end the waitlist madness - how about a match system?

should amcas work on a match system

  • yes, it would be streamlined and efficient

    Votes: 41 51.3%
  • no, i'd like to play the field

    Votes: 33 41.3%
  • it doesn't matter, i probably wouldn't get in anywhere anyway...

    Votes: 5 6.3%

  • Total voters
    80

etf

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well? seeing as it supposedly works pretty well for residency positions, why doesn't amcas operate the same way as the match? especially since i think the texas schools already do this...basically, pick the med schools you'd want to go to in some kind of descending order; they do the same, and a computer tells you where you'll be going for the next four (or more) years. and how about we make it an early match, like sometime in december, so for those of us that don't get in anywhere we can start thinking about other options. if anything, it would get rid of the x vs. y threads. oh, and i don't know how feasible it would be, but there should be a way for it to account for financial aid if you want it to - like if you want to go to your highest ranked school that offers you the most money, or you'd be willing to take a hit and go to a higher (personal) ranked school even if it meant $250k in debt. am i totally off base here?
 

strawberryfield

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etf said:
well? seeing as it supposedly works pretty well for residency positions, why doesn't amcas operate the same way as the match? especially since i think the texas schools already do this...basically, pick the med schools you'd want to go to in some kind of descending order; they do the same, and a computer tells you where you'll be going for the next four (or more) years. and how about we make it an early match, like sometime in december, so for those of us that don't get in anywhere we can start thinking about other options. if anything, it would get rid of the x vs. y threads. oh, and i don't know how feasible it would be, but there should be a way for it to account for financial aid if you want it to - like if you want to go to your highest ranked school that offers you the most money, or you'd be willing to take a hit and go to a higher (personal) ranked school even if it meant $250k in debt. am i totally off base here?
I have also thought of this, as a way we as applicants can address which schools are our first choice and that way there is not June-July-August shuffle of applicants who will drop acceptances when they get off higher choice waitlists! It sounds like a great idea to me, although there are probably complications I haven't considered, but being on a few waitlists myself, it seems like a GREAT IDEA!!!! :thumbup: :luck:
 

SalseraDoctora

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My mom mentioned this too, and I completely agree. It is a great idea and would be a huge improvement. I am sure eventually, someday, that is what they will do.
 

Shredder

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Match without any question. Dunno why it doesn't exist already. Typical inefficiency when competition is lacking. Same thing with why the MCAT isn't yet computerized, shame. A match would eliminate half of pre allo threads.
 

Flopotomist

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I agree that there are a few improvements that could be made to the system - but don't think a match system would work. First, it would be quite expensive for both the schools (who would have to interview more people to insure that the class filled) and for the students who have to interview at more schools. The way it is now, many students withdraw pre-interview from places after receiving acceptances. This "weeds out" a number of applicants to each school. A match would eliminate this weeding.

I think to improve on the system, the May 15th multiple acceptance deadline needs to be more strictly enforced. I think by June 15th there should be NO MORE waitlist movement.


I think the other big improvement needs to be to eliminate secondaries. If you can't figure out who you want to interview from the AMCAS app - then change the primary AMCAS. Raise the cost of AMCAS if you need to and send the money to the schools. Don't waste my time with a secondary that says something like "re-enter all your grades again."

Schedule interviews on weekends. Many students just can't afford to jetset around during the week.

Give an answer after the interview in a reasonable amount of time (yes UCLA, I am looking at you - 6 months post interview and still not even a waitlist notification).

OK.. those are my thoughts on the system.
 

chaeymaey

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Flop, I love you. And on another note, great post; I totally agree with it.
 

Dr. Pepper

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etf said:
well? seeing as it supposedly works pretty well for residency positions, why doesn't amcas operate the same way as the match? especially since i think the texas schools already do this...basically, pick the med schools you'd want to go to in some kind of descending order; they do the same, and a computer tells you where you'll be going for the next four (or more) years. and how about we make it an early match, like sometime in december, so for those of us that don't get in anywhere we can start thinking about other options. if anything, it would get rid of the x vs. y threads. oh, and i don't know how feasible it would be, but there should be a way for it to account for financial aid if you want it to - like if you want to go to your highest ranked school that offers you the most money, or you'd be willing to take a hit and go to a higher (personal) ranked school even if it meant $250k in debt. am i totally off base here?
I think your signature says it all.

Certainly, it is a great idea (or reach), but with all professions, especially medicine, instigating change is perhaps the greatest challenge.

However, Flop does make some pretty sound arguments against the match system.

I honestly think the match system is a good idea just because it allows for both schools and applicants to get what they want (granted, there will be some problems especially with weeding and extra interviews.)

One thing is for sure: improvements can be made, and of course, our grasp must exceed our reach.

Oh yeah, and Chaey has a pretty avatar. :love:
-Dr. P.
 

braluk

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I for one, agree with the match but know why it wont work. Now I am not totally sure how a match works, but it seems to me that medical schools pride themselves in having control of who to accept and who not to. In addition to that, I'm sure a large chunk of change would be lost in application fees, and what not. Interviews seem to be very important in ranking as well, how would this play out in the match game? It sounds like a very good idea, however, Maybe I just need more info on it.
 

LizzyM

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Whereas the match involves a few thousand graduates in each of a bunch of different matches (because for the most part, people are matching in one field so there is a peds match, a OB/GYN match, an internal med match, etc each with a few thousand hopefuls), the medical school match involves 35,000 people and enough slots for only half of them (in contrast there are more residency slots than there are US applicants and so some of those slots are filled later by FMGs).


The fact that med school costs money (in contrast to residency where one is paid money to train) also adds a level of complexity that is missing with The Match.

Nice in theory but I don't see it flying.
 

Dr Girlfriend

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Texas med schools (except for Baylor) have been doing a match system for quite awhile now. Definitely has pros and cons . . . apparently the cons out-weighed to someone who matters because I think the match is gone this year. Worked well for me though!
 

christi5784

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if we got the financial aid info before ranking then I think it would work, but a lot of people change their minds according to it...
 

durfen

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Depakote said:
It would be nice if it could work, in some way...

but there is no way that many people could match to so few spots.
As a computer scientist, I wouldn't want to be stuck writing the optimization algorithm for this. Given the number of applicants and number of seats to be filled, it's a huge computational job, unlike residency match, which is a lot smaller.
 

Depakote

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durfen said:
As a computer scientist, I wouldn't want to be stuck writing the optimization algorithm for this. Given the number of applicants and number of seats to be filled, it's a huge computational job, unlike residency match, which is a lot smaller.
Yes. We'd need some sort of super-nerd with a brain the size of all FLAVIN.
 
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etf

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ok ok, i see some problems surfacing. for one thing, i forgot to add that i definately would want to get rid of secondaries. perhaps raise the amcas fee to $100 per school, to weed out people applying all over the place when they shouldn't be, and step up the fee waiver situation to make sure that no one is kept from applying to a place where they would have a shot because they can't afford it. like a certain income/mcat/gpa threshold or something. also, what about a standardized interview? i mean, most people say that the interview is just to see if you're crazy or something, so how about there just be like 3 different interviews in the largest cities (sf, la, chicago, ny) on a saturday or something, like the mcat. one of the interviewers could be a psychiatrist (to see if you're crazy) and the others could be used to gauge personality/interest in medicine/ other "soft" factors. i'd be down - it would have saved me thousands in flights/hotels/tipping doormen...
 

Dr. Giggles

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Seems pretty simple to me:

1. Scan every applicant file to see which ones make it to their first choice (according to a class list prepared by each school post-interview)
2. Notify students who match into their first choice.
3. Remove students who have matched elsewhere from each school's class list. Fill places according to the rankings of applicants provided by each school.
4. Repeat Steps 1-3 until there is no more turnover (no one else is going to their first choice).
5. Repeat Steps 1-4 for 2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc.

I think the short-term problems of this system are what will keep it from getting off the ground. I don't think it will cost medical schools more monetarily, since they will likely be getting more applications (the fees of which help pay for interview day costs). Each school pretty much will have to guess at first how many students it will need to interview, and if they underestimate it, an underfilled class could be a disaster. Some of the lower-tier schools will truly have no idea how large the turnover is going to be at first. For that reason, we're likely stuck with the status quo.
 

strawberryfield

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If the schools did the match post interview, like Dr. Giggles said, there would still be more applicants than available spots, but at least less than the initial 35,000 or however many of us there are.
 

ph8

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Dr Girlfriend said:
Texas med schools (except for Baylor) have been doing a match system for quite awhile now. Definitely has pros and cons . . . apparently the cons out-weighed to someone who matters because I think the match is gone this year. Worked well for me though!
Have no fear, the TX match system is still in place. They just tweaked it a little this year so that schools can send offers of acceptance prior to Feb. 15 (I believe that is the date for this cycle).
 

Shredder

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braluk said:
medical schools pride themselves in having control of who to accept and who not to. In addition to that, I'm sure a large chunk of change would be lost in application fees
Main reasons right here, no matter what excuses ppl make
 

jillibean

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What about limiting the number of schools people can apply to (maybe just your top 10)? There would have to be some sort of med school convention where all of the applicants could get the scoop on curriculum, facility, students, financial aid, etc and then each student could pick the 10 they thought would be the best fit. I think this process becomes super inefficient when everyone is applying to 20-40 schools... including schools the students know nothing about and have no genuine interest in attending (they will probably just withdraw post-interview), and schools now have thousands of applications to sift through. Schools wouldn't have to have secondaries that ask "why are you interested in our school?" because they would automatically know that their school is one of your top choices.

If you do the math, ~35000 applicants X 10 schools each, then each school would only average ~2300 applications (instead of 5-10,000 that they are currently getting).

Also think how much money you'd save! Plus, it would help level the playing field between the wealthiest applicants and everyone else.
 

durfen

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jillibean said:
What about limiting the number of schools people can apply to (maybe just your top 10)? There would have to be some sort of med school convention where all of the applicants could get the scoop on curriculum, facility, students, financial aid, etc and then each student could pick the 10 they thought would be the best fit. I think this process becomes super inefficient when everyone is applying to 20-40 schools... including schools the students know nothing about and have no genuine interest in attending (they will probably just withdraw post-interview), and schools now have thousands of applications to sift through. Schools wouldn't have to have secondaries that ask "why are you interested in our school?" because they would automatically know that their school is one of your top choices.

If you do the math, ~35000 applicants X 10 schools each, then each school would only average ~2300 applications (instead of 5-10,000 that they are currently getting).

Also think how much money you'd save! Plus, it would help level the playing field between the wealthiest applicants and everyone else.
Then the top 10 schools would get all the applications. University of Southern Yukon would get a grand total of zero. Talk about underfilled.
 

jillibean

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durfen said:
Then the top 10 schools would get all the applications. University of Southern Yukon would get a grand total of zero. Talk about underfilled.
I don't think so. I think people would still apply to a variety of schools. If USY didn't get many applicants, lots of people might include it as a safety.
There could also be a scramble at the end like residencies have (schools with open spots could look for unaccepted students at the last minute).
 

Shredder

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No sense in limiting the number of apps ppl can do. As they rank lower and lower they become less relevant and worthwhile, so it's a built in check on the number of apps. If ppl want to travel to places they won't rank highly, they should be free to. Also top 10 schools wouldn't get all the apps if ppl were limited to 10--only if ppl foolishly squandered away all of their valuable ranking spots on dream schools. The premed app process is in bad need of reform IMO, but screw it since I'm done with it. I think with the exception of some convenience provided by internet, all of it is about as advanced and efficient as 50 years ago.
 

dantt

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Maybe having the matching system implemented after all interviews are conducted.
 
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etf

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well i would presume that the match would only occur after interviews. ranking ucsf higher than yukon wouldn't matter, since they would only interview you if you're qualified, so like in the residency situation it would be to your advantage to rank your personal faves the highest. i mean in a way it's like amcas - i applied to some reach schools, and they took my money...whatever. no real harm done - except to my ego...