chicalifornian

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Jan 14, 2010
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Okay, so I'm a little pissed at one of the programs that didn't give me an interview but didn't fill before the scramble. It's a place I would have ranked highly based on geography alone, and it had a decent yet unspectacular reputation. I am not so vain as to think it was because my application was "too good" for them. I conclude that it was because they thought they didn't need applicants like me.

In the end it doesn't matter (I matched), but it still bugs me a bit.
 

tegs15

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Do you know which programs didn't fill? I'd really like to know and I'm sure I'm not alone.:eek:
 

chicalifornian

EM: when you're MD ADHD
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Do you know which programs didn't fill? I'd really like to know and I'm sure I'm not alone.:eek:
I do (I helped a friend scramble), but I don't think it's fair to the programs (that did give me an interview and I thought were alright) and the residents.
 

HIJay

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same thing happened to me. i ranked a program #1 yet they went 1 freaking spot unfilled! after reapeated calling and telling them that i ranked them #1 in the match they still didnt even give me a chance at the scramble. wth
 

Tiger26

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same thing happened to me. i ranked a program #1 yet they went 1 freaking spot unfilled! after reapeated calling and telling them that i ranked them #1 in the match they still didnt even give me a chance at the scramble. wth
That's low man. I'm totally sorry. It feels terrible watching you guys have to go through with all this, esp since EM shouldn't be that competitive.
 
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HIJay

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because i will hold myself to a higher standard, that program will be nameless. but that is messed up consider i did my rotation there also.
 

dmitrinyr

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same thing happened to me. i ranked a program #1 yet they went 1 freaking spot unfilled! after reapeated calling and telling them that i ranked them #1 in the match they still didnt even give me a chance at the scramble. wth
Stories like this really makes me mad. Program occasionally get too cocky and think that their program is really "in-demand" and so they decrease the amount of spots that they rank as if it's a contest to see which program can fill the least amount of ranks on their list.

That is how a program in the midwest had 9 total spots and 4 of them went unfilled (I will not name this program because I don't want to rub it's face in the mud but all of the people that scrambled know which one I mean). This means that many good and qualified applicants that this program and the like interviewed but did not rank. Applicants that might have been a good fit in the program. Applicants that might have wanted to be at that program. Basically by doing this, the program is saying that it would rather scramble for what's left after the match then have YOU as the resident there. This sucks. I don't see why program don't just rank everone that they interview. This will effectively limit if not eliminate unfilled programs in competitive specialties such as EM.

I've had situations were I rotated at a program when I was a 4th year and did well. The place not only did not offer me an interview but had 2 spots out of 10 open in the scramble... which of course I was not picked for.

Scramble is a funny thing. I have the feeling that many of the scramble applicants have someone (usually another EM attending or maybe an EM PD or APD) vouching for them to the program with open spots. To the applicant this gives you hope that maybe you know the right person and maybe, just maybe you might catch a break and get a spot. Then you realize (after the programs tell you "if we like you, we'll contact you") that there's probably 400 people trying to land that one open spot and you're back down to reality looking at your phone/fax machine and hoping/praying that it will ring for hours. Then at the end of the day, you're faced with the reality that there is and was no phone call and now after you have been dreaming/wishing/imagining doing EM this year, you have to activate Plan B and hope that "maybe next year is YOUR year". Ok, that's enough ranting for one post.
 

HIJay

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Stories like this really makes me mad. Program occasionally get too cocky and think that their program is really "in-demand" and so they decrease the amount of spots that they rank as if it's a contest to see which program can fill the least amount of ranks on their list.

That is how a program in the midwest had 9 total spots and 4 of them went unfilled (I will not name this program because I don't want to rub it's face in the mud but all of the people that scrambled know which one I mean). This means that many good and qualified applicants that this program and the like interviewed but did not rank. Applicants that might have been a good fit in the program. Applicants that might have wanted to be at that program. Basically by doing this, the program is saying that it would rather scramble for what's left after the match then have YOU as the resident there. This sucks. I don't see why program don't just rank everone that they interview. This will effectively limit if not eliminate unfilled programs in competitive specialties such as EM.

I've had situations were I rotated at a program when I was a 4th year and did well. The place not only did not offer me an interview but had 2 spots out of 10 open in the scramble... which of course I was not picked for.

Scramble is a funny thing. I have the feeling that many of the scramble applicants have someone (usually another EM attending or maybe an EM PD or APD) vouching for them to the program with open spots. To the applicant this gives you hope that maybe you know the right person and maybe, just maybe you might catch a break and get a spot. Then you realize (after the programs tell you "if we like you, we'll contact you") that there's probably 400 people trying to land that one open spot and you're back down to reality looking at your phone/fax machine and hoping/praying that it will ring for hours. Then at the end of the day, you're faced with the reality that there is and was no phone call and now after you have been dreaming/wishing/imagining doing EM this year, you have to activate Plan B and hope that "maybe next year is YOUR year". Ok, that's enough ranting for one post.
my sentiments exactly.
 

Tiger26

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A quick glance at the SAEM website shows midwestern programs with 9 residents per to be Regions and MCW . . . .
 

peppy

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I definitely am sorry to hear that some of you guys are having such a hard time.

I don't see why program don't just rank everone that they interview. This will effectively limit if not eliminate unfilled programs in competitive specialties such as EM.
I have been part of the ranking meeting for a program in a different specialty. Apparently some programs take the stance that if anyone involved with the applicants (including prog coordinator, residents who gave tours, etc.) has misgivings about an applicant that applicant isn't ranked. It only takes one person to get the wrong idea about you to mean that you won't be considered.
In that sense, I think part of this process is very dependent on sheer luck. You can do everything right, but if you get an interviewer who had a bad day or something random happens that leads to a misunderstanding about you, it can spoil your chances at a program.
Sometimes I think people who have matched take it for granted and don't realize that they are in fact lucky in a sense, because not matching can happen to anyone if things just don't happen to go their way.

I've had situations were I rotated at a program when I was a 4th year and did well. The place not only did not offer me an interview but had 2 spots out of 10 open in the scramble... which of course I was not picked for.
I can imagine that must have been incredibly disappointing. Did you ever get any indication of why they didn't interview you? I remember seeing your prior posts on here and I was really hoping that things would work out for you this year. But maybe in the long run you will look back and be happier with the road you end up going on instead.
 

It'sElectric

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Quick question: We eventually find out which programs did not initially match (i.e. took part in the scramble), correct?
 
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Yes, they will release the names and numbers of programs that did not match but it might take them a while.
 

dmitrinyr

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I don't quite understand why people are so interested in which programs did not fill via the match. Often times it's different programs every year with very few exceptions. Programs don't fill for many reasons and just because a program doesn't fill, I don't think a person should look at that as a negative for that program.

As for the deleted posts, I'm just assuming (and so I may be wrong) but those posts might have said something referring to the people who didn't match that they should accept the reality or look at the situation with a realistic outlook that there is a reason that they didn't match (i.e. possibly non-competitive or avg USMLE scores, IMG status, no a diverse enough application plan, not enough interviews, no honors on EM elective, etc.) and that they should face this reality and go on. Or maybe that they shouldn't really be so surprised that they didn't match given these possible factors.

Still, it doesn't matter how realistic your chances of matching are... right now, to the person who wanted nothing more than an EM spot and who's hopes were so high after many interviews and positive feedback, the feeling now that the reality is sinking in that you didn't get what you've been striving for and wanted is so overwhelmingly sad and you're either in complete denial or feel like a complete failure. Right now, it really doesn't help to hear just how low of chance you might have had at attaining a position given the competitive nature of EM. These applicants have to face it on their own terms and deal with it on their own terms. They have to now activate plan B and hope for the best. Eventually, they should be talked to about their chances of getting an EM spot next year (if in fact that's what they're planning to do) as everyone should have a very realistic outlook on this, just not now.

Trust me, I've dealt with this issue for a few years now and have had people give me the hard talk saying "look there's a very low chance that you will get a spot when you reapply next year give Factor A,BC". I approached this past reapplication cycle with a very realistic outlook and knew that the chances were against me. Still, hope is always there and it's the last thing to go. I had hope until the end and now realize that it might not be in my future and so I have to go on with something else. This is unfortunate but something that I was ready to deal with.

So my final message to the people that did not match is: Don't give up. If EM is something you really want deep down in your heart, than do everything you can to improve your chances so that next year you might be more successful than this year. Keep that hope alive and keep fighting. In the end, if you don't get it, then at least you can say to yourself that you did everything you could and will have no regrets.
 

It'sElectric

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I don't quite understand why people are so interested in which programs did not fill via the match. Often times it's different programs every year with very few exceptions. Programs don't fill for many reasons and just because a program doesn't fill, I don't think a person should look at that as a negative for that program.
I 100% agree. I'll have to admit a part of it is just plain curiosity. I think programs NOT filling has a lot more to do with a failed strategy on their part (not interviewing/ranking enough individuals or possibly even not enough of the right individuals). That being said, if I ended up at a program that didn't fill initially, I would like to see those strategies change in the future.
 

USCDiver

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When I helped my program do their rank list a few years ago, we as a group consciously decided that there were a few applicants that simply were not right for the program and that we'd have preferred scrambling to matching those applicants. I know it sucks to be that guy, but as you all know there are a bunch of qualified people in the scramble pool and better to snag one of those than an applicant you KNOW isn't going to work out.
 

pinipig523

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I don't understand why you guys are upset that a program would rather go unfilled than fill it up with applicants whom they don't like.

Can it be that they just don't feel like they jive well with you?

I've been to a few interviews, when I was applying, where I didn't feel a connection and I'm sure they did too. I would not feel offended if they would rather not fill than match me because the feeling was mutual. It's not that I was a bad candidate either (I matched at my #1) but I am 100% positive that there were programs that ranked me low or maybe none-at-all just as some ranked me high.

That's how the match goes, it goes by preference and NOT by virtue of merely filling up spots.
 
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I don't think the OP ever got the chance to even meet with the program to see if they clicked or not. From my understanding, the OP didn't get an interview at a place which then went unfilled.
 

Dr.McNinja

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It's a system plagued by a lack of transparency. Just like medical school applications.
"There are a lot of qualified applicants"
I really wish they would outright tell you what it is. If it is your personality, then fine. Grades? Scores? Things in your folder you're not allowed to see but determine your life? I mean seriously, where else in the real world are job applications secret? Nowhere, because if they lie, it is libel.