcase is meant for YOU (the prospective resident) – to get the chance to chat with and check out dozens of residency programs in one venue.
>>*Note: Prospective fellows: the showcase is not as much for you; prioritize your PPS interviews first. If you prefer, you can schedule your PPS interviews around Showcase so you can make both.)
>>*Note: P1-P3 students: the showcase is also not as much for you. In fact, ASHP usually requests that if you are a P1-P3, that you wait until the second half of the Showcase to enter the room to be fair to the P4s.)
The Showcase will be split between 3 sessions:
*IMPORTANT*: Each program will only be at ONE of the sessions (which was something I wish I'd known early on!).
So be sure – if you know which programs you want to visit – TO CHECK WHICH ONE OF THE DAYS they’ll be showcasing so you don’t miss them. To help you do that, ASHP will release an official floor plan sometime before Midyear that will look like this:
You can click on each of the 3 sessions and it will tell you which programs will be there on each day. You can match the program to its booth number on the left column, and then find them on the map.
(PRO TIP: Print out and study this map beforehand for maximum efficiency. The Showcase room is pretty much mass chaos; so if you have an idea of the layout of the room/plan your route beforehand, you’ll feel that much more prepared.)
To save you even more time during the Showcase, you can also decide which programs you most want to see beforehand.
(PRO TIP: Most students will probably only have enough time to talk to 4 – 5 programs per session. Choose wisely!)
Sometime before Midyear, ASHP will also release an Excel doc of all the participating programs (see below) and you can filter them by state, by type of residency, and by name. So for instance, if you were interested in only managed care residencies, you can filter for “managed care” and get those booth numbers quickly.
(P.S. Check back with us closer to Midyear! Once ASHP posts any updated maps or floorplans, we’ll post the links here.)
WHAT TO BRING TO THE SHOWCASE
(Ranked in order of necessity):
A T M I D Y E A R
Alright. You’re at Midyear, about to head into the madness. To give you an idea, the Showcase room will look like this:
When you first walk in, there will be a huge sign that will tell you the booth numbers of each residency. However, there will be so many frantic, sweaty students crowded around it that you’ll be lucky if you manage to get 5 minutes to scribble down all the info you need before someone squeezes you out of there. ...But luckily, since you listened to pro tips and printed out your own map ahead of time, you’ll already know where you’re going, don’t you? :) So you can bypass that cluster of people and get a head start! All the booth numbers will be hanging in huge font on top of them.
When you find the booth you’re looking for, you can either pick up a pamphlet / leave (if you’re just looking for general info), or you can stay and talk to someone who will be standing there. Who are these people? Generally they’ll have:
I really can’t think of a better way to describe it than:
Essentially – just approach someone of your choice and “press A”.
What do you talk about?
Tailor your questions to who you’re talking to.
If it’s the resident, you can ask things like:
If it’s the director or other staff, you can ask:
(PRO TIP: Know when to walk away. Don’t feel obligated to keep talking to someone if you start feeling like this wasn’t what you were looking for. If you spend too much time talking to a program, it takes away from programs you really were interested in. Just thank them politely and say, “Thank you so much for speaking with me today!” before moving on to the next booth.)
When you finish the conversation – get business cards from the people you talk to. This will help you write thank-you emails/cards after you get home, and give you a contact if you have more questions later on. If they have a sign-in sheet, leave your contact and email to show you were there.
(PRO TIP: After talking to each program, step to the side somewhere and quickly write down what you talked about. Do this IMMEDIATELY (so the info is still fresh in your mind). There will be huge round tables at the edges of the rooms specifically for this purpose. Write down things you liked, things you didn’t like, your impression of the program or the people, etc. After you talk to a few booths, all of them start to blend together. When it comes time for you to decide which residencies to apply for, looking back on your notes will help you remember pros and cons for each one.
A F T E R M I D Y E A R
Send a thank-you email or card to every person you spoke with to thank them for their time. This is optional, but it’s a nice touch and can help you be a little more memorable! And this is where the business cards you collected will come in handy; you can find email or mailing addresses.
And as usual, if you have any questions, let me know!