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Any comments on couples match?

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by Sir Jun, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. Sir Jun

    Sir Jun Member
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    Hi,
    I'm new to the list; I've found the info so far very helpful.

    I'll be applying for 2005 to OMP, and my fiance is going to be applying to internal medicine. Any ideas on how to make this work?

    Thanks in advance.

    Dan
     
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  3. ckyuen

    ckyuen Senior Member
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    We had a resident who matched here and his wife match in peds at our program. I think he said they applied to similar places, then he filled out his rank list and when he found out where he matched his wife contacted the corresponding pediatrics program. You should know before your fiance's rank list is due so she can put her list in accordingly.
     
  4. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    Gottschalk (ophthalmology) in this forum and his wife (dermatology) matched here at Iowa. They both applied to the same programs and interviewed. The SFMatch then runs the ophthalmology match and calls the top program in regards to his wife's chances. If the program states, in confidence, that they are ranking the spouse to match, then SFMatch keeps the match; otherwise, they go to the second, third, fourth, etc... This is a complicated process, but it worked well for both of them. :D
     
  5. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    BTW, welcome to the forum! ;)
     
  6. eyestar

    eyestar Member
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    "The SFMatch then runs the ophthalmology match and calls the top program in regards to his wife's chances. If the program states, in confidence, that they are ranking the spouse to match, then SFMatch keeps the match; otherwise, they go to the second, third, fourth, etc... This is a complicated process, but it worked well for both of them..."


    Hi andrew!
    I am a little confused. ophtho match is tough but it seems like having a spouse will make it much easier if sfmatch contacts the pd of the spouse(lets say spouse going to peds which is easier to get in and if pd says yes, then you can get matched for ophtho at that place!!!!!!
    Am I misunderstanding???
    I need to get a spouse !!!
     
  7. mjl34

    mjl34 Member
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    Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. SF Match looks first at the programs where the OPHTHO applicant will match (independent of any influence from the spouse) and then hopes to find nearby programs that also will rank the spouse highly. If your spouse would have matched at UCLA but Jules Stein hates you, you're not going to be headed to LA. Does that make sense?
     
  8. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    I meant "top program matched" for the ophthalmology applicant.
     
  9. ophth_not_opth

    ophth_not_opth Junior Member
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    I did the couple's match, and have to say that it is run very well--better that the NRMP's version.

    It's as the others have said; you submit your list as usual, but you will supply a list of your partner's programs as well. SF match will run your match first and then call the geographically relevant programs on your partner's list. So in fact, your partners list doesn't have to be ranked by preference--it's probably easier for the SF match if it's ordered by geography.

    You will then get a call from the SF match--mine came at about 9:30pm about 3 days prior to the actual ophthalmology match date. You are told where you are scheduled to match, and then are told vague details about the phone converstation the SF match had with your partner's programs. It basically amounts to 'high probability, maybe, or don't hold your breath.' With that, you're asked if you want to accept YOUR spot, or if you want to move down to your next would-be match and wait for SF match to call more programs.

    A difficult scenario is if you were matched at a great program, but were, say #6 of 6. In this case, even if you accept, you could imagine that in this musical chairs game, you might get bumped out of your spot. You'd be told if this were a distinct possibility--but I can't give you any more useful advice on the matter because thankfully I didn't go through it.

    In the end, it's all unofficial since SF match and NRMP are sort of enemies. You'll be told that nothing is documented about SF match's conversations with NRMP programs, and that a lot of it is based on trust rather than contract.

    The benefit of this system is that I think you have more control over the situation. Being able to actively make the decision is nice. I believe the NRMP system lets you rank combinations, but to me, it's not the same--guess I'm a control freak. Go figure.

    Hope this helped.
     
  10. DOnut

    DOnut Senior Member
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    This is one of the most helpful forums I have read. I was almost ready to give up my dream of ophthalmo because I thought that there was no way to control where I matched in comparison to where my wife matches. We plan to have a family, and as much as ophthalmology is my number one, I was not willing to live in different states for training. Great info. Thank you!!
     
  11. Sir Jun

    Sir Jun Member
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    This is all very helpful information. Thank you very much.

    Dan
     
  12. eyestar

    eyestar Member
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    "With that, you're asked if you want to accept YOUR spot, or if you want to move down to your next would-be match and wait for SF match to call more programs."

    If you say, you don't want to accept that spot, does the sfmatch go back and then call you each time to ask your decision as it goes down the list?
     
  13. ophth_not_opth

    ophth_not_opth Junior Member
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    My short answer to your question is "yeah, I think so."

    I was fortunate because my first match was also a good location for my finacee, so it wasn't a big deal. So my guess is semi-educated at best. Nonetheless, it is quite possible to go through several 'matches' before finding a location where both of you are well liked. For this reason, they would probably call you for each match to inform you of your status. Keep in mind that in order to find your next potential 'match,' the computer needs to run the whole enchilada (read: EVERYONE's lists) over again. Therefore, you don't know where your next spot is, and it would be possible to go from being matched to unmatched. My gut feeling is that if you decide to drop down a spot, you forfeit your previous match and are not allowed to change your mind. Unfortunately, the permutations are endless. But take heart; knowing where you are on your list gives you a great idea of whether going to a lower choice is risky. Also, the advice they will give, though unofficial, is excellent.

    Sorry for being long-winded.

    Cheers.
     
  14. eyestar

    eyestar Member
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    I personally don't think that's fair. May I am just bitter from my recent match experience, going thru hell with having a lot of interviews and pds calling me telling me how they ranked me very high to find out I didn't match. I wish I had a choice to know where I stood or whether a certain program ranked me high enough and so on. The match is very biased if they call certain people to give a hint....Am I the only one who thinks that's not right???
     
  15. jwolfe

    jwolfe Junior Member
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    I am sorry that you didn't match - especially after hearing from PD's, but what makes the couples match unfair? The phone calls these people are talking about are after everyone has submitted their lists (programs and applicants). E.g. assume X and Y are couples matching and X is applying to ophthalmology and Y to ortho. After ophtho lists are submitted the director of the ophthalmology match contacts the ortho PD at the school where X has matched. The ortho PD is under no obligation to communicate anything regarding Y, but usually will indicate it is 1)likely or 2)possible or 3)unlikely that Y will match into their program. The director of the ophthalmology match then contacts X and says, "You have matched at ______ and I have been informed it is unlikely that Y will match in the correspoding ortho program. Would you like to accept the spot?" If X says yes, then he's in. If he says no its back into the match like that school never existed - he gets no advantage at that school or any other because of Y (not through the SF Match anyways). The only 'advantage' he has is having the opportunity to pass on the program he matched into in an attempt to maintain the couple. This should not be disturbing as he is then just moving down his rank list, or not matching at all. And if your response is that no one would give up a spot... I know of at least one applicant that relinquished their ophthalmology spot this year in order stay close to their spouse; the result was going unmatched.

    A tanget to this already longwinded message. PD's calling students to indicate their interest or inform the student of their rank is against the SF match rules and frankly, unethical. To me this may describe a pattern of behavior (i.e. unethical behavior) in these programs and this is ofcourse blatantly obvious to you, as apparently they lied to you about how high they ranked you.

    Sorry for the long post. Also, I am not trying to offend anyone - please don't take it that way. And finally, for full disclosure, I did match ophtho this year but not through the couples match.
     
  16. ophth_not_opth

    ophth_not_opth Junior Member
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    Eyestar,

    For what it's worth, I'm sorry you didn't match.

    I tried to phrase my description of the couple's match in a way to show that there is minimal advantage gained. In fact, the only advantage I can see is that you may get to know your position a couple of days early. The fact remains that if you don't match, you don't match. It's not as if you get 'updates' every so often appraising you of where you stand. And it's not as if you TRULY know until the actual match day. You basically get a phone call(after all interviewing is over) telling you what your chances are of a successful couple's match. You get no special priority--your only choice is to drop down on your list to try to increase your chances. And as I mentioned previously, you can drop yourself to being unmatched--you just don't know. How would you feel if you had a spot, decided to drop down a spot, and went unmatched? Worse yet, what if you had a chance to match at your last ranked program but knew your wife had minimal chance of being in the same state? It's a hard decision to make in 5 minutes, and in my brief conversation with the match, it's unfortunately common.

    The couple's match is not fun. That they offer this service is really nice, and in my opinion it does not materially affect the match(yes, you may boot someone out of a spot if you drop down, but at the same time, your old slot opens up so...). I suppose it's not my job to defend the match, but I did want to be clear about the process so you guys know what you're getting into. If you have anymore concerns that I can help clarify, you know where to post...


    Cheers
     

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