Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch...so that I may get into a residency of my choice!
The Residency “Match” is the most crucial component of postgraduate medical school education. US medical students, as wells as nearly 12,000 international medical students (IMGs), wait in anticipation for the most important day of their life: to get a residency match of their dreams and to inevitably obtain their board-certified medical license.
Matching is an involved process along with algorithms and preferences of residencies to find you the right fit, managed by the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) in the USA.
Residency programs get an innumerable amount of applications, up to 5000 to 6000 in some east coast residency programs for 22 positions or fewer! Getting your match is dependent on how well you do in the interview, your USMLE scores on Step 1 and Step 2, your clinical rotations (3 months minimum hands-on for IMGs), Dean’s Letter (MSPE), LORs, even publications if you have any. Some Program Directors push published applicants up to the top 5 percent of their applicants, so research is not a waste of time. By the way, Residents Medical provides many of these requirements by setting up Visa research fellowships, hands-on clinical rotations for med students and graduate med students, Interview prep, and USMLE help, which are all crucial packaging for a residency applicant.
Interviews, for example, allow you to present yourself in a more personal way instead of just by the books. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, interviews went virtual which saved both programs and students lots of time and money in airfare and hotels. However, some medical schools may continue to keep the interviews online even today because many Program Directors seem quite happy with the residents they virtually interviewed last year and hired this year.
September 15th marks the beginning of residency program applications. Applications can be submitted through ERAS and should include the following, all of which Residents Medical excels at providing for their candidates at residency programs all over the country:
- ERAS application
- Medical School Transcript
- Dean’s Letter
- USMLE transcript
- Personal statement
- Letters of recommendation
- A picture
- ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) status report, additional if you’re an FMG
- PTAL (Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter), additional if you’re an FMG
After submitting your documentation and having those personal interviews, students will rank their preferred residency programs, while the program directors and the “committee” of attendings, assistant programs directors, and yes, current “residents,” do their ranking of which students they want to hire as a trainee for three to five years.
The number game is what gets the ball rolling for your perfect match. A computer algorithm is what churns the numbers of the residency programs that you ranked in your favor and the what the program directors ranked you as and based on this ordering, the software can find the best residency match for you! The Monday of the third week of March is when medical students will be notified where they got in, and even if you students don’t get in through the program, don’t sweat it! There are alternatives in joining a residency through SOAP (Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program). But realize SOAP is really designed for US grads who take nearly 85% of the slots when the dust settles. There is also an option to submitting your ERAS application (PDF version) to “out of match” programs which is the bastion for IMGs looking for residency.
Here at Residents Medical we are most willing to help you find the residency program that you want with many “out of Match” opportunities, which wonderfully may translate to “pre-Match” contracts in November and December months before the Match.
Contact us to have our staff assist and answer your questions about the residency Match process.