Early Match and the Couples Match

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by coop, Apr 15, 2002.

  1. coop

    coop Senior Member
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    I know this is a little early (my girlfriend and I will be starting med school this fall) but I had a question. I know about the couples match process thru nrmp. However I was wondering, if both people in the couple are applying to specialties in the SF/early Match does the same couples match algorithm apply? Also, if one is applying to a SFMatch specialty and the other is applying to an NRMP one, is there a couples match process for that as well? if so, how would the timing work?

    Thanks a lot guys.
     
  2. Pilot Doc

    Pilot Doc SDN Angel
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    Coop,

    The short answer is no.

    SF Match has no provision for couples match within its on program or coordinated with NRMP. If you are both applying to early match fields, you can

    1) Attempt to arrange positions outside the match at less competitive programs. Suboptimal for a number of reasons. OR

    2)Apply to only one big city with multiple programs. NY, chicago, etc. OR

    3)Apply normally and pray. You could end up in different cities without any real chance of training in the same place in your chosen fields.

    If your situation is one early match and one NRMP, life is better. Early match results come in before NRMP rank lists have to be submitted. So you can prevent scenario #3 above. There are still some pitfalls, though. Private message me if you want more details.

    Doesn't sound very appealing, does it? My wife and I both eventually chose general surgery because there's no good way to early couple match. Situation #2 might work if you like big cities - we don't.

    So ... don't despair. There are many bridges and forks in the road ahead of you before that one. If you want something to do now, have good basic science grades, _excellent_ board scores and start making faculty contacts in your (presumed) chosen fields.
     
  3. coop

    coop Senior Member
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    pilot doc,
    thanks for the great info, I only wish it was better news. This is what I had suspected... I'll send you a PM for more details, thanks.
     
  4. grkbuckeye

    grkbuckeye Senior Member
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    Pilot Doc,
    I will soon be facing the same situation. My wife and I are both in medschool together. It is my understanding that the couples match guarantees you that you will be placed in the same city? Is this the case? Does it become more difficult if one person is applying for a more competative residency? Any info or advice you could give me whould be great. Also is there a website that has any info on the couples match? Thank a lot.
     
  5. Pilot Doc

    Pilot Doc SDN Angel
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    grkbuckeye,

    Everything written above applies if one or more party is in the early match run by SF Match. If both partners are in the regular NRMP March Match, you can couple match.

    Does it guarantee you of being in the same city? With couple match you submit a _paired_ rank order list. For every program on partner #1's list, there is a linked program for partner #2. The couple match guarantees that you will only match into one of your linked pairs. If you only put in same-city pairings, that's all you will match into. (So, no, it is not a built-in guarantee, but you won't match at different cities unless you are willing to do so.)

    As for the couple match algorithm itself, it runs just like the regular match except you must both be offered positions at the same place. If you get offers from programs #1,3,5,7,9,10 and your wife gets offers from 2,4,6,8,10, you both will match to #10.

    There is a much better explanation of the above at this link. The <a href="http://www.aamc.org/nrmp" target="_blank">NRMP website</a> has excellent info about the match in general. The couple match info is so-so but unfortunately the best I have found. I know of no other couple match info on the web except this bulletin board.

    The couple match definitely maks life harder on you. Couples should rank many more programs than a single individual. If one partner is applying to a competitive field/program, the couple match adds another layer of complexity on top. I hope this doesn't sound too dismal. I am not anxious in the least about trying to couple match next year -- it's just one more factor to consider.

    Does that answer your questions?

    PS. Little known fact: any two people can couple match. No romantic linkage required.
     
  6. Pilot Doc

    Pilot Doc SDN Angel
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    Hmm. Lets try this again

    <a href="http://www.nrmp.org//res_match/special_part/us_seniors/couples.html" target="_blank">Couple Match Web Site</a>

    Or

    <a href="http://www.nrmp.org//res_match/special_part/us_seniors/couples.html" target="_blank">http://www.nrmp.org//res_match/special_part/us_seniors/couples.html</a>
     
  7. grkbuckeye

    grkbuckeye Senior Member
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    Pilot Doc,
    Thanks a lot for all the info!! You cleared up a lot of things. I guess it wouldnt be a good idea for one of us to choose Derm and the other Optho huh!! haha. So what are you trying to couple match into next year?
     
  8. spiderman719

    spiderman719 Member
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    Coop and buckeye,

    Although I didn't couples match, I do know people who couples matched between the early match and the regular match. The process is arranged by SFMatch, and is more complicated than the usual couples match. Someone posted a brief description of how it works on another discussion board:
    <a href="http://pub75.ezboard.com/fotolaryngologyresidencyapplicantsfrm7.showMessage?topicID=33.topic" target="_blank">http://pub75.ezboard.com/fotolaryngologyresidencyapplicantsfrm7.showMessage?topicI D=33.topic</a>

    As for both people in the couple applying to early match programs, I haven't heard of this, but I'm certain it can be arranged. You would probably have to contact Doug Perry, who runs the SFMatch.

    I don't think there's any combination of specialties that wouldn't allow you to couples match.

    Good luck!
     
  9. DuneHog

    DuneHog Senior Member
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    Spiderman's referral to the "psuedo" couple's match that the SFMatch will arrange is correct. My wife and I will both be applying to SF match specialties next year. Here is the description that someone gave in the above link. They refer to ENT, but any SF Match specialty applies:

    "After you have interviewed at various ENT programs, you submit a rank list as usual. About this time, your partner will be interviewing for a non-early-match specialty in the cities you interviewed at. When match week rolls around, ENT applicants in the pseudo couples match actually find out where they matched on Wednesday, instead of Friday like everyone else. SF Match will call the programs your partner interviewed at in the same city you matched for ENT. They will find out what your partner's chances are of matching in that city. If the chances are slim in that city, then the ENT applicant has the option of dropping down to a program that is lower on his/her rank list, and the procedure is repeated. By Friday morning, the ENT applicant's match status is finalized. In February, the partner then submits a rank list according to those results.

    Granted, you could get screwed because the programs SF Match calls for your partner might lie, but I would think most programs are not that cruel. This said, it is still to your advantage to apply in cities that have many programs (both ENT and whatever specialty your partner is going into). There are fewer ENT programs than say, medicine programs. So, when you apply to an ENT program in a certain city, chances are that there will be several medicine programs in the same city for your partner to interview at."

    I have actually called SF Match and heard the same thing. And if you both want to do SF Match programs that match at the same time, then SF Match will call you before actual match day with a preliminary match for both of you, and allow one or both of you to change your rank-order list so that you match as a couple. In some ways it is even better than the NRMP couples match.

    The one specialty that I have heard is difficult to match in as a couple is Urology. The Urology match makes no provision or special exception for couples.

    Please post if you have either gone through the couples match process with SF match, or heard about someone who did and let us know how it worked out.
     
  10. Pilot Doc

    Pilot Doc SDN Angel
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    Well I'll be &@$!-ed. Sorry for the bad information - it came straight from my dean of students. Wish I had known otherwise myself.
     
  11. coop

    coop Senior Member
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    THANKS spiderman and dunehog,
    That is reassuring to know that the SFmatch will at least try to take care of things for you. Anyhow, all this is a long time away from now, I know there's lots of mind changes and hurdles along the way, but thanks for all the great info.
     

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