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Feb 25, 2004
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Hi All,

I've matched to Neurology without PGY1. I'll try to scramble but really antious at this period. I don't really how sramble works. Could anyone let me know how to get a PGY1 position?

Thank you!

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Aug 26, 2003
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Are you at a US med school? If so, the first thing to do would be to go to your dean's office and get advice/assistance there. That's what their job is.

"Scrambling" for the most part involves making a lot of phone calls trying to find an open PGY1 slot somewhere. Since lots of internal medicine spots don't fill right away, this is usually not too hard, but you have to accept the fact that you might not get your first choice.

For your part, you should:
1. Call the neuro program where you matched and ask them if there are any PGY1 spots held at their hospital for people in your position, or if they know of any other local programs that may have spots.

2. Identify some other programs that you might be interested in and start calling them and explaining your situation.

3. I'll say it again: go to your med school's dean's office.


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Thank you so much for your reply! It helps a lot. I matched to the Neurology program that offered the PGY1 position originally. However two weeks after the match the neurology program director called saying that they have some disagreement with their internal medicine program. The IM is only willing to offer two positions for three neurology candidates. But I already cancelled most of my PGY1 interviews. So the only hope would be scramble.

My MD is from the other country and a PhD from US. I don?t have the dean office to help here but the neurology program director is going to help for the scramble. I looked into the last year unfilled programs, which don?t look like very interesting at all. So I guess I don?t have the other choices.
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Feb 1, 2004
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Information on scrambling can be found on the nrmp website:

It looks like you just have to check their website on March 16th at noon. You should be ready with copies of your CV, app, and a fax machine at that time too, to contact unfilled programs ASAP. I'd reccomend looking into programs with PGY-1 spots in areas that you would like to work at that didn't fill last year, you can find such spots here:

It looks like it may be a violation of the match agreement to contact these program prior to scramble day, but you could at least have some sort of game plan ready.
If all else fails, I suspect that the IM program will give you a PGY-1 spot just to accomadate the neuro program if you ask the IM PD nicely (and they have an extra spot). Otherwise, you should be able to find a spot to scramble into, you just might end up at a place where you'd rather not be.


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Aug 29, 2003
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I just have one important suggestion that most people might not consider. Buy a fax machine that transmits documents really fast. You don't want to be stuck with some old fax machine that is slow in transmitting your 10 to 20 pages to all the programs you will apply to. Good luck!


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Here is some info if you did not already receive it. It was sent to me by ERAS.

Dear ERAS Applicant,

This e-mail is to explain how ERAS will work during
the Scramble period. Please note - receiving this
e-mail does not imply anything whatsoever about your
NRMP match status. This e-mail is being sent to
every applicant who used MyERAS this season in search
of a residency position.

> Contact Programs <
If you are unmatched, you should telephone the program
director of programs with unfilled position(s) before
sending any information. Program directors will tell
you whether they wish to receive documents via ERAS,
via e-mail, or via fax.

> Scramble Dates <
This year's Scramble runs from 12:00 noon on Tuesday
March 16 to 12 noon on Thursday March 18. During this
time, the Scramble version of ERAS will be available.

Note that the MyERAS web site will be closed for one
hour, from 11:00 am to 12 noon on Tuesday March 16,
to facilitate the cutover to the Scramble version.

> Before Scramble <
In the next few days, you should access MyERAS and
confirm that the information in your Profile is
up-to-date. You may also want to look at your
Personal Statement to see if you should create a
new one for Scramble.

Print out NOW - copies of your Application, CV and
Personal Statement in case you need to fax these to
programs during Scramble.

> Scramble ERAS <
You may use MyERAS to transmit your application
to no more than 30 programs during the scramble period
(12 noon on Tuesday March 16 to 12 noon on Thursday
March 18, 2004).

There will be no ERAS fees charged for applications
transmitted during this time.

Note that 30 programs is an absolute maximum - you will
not be able to apply to more than 30 programs via ERAS
during the scramble period, even if you are willing to
pay a fee to do so.

> Applying to Programs <
During Scramble, select the programs you wish to apply
to as normal. They will appear on your
"Programs - Selected" list. Click on the button
'Apply to Selected Programs'. You will see an invoice
with zero ERAS fees. From this screen, click on the
button 'Apply to Selected Programs'. This will process
your application to the residency programs.

Once you see these programs on your "Programs - Applied
To" list, you know your applications have been processed.

> USMLE Transcripts
The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the
Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)
will process USMLE transcript requests received during
the scramble period. Applicants who have not previously
requested electronic transmission of USMLE transcripts
through ERAS will be charged the $50 NBME/ECFMG fee.
Applicants who have already transmitted scores via ERAS
will not incur additional USMLE transcript fees.

> Applicant Document Tracking System (ADTS)
Due to the extra load ADTS reports place on the ERAS
database, ADTS will not be available on the
first day of scramble.

> Post Scramble
At 12 noon on Thursday March 20, the Scramble version of
ERAS will close. Any programs applied to after that time
will incur normal ERAS charges.

If you do not locate a residency position during the
Scramble, consider using another AAMC service called
"FindAResident". It is an on-line service that brings
together programs looking to fill positions with
applicants seeking positions. Residency programs advertise post-match vacancies, and applicants post their resumes
for review. FindAResident allows you to search for open
positions and notify programs of your interest right
on-line. Find out more about this service at

Good luck in the Match,

The ERAS Staff
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