May Not Officially Graduate on Time for Residency

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by brightsatellite, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. brightsatellite

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    Hi there and thanks for taking the time to read this post.

    According to the NRMP website: "A student with a graduation date after July 1 in the year before the match is considered a U.S. senior."

    in the worst case scenario, i should be finished with my graduation requirements by June 26th. Even if it takes a day or so to finalize my graduation, I should be clear of the July 1st deadline.

    1- Do many programs start earlier or have orientations before July 1st? I am under the impression that this is the case.

    2- Would it be a problem that I have not officially graduated by the time orientation starts (even if it is before July 1st)?

    3- Should I tell programs during my interviews that I will be officially graduating on June 26th?

    4- Should I try my best to graduate two weeks earlier? It is possible but would be very difficult.

    Has this happened to anyone? Or has anyone seen this happen with a co-resident at their program?


    Thanks for the insightful responses. I appreciate the guidance.
     
    #1 brightsatellite, Jan 2, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  2. dragonfly99

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    I am not sure, but I thought that most or all residencies require that they see your diploma before letting you begin residency? I seem to remember sending a copy to my IM residency before I started.
     
  3. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    I'm pretty sure NRMP requires that you have an expected graduation date no later than July 1st. You should look into it, because whatever the date is, you can't participate in the match if you know right now that you'll be graduating after the graduation deadline.

    If your program starts earlier than that, you may only need your Dean's office to send the program a letter certifying that you have completed your graduation requirements, or will complete them by the time you start, and that your degree will be awarded by the NRMP's required deadline.

    If something happens between the time you certified your rank list and your program start date, such that you won't graduate by the deadline, your program has the option of either withdrawing/not offering you your contract, or delaying your start date and either using your vacation on the front end of the year, or extending your residency to make up the time.

    But if you know already, your school very likely won't be able to sponsor your participation in NRMP anyway, so no matter how many interviews you go on, you won't be able to turn in a rank list.
     
  4. brightsatellite

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    thanks for the responses!

    honestly, i am pretty confused about the whole situation.

    According to the NRMP website: "A student with a graduation date after July 1 in the year before the match is considered a U.S. senior."

    in the worst case scenario, i should be finished with my graduation requirements by June 26th. Even if it takes a day or so to finalize my graduation, I should be clear of the July 1st deadline.

    1- Do many programs start earlier or have orientations before July 1st? I am under the impression that this is the case.

    2- Would it be a problem that I have not officially graduated by the time orientation starts (even if it is before July 1st)?

    3- Should I tell programs during my interviews that I will be officially graduating on June 26th?

    4- Should I try my best to graduate two weeks earlier? It is possible but would be very difficult.

    Thanks for the insightful responses. I appreciate the guidance.
     
  5. Bruingirl6

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    The interns in our program start working in the hospital on 6/24 every year. Orientation usually starts 3 days before that. I'm not sure how it works at other programs.
     
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Yes, almost all. I have heard of start dates for orientation as early as June 5.

    It may not unless you are being paid for orientation which hinges on you being eligible for employment by that date. This is a highly variable between programs. When do you finish requirements? Are you going to be able to move and arrive ready for orientation or even July 1 with a graduation date of June 26th?

    Probably if its a program you see yourself ranking.

    Perhaps. It depends on what you mean by "graduate". If you mean getting your diploma but you are finished with requirements weeks earlier, then you might not but as dragon points out, you MUST have your diploma in hand to start.

    Another issue not mentioned is that of licensing. You cannot start residency without a license. Some states issue training licenses and others a restricted license. Nonetheless, you cannot graduate June 26th, submit an application for a license and be licensed and ready to work July 1.

    You will most likely have to start training late.

    Yes. Me.

    I graduated in April but the paperwork, etc. took awhile to come in and I did not officially get license in hand until July 27th.

    Now my program had a license number for me on July 1, so I started to work even though the paperwork wasn't finished. I understand they do not do this now and require license and diploma in hand to start. My residency certificate shows that I started July 27th despite having had been there for 1 month already.
     
  7. dragonfly99

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    <Another issue not mentioned is that of licensing. You cannot start residency without a license. Some states issue training licenses and others a restricted license. Nonetheless, you cannot graduate June 26th, submit an application for a license and be licensed and ready to work July 1.>

    I'm not sure I agree with this part. I know I never had to submit an application for a medical license before I started my training. I think there are certain states that automatically grant residents a training license. I do remember that a few days after I started residency, my program director requested a copy of my medical school diploma, so I think he needed that for all of us in order to secure whatever temporary "training license" we were granted. But I don't think we had to personally do anything to get the license...I'm pretty sure about that.

    OP, I don't think you should tell any programs about your problem right now, but it would be really nice if you could sort this out well before the day they (and you) have to make your rank lists. Can't you talk to your medical school Dean's office about this problem? Surely they have dealt with this before and can give you advice.

    It doesn't seem like graduating 6/26 will leave you enough time to move if you need to. What date will you be physically done with rotations? Is it 6/26 or a few weeks prior? I think if you can, you should try and graduate earlier in June.

    At my program we didnt start working until July 1st, but there was orientation for 3-4 days prior that we did not get paid for. This all varies by program, I guess.
     
  8. Winged Scapula

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    It doesn't matter whether or not the OP needs to personally apply for a license. The fact is that you cannot be a resident without some sort of medical license - temporary, state issued or institutional. If your program applies for you (as mine did) using the documentation they have, then you may not have to send in your diploma before July 1 but they WILL want it at some point in time. My program applied for me but I had to submit the diploma as soon as I had it so that the license could be finalized (we had training and regular licenses in PA).

    This will vary from state to state and program to program. Do you need it before you start residency? I would venture in most cases yes because programs are supposed to verify that you are legitimately able to start working and many don't want any unpleasant suprises on July 1. Medical students have been known to lie and schools have been known to not provide the documentation needed to start residency in a timely fashion.

    If your program waited until after you started residency to request a copy of your medical diploma its because they knew they needed it to obtain the license. My programs would not have allowed someone to start without a copy of the diploma...programs have been burned before. I think its probably more useful to tell the OP that there are situations in which you have to present your diploma before you start residency rather than have him assume its *probably* ok.
     
  9. 3dtp

    3dtp Senior Member
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    This is indeed the case. I think there might be a few states that do not require a training/educational license, but most do and those that do not are being pressured to make this a requirement.

    I think you need to be clear on one thing. You do need to graduate before you start work, even if you are in one of the fortunate few states that do not require a license if they even exist anymore. There are severe consequences for beginning a residency without the appropriate credentials in hand. (In one state, denial of permanent licensure, fines and the threat of jail time).

    In recent years there has been "orientation creep" where orientations have been getting earlier and earlier. And some evil institutions have started working people the minute the mid-June 2 day orientation is over. So you must be very sure you have the appropriate credentials to start a residency on the day you actually do start.

    I am guessing that your concern is can you participate in the match as a US senior in the year you graduate even if you graduate on June 26. The answer is likely yes. However, if you need to stay at your school and complete some aspect of your education, you may find yourself compromised on the orientation issue. This is why compression of the time between medical school completion and residency commencement is a bad idea. People do need time to move, find a place to live, and get settled in their new digs before they become sleep deprived zombies.

    For programs like mine, where a TY year is required, I had to finish my first year on June 28, start my residency on July first and drive 1740 miles between the two.

    If my residency had any special orientation I'd have been sunk. My PGY1 program knew I'd be overseas doing humanitarian work until shortly before I started, I discussed it with the program director and they were very accommodating of the vagaries of international travel from countries that we were not on such good post-9/11 terms with. If your selected/matched program is a good one, it will work with you given your circumstances.

    If it won't then perhaps you may wish to reconsider whether you really want to be at a program like that and re-do your rank order list.

    Another thought: if there is any doubt at all that you will not complete medical school on time to begin residency, meaning you may not complete until July 1, then perhaps you should discuss this with your dean and not reset your schedule to complete in July, and enter the match a year later. The down side of this is that you will take 5 years to complete medical school and I vaguely remember that there was a question back in the dark ages on one of the residency apps I filled out about extended medical school time. And, of course giving up a year of your life, in waiting, which is no small price, in my mind.

    I think if you are assured of a graduation before July 1 (ie June 30), you should be fine. But this is an opinion only.
     
  10. brightsatellite

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    thank you so much for the responses!
    you all are incredibly helpful.

    Even if I did not have my diploma until June 26th, I would still be able to move and start residency in early June.

    The alternative is to cancel a number of interviews, taking a two week elective in January. This will allow me to graduate June 12th.

    I am getting the sense that you forum gurus would highly recommend the the second option to stay clear of any licensing issues. I am also quite hesitant to raise any red flags (the possibility of graduating late) because I am an average applicant on paper.

    Thanks again. I greatly appreciate everyone's input.
     
  11. dragonfly99

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    Can you take an easy elective, one that would still let you leave for some of your interviews?
     

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