How to Write a Residency Interview Thank You Email


Making it all the way to residency interviews marks a major accomplishment. At this stage in the application process, every small advantage can help you match into the residency program of your dreams. A thoughtful and sincere thank you email may be just the edge you need to become the applicant admissions committees remember.

In this post, we share everything you need to know about sending residency interview thank you emails, including when to send them, who to email, and how to best craft your thank yous.


Should You Send Residency Interview Thank You Emails?

A residency interview thank you email is a small detail, but it’s important to take every advantage you can to both stand out and authentically show your appreciation.

That said, and we cannot stress this enough, not every program allows thank you emails. It is vital you do your research to determine if the programs allow it. Do not send one if there are specific instructions not to or instructions not to contact the program after the interview. The program will certainly notice if you disobey their rules. Even if you nailed your interview, a disregard for rules is not a good look for a future doctor.

Take time to find out if there are any restrictions surrounding contacting the programs you are interviewing with, and be sure to follow any guidelines they provide.

If there are no rules against reaching out, send a tailored thank you message to the program coordinator and your interviewer(s).

Let’s go over how to craft a genuine message that will remind them of the engaging conversations you shared.


How to Write a Medical School Interview Thank You Email

1 | Send Thank You Emails Promptly

Do not delay sending your thank you emails. Send the email the night after your residency interview or within the first 24 hours. You want to send the email as quickly as possible so that your interviewer will not have had the time to complete your evaluation or discuss your application in a committee yet.

The longer you delay, the less impact your thank you will have, as the interviewer may struggle to remember the details of your particular interview or have completed your evaluation already. Once the evaluation is complete or your application has already been discussed, the interviewer cannot go back and change it, so send your thank yous as soon as possible.

2 | Personalize the Message Based on the Interview

Although you can partially template your thank you emails to save time, ensure each of them is personalized to the program and the specific conversations you had on interview day.

Reiterate what you know about the program, what you believe you can offer the program, and what happened in the interview. If your interviewer seemed especially impressed by one of your accomplishments or an anecdote, reference that moment and use it to emphasize what you have to offer.

Did your interviewer make any recommendations you can follow up on? Did they share any insights about the program or medicine in general that resonated with you? Were there any similar interests you discussed during the interview?

Be specific, as details will both jog the interviewer’s memory and show that you were actively listening to their advice and anecdotes. Reminding them of the unique and positive experience you shared will certainly help your chances when it comes time for your interviewer to write their evaluation of you.

3 | Don’t Be Phony and Give a Sincere Thank You

Genuinely thank the interviewer for meeting with you both at the beginning and end of the email. Many of the faculty and current residents who took the time to speak with you were volunteering their time, so be sincere when offering your thanks.

Although reminding the interviewer of why you’re an excellent fit for the program is certainly an essential piece of your email, make sure the email isn’t solely dedicated to selling yourself. If you focus too much on yourself, your thanks will ring false, and your self-interest will be laid bare. Keep your thank you front and center.

4 | Proofread With Care

While creating a thank you email template can expedite the process and help make sure you don’t forget anything, take careful care when proofreading. Needless to say, using the wrong name for the program or the interviewer is a major red flag. Not only does it demonstrate carelessness, a deeply unattractive trait in a future doctor, but it also makes your thanks seem insincere.

Do not slack on your grammar and spelling. While a thank you email is more casual than a residency personal statement, it’s still vital you take it seriously. After all, you’re speaking with someone who will play a major role in deciding your future in medicine. Take every pain to proofread your email to the best of your ability. Use editing apps like Grammarly, but don’t rely on them exclusively, as bots do not always understand context.

Review each thank you email to ensure your spelling and grammar are perfect and each name is correct.


Thank You Email Checklist

Aim to include the following in every thank you email you send.

Residency Interview Thank You Email Template Checklist:

  1. Keep the thank you email to 100-200 words.
  2. Open with a respectful greeting.
  3. Express your sincere gratitude.
  4. Highlight any unique and important moments or talking points from the interview.
  5. Reiterate your strong interest in the program and how you will contribute to it based on your strengths and past experiences.
  6. Express your gratitude again.


Residency Interview Thank You Email Examples

Program Coordinator Thank You Example #1

Thank you for facilitating such a wonderful interview day! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to hear about your experiences both in the ED and in your new position, and hope the double trick or treating days this year with your family are the best ones yet. I also really appreciate you continually breaking the ice for us interviewees; it was a ton of fun to get to know everybody better. I hope the rest of the interview season goes well!

Program Coordinator Thank You Example #2 (Asking for Contact Information)

Thank you for leading such a fruitful and fun virtual interview day! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to learn about [PROGRAM NAME] from you, the faculty leadership, and the amazing TY residents. I could tell from the outset that [PROGRAM NAME] truly prioritizes medical education in every capacity, and appreciate you contextualizing what it is like to live and serve the [LOCATION] and surrounding communities.

I apologize for not asking this during the live session, but would it be possible to get the contact information of [NAME] and [NAME] to express my gratitude for their time? I completely understand if that is not possible, but given your team’s investment in every one of us applicants, I wanted to share how meaningful of an experience each session was.

Faculty/Program Director Thank You Example #1

It was a pleasure meeting with and talking to you today! I want to express my sincere gratitude to you and your team for taking the time out of your busy schedules to get to know me better as an applicant and a person.

I thoroughly enjoyed being openly vulnerable with you regarding my personal and professional challenges and appreciate the opportunity to share my guiding principle of striving for conscientiousness in every decision I make. I could immediately tell conscientious medical education is a major component of both your passionate career path and the [PROGRAM NAME] TY program as a whole. It would be an honor to continue eliciting positive ripple effects in my future peers and patients by contributing to such a mission.

I hope the rest of the interviews and your upcoming holiday season are both wonderful! Thank you again for your consideration and thoughtful questions. I am excited for February!

Faculty/Program Director Thank You Example #2

It was great to meet you today! Thank you for taking so much valuable time out of your schedule to provide an overview of the [PROGRAM NAME] TY year and to get to know each of us better as applicants and people. I was sincerely impressed by both the program’s ability to deliver a personalized clinical curriculum to residents of every specialty and your singular passionate guardianship of and advocacy for TY residents in providing an experience that maximizes the balance of learning and living.

Thank you again for the opportunity to share my experiences and connect with you and your team. I hope the rest of the interview season goes well!

Faculty/Program Director Thank You Example #3 (Virtual Interview)

It was great to meet you virtually today! Thank you for taking so much valuable time out of your schedule to get to know each of us better as applicants and people. I was sincerely impressed by the program’s ability to deliver a personalized clinical curriculum to residents of every specialty. I also deeply appreciate your framing of how to maximize the TY experience in terms of reaching for rotations that would provide a jumpstart on one’s advanced position training versus leveraging the opportunity to broaden your skillset through selecting electives that would not traditionally be included in the following residency years.

It is also always a plus to share how my wife and I cured one of our first ever patients, even if they were of the feline variety.

Thank you again for the opportunity to share my experiences and connect with you and your team. I hope the rest of the interview season goes well!


What Happens Next?

While not required, if you’re especially excited about a program, prepare either a residency letter of interest or a residency letter of intent to demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment after your residency interviews conclude. Since your residency interviews will take place during the fall and winter of your final year of medical school, plan to send these letters in late January or early February.

Just like with your medical school letters of intent or interest, while the content of both letters will be similar, there is a critical difference between them. A letter of interest lets the admissions committee know that their program is near the top of your Rank Order List (ROL), and a letter of intent lets them know you intend to rank their program as your #1 choice. While a letter of interest is like sending a valentine or a bouquet of flowers, a letter of intent puts a ring on it.

In other words, you can send multiple letters of interest but do not send more than one letter of intent. This demonstrates a woeful lack of integrity and ethical decision making, which could compromise your chances of matching into your top-rated residency programs.


The Residency Application Process

Med School Insiders offers Comprehensive Residency Match Packages designed to maximize your chances of matching into the residency programs of your dreams. Our team of doctors has years of experience serving on admissions committees, so you’ll receive essential insights from people who have been intimately involved with the selection process.

View our library of free resources, including our ERAS Residency Application Guide, 9 Essential Tips for Applying to Residency, and our comprehensive Residency Interview Guide for a complete overview of common interview questions, preparation advice, and mistakes to avoid.


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