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No Match

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by ziffy 850, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. ziffy 850

    ziffy 850 Member
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    Most of you don't have to worry about this, but what happens if your credentials are so bad that you don't match and can't get a residency. Does that mean that after graduating from medical school (barely), passing the boards (barely), spending 200K and 4-5 years of your life, that you are doomed to work in MacDonald's??

    My dean tells me that I have only a 25% chance of matching.

    What happens?
     
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  3. Poety

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    :eek: Your DEAN said that? What happened? If thats too personal - sorry. You can always scramble into something and hopefully pick up your residency that way. I don't think your chance is that bad if you "barely" passed - you still passed none-the-less!

    Let us know how it turns out - :)
     
  4. ziffy 850

    ziffy 850 Member
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    I posted on another forum and don't want to bore anyone. This is the deal: horrible first two years-repeated two courses-failed boards-barely passed second time-awesome clinicals (honors and high passes) hoping to do well on step 2 met with dean today and that was her news-
     
  5. Poety

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    ARRGHH Thats tough, I'm so sorry! I would just apply EVERYWHERE and pray for the best, Ill say a prayer for you too - good luck with everything but I really do think your honors and high passes will pull some weight if you get some good LOR - do you have interviews yet? If not, it may be a bit bleak.
     
  6. BKN

    BKN Senior Member
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    You scramble to what you can and get on with your life.

    What do they call the last person in the class?
     
  7. dodo2

    dodo2 Senior Member
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    Just to give you some perspective, approx. 17000 students graduate every year from us medical schools and there are 24000 residency spots open through out the country. This gap of 7000 residencies is the reason why they take foreign medical graduates. If you are graduating from a US medical school, you will get a residency. take heart.
     
  8. psychedoc2b

    psychedoc2b Senior Member
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    Hello,

    I say hang in there. You will get something, somewhere. I heard prelim surg internships are easy to get. You should try for this. Also, Family practice is a buyer's market now. You should apply and don't give up. I tell you, if I can receive interviews, you will too. I think if you have such great clinical grades and get some outstanding LOR's you will be fine. BTW, what school do you go to? The dean just wants to scare you. Some of those people who are working for the Office of Student Affairs usually tell you the bleakest possibilities to ensure that you won't be surprised if you fail to get any residency position. I believe you have a chance. Don't give up! Remember, you can always scramble! And, try to pass Step 2!

    psychedoc2b
     
  9. ziffy 850

    ziffy 850 Member
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    Thanx so much for all the support. I am currently a third year and plan to take Step 2 early. The Dean wants me to take off a year to do something to enhance my resume, but who knows if that will help. I really don't want to lose another year of my life. I just want to get on with it. I would take a year to do research IF IT WERE SOMETHING RELEVANT, but if I don't match anyway, what would be the point.

    What do you know about the "transitional" year?
     
  10. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
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    Although it sucks to hear that from the dean, remember that deans are there to scare you, especially in third year. At my school, they schedule class meetings every few months throughout third and fourth year, supposedly to help us with residency applications - but the actual purpose seems to be to scare the sh!t out of us. One dean in particular is actually very nice and does a lot to help us, but she will put up slides with titles like, "How NOT to Match" and discuss ways in which we can ensure that we won't match. Most of us are pretty freaked out after those meetings. But it helps you be realistic about the match, so I guess it is good in some sense :rolleyes:
     
  11. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
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    The research year is a great idea, especially if you can work with someone well known and get a paper out of it. This has the potential of really helping your application. I know you want to get on with the rest of your career, but if you want that to be in EM and not FM, a research year will help.

    Good luck ziffy. Kick ass on step 2, and definitely consider the research year.
     
  12. Krinkle

    Krinkle New Member

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    can u tell us what some of those ways to not match are? just curious.
     
  13. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
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    :) Some of the stuff is obvious, but I think they want to really drill it into us. I go to a new york city school, and most of us want to stay here, so one thing that she would repeat over and over was that the best way to not match was to only apply in NYC. Other examples of how to not match: only apply to 10 programs if you want to do derm; don't read the programs' web sites to check for extra requirements; submit everything in November - those kind of things.

    We also had a talk on how to be DNR (do not rank) after interviews: act uninterested when you are at the program, be rude to the secretaries, insult other professions. All obvious stuff, but I think they go over it all so that we will really focus on it and not let it happen unintentionally.
     
  14. I know someone who failed the entire first year of medical school...had to repeat the whole year....he is now a surgeon....so you'll definately match. You just may not be able to do something more competitive. Don't let the dean discourage you.
     
  15. WatchingWaiting

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    Well, there is a pretty big difference between having a 25% chance of matching in emergency medicine (which may very well be true, given it's a moderately competitive field) and having a 25% chance of matching at all. You certainly have a much higher than 25% chance of matching something, you just will have to have some back-up residencies. If you apply back-up to family practice, for example, you have more like a 100% chance of matching somewhere.
     
  16. APACHE3

    APACHE3 Senior Member
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    You are a US grad...you will match..BUT you need to pass Step 2 on FIRST attempt at least over 80 to get a serious look! Do USMLEWorld q-bank, and Kaplan qbank then guage yourself with NBME practice exams. don't take exam until you are in the 450 range minimum, because you'll probably score lower on real deal. dont give up!
     
  17. 8744

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    Ouch.
     
  18. rugtrousers

    rugtrousers Senior Member
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    The transitional year is an internship that you take before going into an advanced residency in anesthesiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, diag. radiology or radiation oncology (I'm probably forgetting a few). They usually have a lot of elective months and may or may not be "easier" than preliminary medicine or surgery years. They can be kind of competitive because very competitive (i.e. super high board scores) applicants with different ultimate goals are applying for them.
     
  19. tigershark

    tigershark Senior Member
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    The dean is trying to scare you. How could anyone know what your % chance to match would be without you having even applied yet. I wouldnt sit out a year unless you have to, apply next year and only take a year off if you dont match.

    From what I've experienced these deans only care about making sure everyone matches in *something*, they will do everything they can to make sure a marginal applicant avoids a competitive specialty, or has a backup plan in FM or whatever, no matter what their dreams/aspirations are. They will sell you short to protect their job. (Deans are fired all the time if students are going unmatched at excessive rates).

    I'm currently going through the interview process in radiology. Prior to applying I had discussed programs with my rads mentors and they all seemed to agree that I had a decent shot at pretty much any program in the country. When I met with my dean for the pre-app dean's letter meeting she looked at me like I was crazy when I showed her which programs I was applying to. She started talking about applying to 50-60 programs, applying to a backup specialty, thinking about what to do if I didnt match, etc. All in all a very depressing experience. Fast forward a few months and I'm interviewing at all the places I wanted to and having to turn down interviews.

    Bottom line is kick ass on step2 and apply broadly. Dont let the dean's mind games discourage you.
     
  20. 8744

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    My friends, suffer any indignity, endure any hardship, make any bargain to avoid matching into a specialty which you do not like. Trust me on this. Try to match into the specialty of your choice, even if it is something for which you are not competative, and if you don't match have a plan to come back again next year with stronger credentials and better letters.

    If this means scrambling into a preliminary surgery or medicine spot then suck it up and do it. Don't bemoan the lost year. Meaning no disrespect to the specialty, I made a big mistake scrambling into family medicine. I should have done a preliminary year. Since I am going through the match again this year for Emergency Medicine and will start out as an intern again next year, the year has been lost either way. If I had done a preliminary medicine year I would have at least had an easier time scheduling interviews and getting good letters because this is expected of an intern in a preliminary spot but not of someone in a categorical position.

    I repeat. Don't "settle" for familiy practice just because it is so non-competative. If you want to be an FP then more power to you and you have my respect. If you don't want to then you will be very unhappy. Period. End of story.

    Folks, I would almost rather go back to being a structural engineer than to finish the next two years in Family Practice. Family practice salaries are not that high and I could probably easily make the low-end salary as an engineer. I made higher than the mean salary for FP during one year as a private consulting engineer. (I have my professional engineering license) Don't think I haven't thought about it. I was almost to the point of sending my resume out to head-hunters but then I started getting interview offers for EM, a specialty which I truly enjoy and something that I would really like to do for the rest of my life.

    Do not go into a specialty you will not like and don't try to convince yourself that being an MD is all that counts. There are huge differences between IM, surgery, FP, and EM. The distinctions are blurred in medical school because in doing a little of everything you kind of get the idea that everyone has a wide scope of practice. This is not the case. If you don't like continuity of care then FP is not for you. If you don't like long hours don't even think of surgery. If you don't like uncertainty and making decisions based on less than perfect information then maybe you'd pefer Internal Medicine to Emergency Medicine.

    Do not find yourself making that lonely drive to a new job which you only hope you will like.

    Stop this nonsense about C=MD. Yeah, it's true we all can't be dermatologists but most specialties have alternate paths by which they can be approached.
     
  21. eyestar

    eyestar Member
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    Relax ziffy. Try to do really well in your clinical rotations, ace the shelf exam in all the rotations. Take step 2 after atleast 3-4wks of studying like crazy. Do you know what specialty you are currently leaning to? I can give you more accurate advice depending on that.
    For ex, like the above post, for FP, you will match, even without step2. For IM, you may not match into an university program, but if your goal is to match, you will match.
    And contacts, esp. in the field that you want to go into. Do an elective, win over by personal/social skills. Screw the dean! I have met a few of those during my med school. God I hate those pessimistic ****!
     
  22. skypilot

    skypilot 2K Member
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    This is true. If you prove yourself as a resident, doors will open. If you can't hack it, they will close.
     
  23. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hi there,
    It depends on what you are trying to match into. You might have difficultly getting into the more competitive specialties but if you are alive, you can match into Family Medicine or Internal Medicine. There were far more openings than applicants last year. If you are undecided as to what you want to do, take a prelim medicine program and give yourself more time. Do well in your prelim position so that you can go back into the match and get into something that interests you.
    njbmd :)
     
  24. Embryo2006

    Embryo2006 Member
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    As stated above, good clinical grades, solid letters, and a big improvement on step II will help you a lot. Also, do not forget the importance of your 4th year electives. I would try to do one sub-I at your home institution plus a couple of away rotations at programs that are likely to be within your reach. Then show 'em what you can do out there. Just being "known" by these programs could help you significantly in the match. Good luck!
     
  25. forncroj

    forncroj Osteopathic Physician, COM Faculty
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    Doing well in clinicals will soften the blow. But as someone else said, you really need to pass step 2 on 1st pass (because in a year I'm going to want you to pass step 3, and later, pass board exams). And it really depends on what you're trying to match. And though a lot of people mention transitional/prelim year, I believe a lot of those positions are taken up by very competetive applicants who plan to do derm and the like.

    I can tell you I've done far worse taking people in the scramble than I would with someone like you (based on what I know so far, anyway).
     
  26. ziffy 850

    ziffy 850 Member
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    Your advice and encouragement has been great. Thanks. I'm still not quite sure what to do about the research year. If I really thought it would help, I would just go for it, but I would want to do something pertinent, not just anything-maybe something clinical . There's that dilemna. Then......I am going to need to decide when to take Step 2. It would be great to be able to take it early, do well, and then have it help my profile, but.....if I rush taking it and screw up, well, then-I'm screwed.

    I really do know the material, but I've had such bad results with test-taking in med school, that I freak out at the thought of EVERY test I take.
     
  27. ziffy 850

    ziffy 850 Member
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    Your advice and encouragement has been great. Thanks. I'm still not quite sure what to do about the research year. If I really thought it would help, I would just go for it, but I would want to do something pertinent, not just anything-maybe something clinical . There's that dilemna. Then......I am going to need to decide when to take Step 2. It would be great to be able to take it early, do well, and then have it help my profile, but.....if I rush taking it and screw up, well, then-I'm screwed.

    I really do know the material, but I've had such bad results with test-taking in med school, that I freak out at the thought of EVERY test I take.
     

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