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AS RESIDENCY "MATCH DAY" APPROACHES, RESIDENCY CANDIDATES FIND INTERVIEW TRAVEL CAN CRUNCH THEIR ALREADY MEAGER MEANS


Two Frugal Vanderbilt Medical Students Launch Web Site to Help Future Doctors Traverse the Country Visiting Hospitals on a Budget


NASHVILLE, Tennessee, March 1, 2008 – From October to February, U.S. medical students embark on the arduous task of residency interviewing to determine their ultimate position in the profession. Fourth-year medical students can go on anywhere from five to forty interviews in one season, depending on the competitiveness of their specialty.

Unlike other professions, medical students largely pay the interview travel costs out of pocket. There are even special loans up to $10,000 to assist with travel costs. (Just what a medical student needs -- more debt.)

In response, two Vanderbilt medical students created SmartMedTravel.com. The site features a comprehensive database of advice, itineraries and little-known budget-travel options specific to the hospitals and cities where students must travel. Ben Rosenbaum, 26, a neurosurgery applicant, and Randon Hall, 25, a pediatric applicant, have joined to help students save thousands of dollars in an interview season.

Their own frugality drove them to educate other students on the ins and outs of budget travel. Rosenbaum lives in a one-room apartment and is accustomed to sleeping in rental cars and $15 hostels on the eve of interviews. Hall is no stranger to the fifteen-hour Chinatown bus from Nashville to New York priced at a little less than a tank of gas. "We don't expect students to go to the same extremes as us to save money," Hall said, "but we want them to know that there may be a $3 train or an $11 rental car alternative to that $50 taxi we've seen too many people take."

Rosenbaum said, "It's not uncommon to hear students incurring anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 in travel costs during the interview season. Students are just too busy to spend hours searching for the very best deal; they are more concerned about just getting where they are supposed to be in a safe and timely manner."

SmartMedTravel.com is a medical-student-created Web site dedicated to showing medical and pre-med students the cheapest travel options for every city that has a residency program or medical school. It is a comprehensive site filled with travel advice, personalized itineraries, as well as features that allow students to uniquely organize interviews and request to share hotels with other students.

Residency "Match Day" is March 20, 2008.

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In the Media


The Cost of Applying for a Medical Residency
October 1, 2008

"For more ideas, see SmartMedTravel.com, a site developed by two recent medical school graduates in response to travel costs related to the interview process."
AAMC First for Medical Education


Traveling Docs
September 7, 2008

"You read in Rutgers Magazine about SmartMedTravel.com, the resourceful website that Randon Hall RC'04 co-founded to help medical students save money. Here, Hall talks about his pathway to becoming a doctor as well as his expectations for the future."
Rutgers Alumni Magazine


VU med students create smart, cheap travel Web site
May 4, 2008

"But I suppose that necessity is the mother of invention (or innovation), and that's why Vandy med students Randon Hall and Ben Rosenbaum have created a Web site, www.SmartMedTravel.com, that turns out to be a great resource not just for docs, but for almost anyone traveling on a budget.

The fourth-year students, who will graduate in May, designed the site to help themselves and other medical students figure out cheap ways to travel when interviewing all over the country for residency positions."
The Tennessean


VUSM students' site shares tips on cutting residency travel costs
March 7, 2008

"The two classmates, after months of trading travel tip-filled e-mails with each other and their classmates, decided to compile some of their best ideas, and in January launched a Web site: SmartMedTravel.com.

The Web site includes a personal blog from the two students and a trip planner for interview cities (which include most of the major U.S. cities). "
The Reporter - Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Press Releases


As Residency "Match Day" Approaches, Residency Candidates Find Interview Travel Can Crunch Their Already Meager Means
March 1, 2008