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Certain specialties (neurology, radiology, ophthalmology, dermatology, PM&R, etc) are considered “advanced,” which means that you’ll need a preliminary year (either internal medicine or transitional year) before you begin residency in your specialty of choice. Applying to these preliminary years can add to the stress and cost of applying to residencies.
Here are some tips that can save you money and time:
Book flights early as possible. Trust us, the prices won’t go down! As soon as you’re confirmed for an interview and you’re fairly certain that you won’t receive anymore around that date, book your flights. Whatever you do, book at least 2 weeks in advance, as flights will often increase in price within the two-week mark.
Get TSA PreCheck. Chances are, you’ll go on plenty of interviews. This $85 investment is well worth it, as it will save you a lot of time and stress.
Consider a travel credit card. Many people found it useful to get a travel card during this time — you can earn miles, and sometimes cards will offer sign-on bonuses like extra miles or paying for TSA PreCheck. Popular ones include Chase Sapphire and some airline-specific ones (i.e., Southwest, United).
Save money on transportation by using Uber Pool whenever possible, or by using public transportation to and from the airport. For example, Chicago has a great rail system to and from both Midway and O’Hare, and Denver has a train from the airport to downtown as well.
Bring your own airport snacks. Say no to overpriced and unhealthy airport food. Some of our favorites include pouch tuna, nuts, and mini bags of popcorn!
Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS®) is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is used under the fair use doctrine. Med School Mentors is not affiliated with, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the AAMC.
United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) is a registered trademark of the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and is used under the fair use doctrine. Med School Mentors is not affiliated with, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the NBME.