Failed to match NSG. Reapplying to Radiology-Diagnostic. Chances?

Apr 2, 2020
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4th year US MD, failed to match neurosurgery, did not SOAP into anything (probably bc my app was so specific to nsgy). Going to delay graduation for med school by 1 year and apply to radiology in the Match 2021. What should I do before ERAS opens for submission? Looking for guidance, friends!

I'm thinking of taking an IR rotation (already took DR) and getting involved in some radiology research but what about away rotations? Should I include that I did not match in my personal statement or just write about my interest in radiology? If I want to settle down as a private practice (diagnostic or interventional) radiologist in the midwest or south, should I truly pick a community program for the geography or still try at notable academic centers (emory, duke, cleveland clinic, vanderbilt,, utsw, uab, mayo, mallinckrodt/washu, etc)?

Stats: 250+ Step 1/2, 4 peer-reviewed pubs (in nsg), total pubs/posters/pres = 13 (in nsg), clerkship grade high pass in IM, Surgery.
 

longhaul3

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Edit: sorry, I accidentally posted here instead of on your post in the general MD forum. I will move my response there because I don't want to pretend that I know anything about applying in radiology.
 
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m2k

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I would still try to find any prelim/transitional position this year unless you really want to delay your graduation for whole year. If you get this position, you can try to find PGY-2 for radiology next year. You'll not have many choices.

Re: community vs academic program, it depends. For diagnostic radiology, any program with high volume of mixed cases would be good.

Interventional Radiology is different. You need todo more homework for this. You need to understand what kind of cases you want to do. There is always a lot of interventional procedures are done by surgeons/doctors that could/should be done by interventional radiologists. And in these programs, interventional radiology residents don't get to learn/practice adequately to be proficient in these even these are suppose to be in there rotations. This information is not widely shared by the programs when they interview candidates. And medical students don't have enough exposure to ask these type of questions. I would make a list of procedures and see what interests you and what's in demand where you want to practice. And then ask the potential programs specific questions before applying to those programs.

Re: mentioning you didn't match. I don't think there is no harm or at least be prepared to answer during interview because this will come up. You can something like, yes, nuero was my first choice but I didn't match. And I looked at other areas. And when I spent more time in Radiology, I like it better that neuro because blah blah....

Good luck!
 
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Apr 2, 2020
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I would still try to find any prelim/transitional position this year unless you really want to delay your graduation for whole year. If you get this position, you can try to find PGY-2 for radiology next year. You'll not have many choices.

Re: community vs academic program, it depends. For diagnostic radiology, any program with high volume of mixed cases would be good.

Interventional Radiology is different. You need todo more homework for this. You need to understand what kind of cases you want to do. There is always a lot of interventional procedures are done by surgeons/doctors that could/should be done by interventional radiologists. And in these programs, interventional radiology residents don't get to learn/practice adequately to be proficient in these even these are suppose to be in there rotations. This information is not widely shared by the programs when they interview candidates. And medical students don't have enough exposure to ask these type of questions. I would make a list of procedures and see what interests you and what's in demand where you want to practice. And then ask the potential programs specific questions before applying to those programs.

Re: mentioning you didn't match. I don't think there is no harm or at least be prepared to answer during interview because this will come up. You can something like, yes, nuero was my first choice but I didn't match. And I looked at other areas. And when I spent more time in Radiology, I like it better that neuro because blah blah....

Good luck!
Thanks so much! Will start my homework in IR ASAP!
 
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Rads4lyfe

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Sep 21, 2017
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4th year US MD, failed to match neurosurgery, did not SOAP into anything (probably bc my app was so specific to nsgy). Going to delay graduation for med school by 1 year and apply to radiology in the Match 2021. What should I do before ERAS opens for submission? Looking for guidance, friends!

I'm thinking of taking an IR rotation (already took DR) and getting involved in some radiology research but what about away rotations? Should I include that I did not match in my personal statement or just write about my interest in radiology? If I want to settle down as a private practice (diagnostic or interventional) radiologist in the midwest or south, should I truly pick a community program for the geography or still try at notable academic centers (emory, duke, cleveland clinic, vanderbilt,, utsw, uab, mayo, mallinckrodt/washu, etc)?

Stats: 250+ Step 1/2, 4 peer-reviewed pubs (in nsg), total pubs/posters/pres = 13 (in nsg), clerkship grade high pass in IM, Surgery.

I honestly would NOT disclose that you didn't match, unless you absolutely have to. It may show up as a red flag to programs. The whole process is a game. You are trying to sell high, and programs are trying to buy low.

It's not unheard of for people to switch specialties last minute and take a year to figure out what they want to do. I do think it's important for you to make a compelling story for why you don't want to do nsg though, since programs will see all your nsg rotations/research. Programs will see your resume and think radiology is a backup.

Also, if you want to end up in private practice in a specific location, I think you should try to match at the best program closest to that location(i.e. if you want to live near St Louis, go to MIR). It will keep the most doors open. They will have a bigger alumni network, better training, and better national reputation if you want to move elsewhere. It's also possible to do residency elsewhere and choose fellowship close to where you want to practice to build connections. However, I don't think it is necessarily bad if you end up at a community program near where you want to live either. Those people seem to find jobs okay, especially in the midwest or south where jobs are currently plentiful.
 
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piii

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I agree that you should try to go to the best radiology program you can. Obviously a high volume, well supported middle tier academic program can be exactly what you need, but the better program you go to the more doors are open for you.

Please read the AMSER guide to applying to DR


and IR


If you want to get into IR, you have to start now. Do multiple rotations, get involved in research, go to SIR and medical student symposiums, join SIR, etc. There have been multiple PD surveys showing that commitment to IR is the biggest factor in matching. Keep in mind you can still do DR to ESIR but the competitiveness and availability of spots in the future is uncertain.
 
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Jamiu22

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4th year US MD, failed to match neurosurgery, did not SOAP into anything (probably bc my app was so specific to nsgy). Going to delay graduation for med school by 1 year and apply to radiology in the Match 2021. What should I do before ERAS opens for submission? Looking for guidance, friends!

I'm thinking of taking an IR rotation (already took DR) and getting involved in some radiology research but what about away rotations? Should I include that I did not match in my personal statement or just write about my interest in radiology? If I want to settle down as a private practice (diagnostic or interventional) radiologist in the midwest or south, should I truly pick a community program for the geography or still try at notable academic centers (emory, duke, cleveland clinic, vanderbilt,, utsw, uab, mayo, mallinckrodt/washu, etc)?

Stats: 250+ Step 1/2, 4 peer-reviewed pubs (in nsg), total pubs/posters/pres = 13 (in nsg), clerkship grade high pass in IM, Surgery.

5yrs ago, I was in the exact same position as you find yourself now (similar stats, honored my 3 sub-i rotations, received 30 invites, could only go on 18 interviews - mixed high, mid and lower tier programs, received love letters from PDs post-interview - and did not match in NSG).

Its kind of funny because a buddy of mine with lower stats, no pubs and with only 8 interview invites matched. He only had one post interview love letter from a program - and that's where he matched. You have to realize that it doesn't happen often, but some people do fall through the cracks...and that's just part of life - unfortunately - get used to it.

Given a scenario like that, i know it can be really devastating and quite disorienting. Now is the time to pull up your bootstrap and get ready for another round. If you still want to do NSGY, it's still not out of the cards. You just have to show them why you really want it and go for it - hard.

Currently an R4 (PGY5) in radiology at a doximity upper ranked program, and will be starting neurorad fellowhip in July. In hindsight, I would say everything happens for a reason - life's a journey - a road that takes us to where we are supposed to be. There will be bumps and highs along the way.

PS: When I applied for radiology, I disclosed that I did not match into NSGY - just be honest about why you want to switch radiology - be really genuine about it - never try to BS a PD. I don't think it hurt my chances - I find that radiologist in general are not too judgemental.

PM me if have any questions or need additional advice.
 
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Apr 2, 2020
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@Rads4lyfe & @piii - thank you! I will definitely spend a lot of time pruning my application for rads and do some mad introspection for my personal statement. Also will dive deep into those links. @Jamiu22 - PM on the way!
 
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