8YearsLate

Sub Canus lupus familiaris
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Hi All,

Apologies if this is a dumb question, but I'd like to understand from the source:

When I'm looking at a list of match results, and it says X Specialty, at Y Hospital, in Z State...

Is this a giant list of residency slots that your school gives to you come app/match time, which are already preordained to be filled by students from your institution?

OR is there a giant master list somewhere, and everyone in the country is applying to it, and the school publishes data with all the places where people end up?

I guess what I'm really getting at:

If I want to live in states like ABC, but not interested in living/working/residency in EFG states, can I trust the match list? Or does it change every year, based on where graduates are applying for residency? And is it possible for a school with say, 3 neuro matches to suddenly have 8 neuro matches the next year because more applied, or is the school limited on how many students it can "send" into that field?

Sorry if this sounds stupid, but I'm having trouble understanding how it is organized, so I can factor it into my school decision. Thanks for any help!
 

Sardonix

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Summer/fall before residency application season you get your application together. You submit it to the NRMP. Come a specific day you then start sending your application out to whichever programs you want. Most people apply to only 1-2 specialties (FM, IM, surgery etc). You apply based on what programs you want to interview at, which is usually based on your own preferences (specialty, geography, reputation etc). For Example:
- University of Minesarkantois--Department of Butt Surgery--Smelly City, Minesarkantois (Notes: good reputation, not the greatest city, close to family)
- University of Colonrado--Department of Colon Radiology--Rads, Colonrado (Notes: great fellowships, friends live nearby)
- Super Serial Killers Foundation--Department of Skinwearing--Gary, Indiana (Notes: bad reputation, safety application)

Stuff like that.

The programs then look at your application. If they like it they extend an interview invite. You then interview at that program.

Come another deadline, like January, you submit a list of all the programs you interviewed at (you could submit a list of programs you did not actually get an interview from, but no one does this). You rank them by which program you liked the most, starting from 1 until whatever number you interviewed. The programs do the same with the applicants they interviewed.

Then in March after months of waiting for no real good reason you find out on a Monday IF you matched. The following Friday you find out WHAT program you matched into WHERE (and for people who applied to multiple specialties, what SPECIALTY they matched).

And that's it.
 
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8YearsLate

Sub Canus lupus familiaris
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Aug 28, 2017
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Summer/fall before residency application season you get your application together. You submit it to the NRMP. Come a specific day you then start sending your application out to whichever programs you want. Most people apply to only 1-2 specialties (FM, IM, surgery etc). You apply based on what programs you want to interview at, which is usually based on your own preferences (specialty, geography, reputation etc). For Example:
- University of Minesarkantois--Department of Butt Surgery--Smelly City, Minesarkantois (Notes: good reputation, not the greatest city, close to family)
- University of Colonrado--Department of Colon Radiology--Rads, Colonrado (Notes: great fellowships, friends live nearby)
- Super Serial Killers Foundation--Department of Skinwearing--Gary, Indiana (Notes: bad reputation, safety application)

Stuff like that.

The programs then look at your application. If they like it they extend an interview invite. You then interview at that program.

Come another deadline, like January, you submit a list of all the programs you interviewed at (you could submit a list of programs you did not actually get an interview from, but no one does this). You rank them by which program you liked the most, starting from 1 until whatever number you interviewed. The programs do the same with the applicants they interviewed.

Then in March after months of waiting for no real good reason you find out on a Monday IF you matched. The following Friday you find out WHAT program you matched into WHERE (and for people who applied to multiple specialties, what SPECIALTY they matched).

And that's it.
Thank you so much for the thorough reply. It definitely helps me understand how the entire match works. I guess my bigger question, though, is: when you sit down and say, Okay, it's time for me to "submit to the NRMP" and "sending your application out to whichever programs you want," what are you looking at? Are you looking at a country-wide, national database with every single residency in the US available for you to apply to? Or are you looking at appx. 150 pre-determined slots available through your university, that are comprised of their affiliate hospitals, pre-orchestrated contracts etc.? Thanks again!

Edit: And furthermore, if it IS a national database, what does it mean when someone says "this school has a good match list"? Wouldn't it be random each year if graduates can apply anywhere? And if it IS random, why do the rates and locations stay so stable? (i.e. "25 in primary care mostly in xyz states," or "3 neurology matches in efg states," etc.?)
 
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Sardonix

10+ Year Member
Sep 6, 2010
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Thank you so much for the thorough reply. It definitely helps me understand how the entire match works. I guess my bigger question, though, is: when you sit down and say, Okay, it's time for me to "submit to the NRMP" and "sending your application out to whichever programs you want," what are you looking at? Are you looking at a country-wide, national database with every single residency in the US available for you to apply to? Or are you looking at appx. 150 pre-determined slots available through your university, that are comprised of their affiliate hospitals, pre-orchestrated contracts etc.? Thanks again!

You can apply to literally any listed program in the country. Your school has no say in where you apply, only in the quality of your education and what they put into your Dean's letter.

Whether any programs actually like you is another story.
 

xffan624

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Jan 6, 2013
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Hi All,

Apologies if this is a dumb question, but I'd like to understand from the source:

When I'm looking at a list of match results, and it says X Specialty, at Y Hospital, in Z State...

Is this a giant list of residency slots that your school gives to you come app/match time, which are already preordained to be filled by students from your institution?

OR is there a giant master list somewhere, and everyone in the country is applying to it, and the school publishes data with all the places where people end up?

I guess what I'm really getting at:

If I want to live in states like ABC, but not interested in living/working/residency in EFG states, can I trust the match list? Or does it change every year, based on where graduates are applying for residency? And is it possible for a school with say, 3 neuro matches to suddenly have 8 neuro matches the next year because more applied, or is the school limited on how many students it can "send" into that field?

Sorry if this sounds stupid, but I'm having trouble understanding how it is organized, so I can factor it into my school decision. Thanks for any help!

Individual students apply to residency programs, not schools. Match lists give an idea of where their students tend to go (although often that's based on their preference not on where they COULD go). There is no ceiling on what specialties or locations students go to beyond the students' preferences and school reputation (which does play a role, but is dependent on a lot of factors).
 
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8YearsLate

Sub Canus lupus familiaris
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Individual students apply to residency programs, not schools. Match lists give an idea of where their students tend to go (although often that's based on their preference not on where they COULD go). There is no ceiling on what specialties or locations students go to beyond the students' preferences and school reputation (which does play a role, but is dependent on a lot of factors).
Awesome, thanks again! So, to sum up: I shouldn't place a ton of weight on the match list program locations when deciding where I go to school? Ultimately I will have a good amount of say in which part of the country I end up in?
 

xffan624

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Awesome, thanks again! So, to sum up: I shouldn't place a ton of weight on the match list program locations when deciding where I go to school? Ultimately I will have a good amount of say in which part of the country I end up in?

No. I went to a state school in Florida. My colleagues ended up all over the country based on their preference. The only disclaimer to that is that there will, of course, be familiarity with residency program directors who have matched medical students in the past from the same medical school (i.e. a known quality) that may give an advantage to regional programs, but it shouldn't be determinative or exclusive to keep out qualified applicants from other areas.
 
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hallowmann

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Awesome, thanks again! So, to sum up: I shouldn't place a ton of weight on the match list program locations when deciding where I go to school? Ultimately I will have a good amount of say in which part of the country I end up in?


You ultimately apply to specific programs, which each have a certain number of slots. They review your application and decide to interview a certain number of people. Typically this number is usually 5-10/slot that they have. You then interview. Of the places you interview at, you will then rank them. They will rank you.

If you are ranked to match by a program and you rank them, ultimately you will match at the highest program on your rank list that has ranked you to match. If not, then you will have to SOAP, which is another process in which left over slots and programs are interviewing through a compressed process of interviews and offers.

The rank lists vary for a lot of reasons that are typically impossible to interpret by premed students with limited experience in the process. Generally its better to go to a school in the region you want to end up in, because your school will likely have a reputation in the region, but its not like going to a residency outside of that region is impossible or even hard depending on the specialty and region.
 
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8YearsLate

Sub Canus lupus familiaris
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You ultimately apply to specific programs, which each have a certain number of slots. They review your application and decide to interview a certain number of people. Typically this number is usually 5-10/slot that they have. You then interview. Of the places you interview at, you will then rank them. They will rank you.

If you are ranked to match by a program and you rank them, ultimately you will match at the highest program on your rank list that has ranked you to match. If not, then you will have to SOAP, which is another process in which left over slots and programs are interviewing through a compressed process of interviews and offers.

The rank lists vary for a lot of reasons that are typically impossible to interpret by premed students with limited experience in the process. Generally its better to go to a school in the region you want to end up in, because your school will likely have a reputation in the region, but its not like going to a residency outside of that region is impossible or even hard depending on the specialty and region.
Thank you! I get it now!!
 

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