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Couples Match -- Linking late...

Discussion in 'ERAS, SOAP, and NRMP Match' started by turkotto, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. turkotto


    Jan 14, 2014
    Searched through other threads and couldn't find anything that specifically addressed this...

    My SO and I started dating last year. In the haze of 3rd year and our powers of suppression we avoided thinking about what this meant for matching -- we discussed it briefly when we started but at the time it was just kind of a mood killer.

    Now it's late into the game, and we're both beginning to feel very anxious because the relationship is going very well but we have several concerns about matching and what it might mean for our future.

    At this point I think we are both willing to potentially settle for programs that weren't as good of a fit if it means we can be closer, but we're concerned that linking this late would confuse the PDs (we mentioned we may couples match to some), hurt both of us as realistically we can only rank 8 that are meaningfully close to each other, and may cause other damages that are unseen to me as couples matching wasn't something I fully researched (I'm doing as much as I can now). The other side of the coin would be matching independently (with a geographic overlap in a few boarding states) and bank that we can hold it long term.

    I know this is a very personal choice that needs to be our decision but if anyone can speak from experience or offer advice towards our situation, we would be very appreciative. We're planning to make some kind of meaningful decision by the end of the week. Thanks!

    Other facts:
    Both AMGs, good step scores/clinical evals/no red flags, applying for non-competitive programs (family and IM)
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  3. Jubears09

    Jubears09 2+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2013
    I'm not quite sure I understand what these "unseen damages" might be. Just link up and cover all the permutations involving you guys not being together below your favorite coupling combinations. Couples matching can't hurt you if you fill out the rank list properly.
  4. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite! Moderator SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2006
    Take a look here:

    From a timing standpoint, it does not matter whether you told PD's you were couple's matching or not. Our rank lists are basically the same, you link your lists. So don't worry about that. The real question is whether you're willing to compromise on the location / program of your training in order to be together, and risk breaking up and then being angry that you didn't choose differently.

    As in the thread above, you'll need to decide whether it's better to match into different cities, or end up with one of you unmatched.

    If this doesn't make sense, post back here.
  5. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    At the risk of bringing up the "nexus" word, some programs might have given your application more credence that you would actually be amenable to relocating to their locale if you told them you were linked to someone who was interviewing at a different program in that town. So in this sense being on board earlier might not have been totally useless. Whether it makes a difference depends on a multitude of factors though, so no point worrying about what could have been.
  6. Raryn

    Raryn Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist Physician 7+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2008
    Whether it confuses the PDs is completely immaterial. They have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not you're couples matching in the NRMP system without you (voluntarily) telling them either personally or by checking the boxes in ERAS. ERAS has no connection to the NRMP system.

    Basically, what the above means is that when you link is immaterial to the actual process of couples matching. The only thing that makes things difficult for you now is sitting down with said significant other and figuring out your priorities for the match:

    You will have a number of possible strategies. The big question is simply whether you're going to rank *all* possible combinations or if you'd prefer one of you not matching to you both matching in very different locations. If you are going to rank all possible combinations and you do so, each of you have the exact same chance matching as you would had you ranked individually. If there's any combinations that aren't ranked, your overall chance of matching may (and will likely) be at least a little decreased.

    So if you each interviewed at 10 programs that you are willing to rank, you will need to rank 120 combinations to maximize both of your chances of matching.

    20 of those combinations will be one of you matching and the other one not matching (program code 9999999 or something). These are combinations that you should rank regardless of your strategy, because if those aren't ranked at the bottom of your respective lists you run the real risk of both of you not matching when one of you might have. Rank *all* of those, because rank #121 (which doesn't actually exist) is both of you not matching, and all 20 of them should be preferable to that.

    Of the remaining 100, the easy combinations (2 good programs in close proximity) will obviously be at the top. But a number of the 100 will have to be compromises: maybe one of the programs isn't as good. Maybe the two programs are really far apart. Or some combination of the above. You'll have to go through the list to prioritize. If there's any of those 100 combinations that is unacceptable to the point that you'd prefer one of you not match than have that be the result, then don't rank it. But those are the terms in which you have to think about it.
  7. mvenus929

    mvenus929 Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    Just to throw in another perspective that shouldn't make much difference, but might... As a couple, you get 30 ranks for free. I believe after that, you have to pay $15 for each program combination you rank. If you list all 120 combinations, that is going to get very expensive very quickly.
  8. Raryn

    Raryn Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist Physician 7+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2008
    You get thirty unique ranks for free. Each.

    So you can rank up to 900 combinations for free just fine.
  9. mvenus929

    mvenus929 Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    My misunderstanding, then :)

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