Residency Interview Question Answered – Thank You Replies

Questions & Answers About Internship & Residency Stress

I have received several questions about how to respond after getting an interview for a residency program. And although most people are aware that thank you letters should be sent, many seem confused about what comes next.

In particular, I saw a question on a forum that seems pretty typical of some of the questions I’ve received lately. You can see the question below and how I responded to it:

Question (unedited): I was wondering if you get replies from the ppl you send a thank you note to , cuz somehow they never write back to me . Is that normal ? or does that mean they hate me ?

My Reply: Don’t expect them to reply.

There are several reasons why I have never replied to thank you letters written to me after I interviewed someone.

1 – There are so many
2 – Because there are so many, my reply would not be very specific for each individual (think form letter)
3 – There’s room for misinterpretation of what is written or for me to misrepresent the opinion of the Program as a whole
4 – I never thought anyone expected a reply

Email… different story. I have replied to some emails with generic things like “Wish you the best”, but I’ve regretted it, because I thought that person might be sitting at home saying, “What does that mean?!… Wish you the best? Is that like ‘have a nice life’ or is it like ‘I really thought highly of you and I wish you the best’?”

So, it’s not about being polite or not.

By the way… I really do wish you the best 🙂

Dr. Tori