fellowship scramble ???

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Nov 30, 2008
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Can anyone tell me what I can do if I don’t match into a fellowship position? There doesn’t appear to be a structured scramble like there is for the residency match. Has anyone (or have you heard of anyone who has) been able to find a position after the match. Does it happen in minutes like the residency scramble or do programs take their time to interview candidates (because there is 12 months before the job starts unlike the 3 ½ months between the residency match and when the programs begins). Is ERAS still available to send my documents? Should I have copies of all of my documents and be ready to fax/email them on match day? How would I get letters of recommendation if I waived my right to see them?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!

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I have helped my residents in the fellowship scramble.

All of the information comes out at once -- matches, unmatched, unfilled, etc. There is no waiting period.

The number of unfilled slots in each field is quite limited -- usually only a few. You can look at last year's fellow match data on the NRMP website. Just because a program didn't fill last year doesn't mean that they are likely not to fill again (which we see in the main match) as they likely interview more people and fix any problems.

Whether or not spots go quickly is not clear. Some programs may simply try to fill ASAP. Some will simply assume that someone good will come their way, and wait, or look at internal candidates.

Some fields tend to have more open spots. Endo right now seems the least competitive.
Yes, there are a scattering of unfilled spots.
If you are trying for rheum there very likely will be some unfilled spots.
If you think you have a chance of not matching, then it can only help (and doesn't hurt) to have all your stuff ready to fax to people. However, I think that if the program uses ERAS they will be able to download your stuff anyway from ERAS (even if you didn't originally apply there...) though I'm not certain.

In general I think the programs aren't in as much of a hurry to fill the unfilled spots as they are w/residency Match. They usually do it within a few weeks, but not in a day or two. However, IMHO if they just have 1 unfilled spot or something, they often take an internal candidate. It is definitely worth a shot to be aggressive and proactive (such as emailing or calling the PD or his/her administrative assistant) if you see an open spot that you want. Usually faculty networking plays a part too, so if you have someone who can phone the PD of the program on your behalf that might help.