I'm happy to report that I'm confident and satisfied with the way my interviews unfolded, despite my absurd level of nervousness beforehand. I had three interviews in total, and by the time the last was over I wanted to walk out and high-five everyone. It's amazing how much energy that level of alertness and attention requires, and then how mentally drained you can be when it's over.
The first interview was with the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, and was definitely the one I was most anxious for. I had to pace the hallways beforehand because when I sat down, I felt like I was going to fall out of the chair. As it turns out, it was completely unnecessary. The interview, while very structured, was exactly what I'd prepared for. They allotted enough time for my lengthy list of questions, and I left the interview even more excited about the possibility of having an internship with the VA. They allow of lot of flexibility with placements, so I could potentially get a very diverse clinical experience. Exactly what I was looking for!
The last two interviews were with the inpatient and outpatient groups of the University of Pittsburgh Healthcare System, with whom we are obviously closely tied. After the VA interview, these were pretty easy. I have a much stronger interest in inpatient rehab than outpatient orthopedics, so I prepared a lot for the inpatient interview, which also went very well.
My goal at the beginning of this process was to put myself in the best position to get a diverse and challenging yearlong clinical placement. My two top choices (VA and inpatient neuro rehab) are among the most competitive, so it was important to interview well and display my skills and interests. I think I was able to do that. Now the painful process of waiting for the final decisions begins!