Graduating "Off Match"

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10+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2006
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I'm sure that this topic is somewhere else in SDN, but I can't find it for my life. I'm an MS3 right now, and I'll be finishing school in December of next year. I had to spend an extended amount of time out of school for personal reasons, but have always maintained good grades/scores.

My question is one I worry about frequently: What am I going to do with myself in between graduation (in December) and the match? Ideally, I would begin residency in the town where I grew up, but I am not sure how to go about this. I am currently in school in a place where there are no residencies, so staying here is not an option. I am not sure what options I would have between graduation and match except perhaps a job outside of medicine for 6 months (keeping in mind that very few jobs will even hire a person that has no chance of being permanent!).

Does anyone have any ideas? I would greatly appreciate!

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15+ Year Member
Sep 1, 2005
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I'm a 4th year in essentially the same situation. I was hoping to get a position outside of the match, but I just read the NRMP rules a little more closely and found out that this is not legal if you graduate after Sept 1. I'm currently contacting labs on campus to see if anyone could use a research assistant for 6 months, and my fallback is the medical education office to do tutoring and TA for a couple of classes/labs.

Kaplan is always hiring for USMLE, MCAT, SAT, etc.

You should also contact someone in your specialty's department; maybe they can get you hooked up with something even more beneficial for you. For example, the Psych ER at my institution lets even 4th years moonlight for pay.

Of course, you could always work at a department store and beef up your professional wardrobe with an employee discount. ;) After all, when is the next time you can legitimately take a break from medicine?

You may also want to consider getting Step 3 out of the way before starting residency.

Good luck.