Contrary to popular belief, the Match is not a one-sided process. Both programs and medical graduates must go through a complex process to determine their best Match. However, due to the imbalance of programs to number of applicants, medical students and graduates feel more pressured to make a lasting impact on program directors. Throughout the application and interview processes, prospective residents should keep a few things in mind in order to better understand which program is best for them.
Weigh your options - There are many different types of residency programs in the U.S., so consider your personal preferences and priorities when selecting programs. Additionally, do some research on acceptance rates of these programs and the types of applicants they admit.
Select your specialty carefully - Your specialty will define your medical journey, so be sure to choose something you are passionate about and willing to work toward.
Seek support - Whether from a medical school, a family member, or an organization like Residents Medical, all applicants can benefit from an added support system to relieve some of the weight and pressure of applying to residency. Tutoring and placement organizations such as Residents Medical provide an extra leg up because they are able to build long-term connections with programs and directors.
Build your networks - Is there a doctor in your family? Or are you friends with someone who has previously applied to and successfully achieved residency? These people can be your #1 source of information and guidance when it comes to seeking medical residency.
As you consider programs, interview with program directors, and become more familiar with the residency process, a few programs may emerge as well-suited for you. While residency programs appear to have the upper hand in the Match process, keep in mind what type of residency is best for you and work toward putting yourself in their line of sight.