Old&InTheWay

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There is no rule against it and a few programs do this, but it also works against you. Supplemental applications are a pain for applicants. If you are applying to 40 places, you will likely decide 39 is enough if someone wants to make you write another essay.
That’s seems like it would serve the intended purpose of making the application take just enough extra work to discourage people who aren’t really interested from applying.
 
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downwithDTB

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The hard part of this is figuring how to pick the "right" 10% to interview. I trust the Sorting Hat Match to sort out the ones we will actually get, but how to offer interviews--the true "scarce resource" I have to allocate--to the applicants who are best suited to benefit from meeting us?
An underlying assumption of the match is that both applicants and programs have ideal knowledge and the match was proposed to fix a problem for residents when there were more spots than docs, which is no longer the case. The perfect knowledge clearly breaks down now due to the impossibility of 1) applicants actually knowing how competitive they are at specific programs because inadequate information is provided by programs 2) programs knowing which applicants actually want them 3) programs knowing how good applicants are because LORs are too inflated and some med school don't give discriminatory grades.

Either programs need to work on #1, the match needs to go away, or there needs to be a sequential system implemented (e.g. an interview match with limits or a series of 2-3 interview/match rounds). The match does not work ideally because it's core assumptions are grossly violated. Med schools should also work on number #3. If every applicant from a school has "all honors" I have to assume that each applicant is a 4th quartile student because the risk of bad is >> benefit of really good.

Regarding secondaries: I imagine that the interview is much more of a barrier to entry. If someone will give up a day to go somewhere, they would certainly write a quick secondary, no? The worry of someone showing up to an interview who wouldn't rank the place seems low to me: if someone gets a bunch of invites, they'll cancel their least desired over more desired. If they don't want a program but have no other interviews, they'll probably rank you #1; problem solved.
 

Old&InTheWay

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Regarding secondaries: I imagine that the interview is much more of a barrier to entry. If someone will give up a day to go somewhere, they would certainly write a quick secondary, no?
It's not about a barrier to entry into the program, but about limiting the number of applications programs are recieveing in the first place from people who are using the brute force method of matching. It's way too easy right now to submit 60+ applications with the hope of getting your 8-12 interviews. Since everyone is doing that now, programs are flooded with applications and are having a hard time thoughtfully choosing who to invite. If a program were to make it more difficult to submit applications, they could actually review the applications they receive in a meaningful way and the program would still end up filling their interview slots. I'd rather have 300 applicants who express real interest in my program than 1000 (even if the quantifiable characteristics of the 300 are "less desirable" in aggregate). Either way, the positions will be filled.
 
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jpmiz

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My top program sent out all their invites already, but I'm rotating there in a few weeks =( . Is there any hope that I could get an informal interview or squeezed in if I do well?
 

downwithDTB

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Should we lose hope of more interviews at this point or no?
I got my last interview offer in the end of December and ended up getting multiple please rank us high phone calls from very fancy people and a paid second visit.

The game is not over. I suggest that you look at the distribution of invites from last year and the year before posted on SDN to get a better picture of the process. This same freak out* happens literally every year. Look at the threads going back as far as they go.

*10/9 is too early in the game to completely predict how well it will go. Step 1, quartile, school, ect. probably still remain your best predictors at this point. Give it 2-3 more weeks.
 
Aug 24, 2019
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Most places don't send out invites until after MSPEs are out. I have had them for a week, but I have had 800 of them so please calm down. An other big change is the ACGME common program requirements require plans/committees to target under represented minorities. This task mixed with committees bring the process to a crawl. So no fair panicking yet. :uhno:
Thank you for your reassurances! However...Is there a date when it does become fair to panic? :D
 

MacDonaldTriad

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Like I said, we have about 50 less applicants compared to last year, but the US allopathic grads have gone up and looks like IMGs are looking at other specialties. I'm an N of 1 of course.

I'm convinced that I could get some high quality people if I just called the Deans of a dozen medical schools adjacent to my state and put the word out that we are offering contracts for PGY-Is by early November. I don't have the guts to do it and I'm too conventional to try, but it would save us thousands of hours.
 

jpmiz

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Like I said, we have about 50 less applicants compared to last year, but the US allopathic grads have gone up and looks like IMGs are looking at other specialties. I'm an N of 1 of course.

I'm convinced that I could get some high quality people if I just called the Deans of a dozen medical schools adjacent to my state and put the word out that we are offering contracts for PGY-Is by early November. I don't have the guts to do it and I'm too conventional to try, but it would save us thousands of hours.
How about DO applicant numbers? Are MD applicants preferred to most programs?
 

MacDonaldTriad

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How about DO applicant numbers? Are MD applicants preferred to most programs?
You are right, I should have said US grads and not allopathic grads. I did lump them together. Our DOs are about the same, but that could mean a little down as the number of DO graduates is going up.
 
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OldPsychDoc

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How about DO applicant numbers? Are MD applicants preferred to most programs?
Our DOs are up--not just from the established schools that we've matched from in previous years, but also from newer schools we don't have a history with. The former are equally preferred to most MD schools, the latter we tend to treat similarly to the Caribbean schools.
 
Sep 26, 2019
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USMD here. Seems from the general Q and A excel sheet that alot of programs are already full or have already rolled out their wait list. I'm at <3 interviews myself and I know I'm not the only one. Is this a usual pattern that we should expect to see or is this an effect of programs being inundated with applications? And if it's the latter then wouldn't that mean the trickle down theory is going to be less prominent in this year's match?
 
May 27, 2019
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There's too much self-perpetuating anxiety around here. It's too early for most programs to be full although I'm sure there are a fair amount of maxed out places. The majority of interviews go out by the end of October, according to the program director survey, but I would try and stave off the excessive worrying until the actual end of October. Also, 25-30% of interview invites should go out after October. Have faith in the numbers (p. 134): https://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/NRMP-2018-Program-Director-Survey-for-WWW.pdf. Good luck!
 

Theseus

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Still receiving interviews from many programs with unfilled interview dates in Oct/Nov/Dec/Jan. Stop panicking.
 
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dr_axolotl

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Our DOs are up--not just from the established schools that we've matched from in previous years, but also from newer schools we don't have a history with. The former are equally preferred to most MD schools, the latter we tend to treat similarly to the Caribbean schools.
Which of them are considered to be "established" schools?
 
Oct 7, 2019
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I won't panic per the recommendations. Just going to update that I'm still at zero interviews. Have reviewed my application numerous times to check for any mistakes/missteps, but it's all in order. Going to wait it out.
 
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mistafab

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It is a bit frustrating to not get interviews from programs you are really interested in but have no ties to.

Not everyone is a family hearth-cultist trying to live right next to their kinfolk their whole life. Oh well... programs will continue to be as incestuous as possible at every turn it seems.
 
Jul 11, 2018
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It is a bit frustrating to not get interviews from programs you are really interested in but have no ties to.

Not everyone is a family hearth-cultist trying to live right next to their kinfolk their whole life. Oh well... programs will continue to be as incestuous as possible at every turn it seems.
I am having a bit of the opposite problem. My hometown state (not where I go to med school) institutions have been ghosting me, including my undergrad alma mater where I did extensive research at their Med school. so confusing lol
 

mistafab

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Reminds me of my friend and I's experience applying to med school - no love from our home states!

Anyway, always feels good to rant to other people going through the same things. I hope they reach out to you! Maybe they are holding out because they know if they give you an interview last second then you would for sure go, so they want to offer it to people farther away.

I am having a bit of the opposite problem. My hometown state (not where I go to med school) institutions have been ghosting me, including my undergrad alma mater where I did extensive research at their Med school. so confusing lol
 

PsychApp777

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I won't panic per the recommendations. Just going to update that I'm still at zero interviews. Have reviewed my application numerous times to check for any mistakes/missteps, but it's all in order. Going to wait it out.
I would recommend that you:
1) Apply to all of the programs less than 4 years old.
2) Apply to programs with few/no IMG’s...even better if these programs are community programs, not in highly desirable locations, with some DOs. Programs full of IMGs are often harder to match into for AMGs than those full of AMGs because said IMG programs feel pressured to reserve spots for IMGs. These IMG programs accept money from specific international schools to reserve rotations for the schools’ students...but really, it’s a payoff for residency spots.
3) Write letters to the non-competitive programs you’re especially interested in, citing the aspects unique to each program that interest you. You can start writing these letters now.
4) Keep your head up. My app season last year started VERY slowly, but it really picked up heading into November with cancellations from stronger applicants and a proactive approach on my part. I’m now at a major university program that I thought I had little to no chance at.
 
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Jul 10, 2019
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For all the PGY-1's on here, how many invites did you have around this time of last year? My stats are low and I think I applied to more reaches than safeties, but I'm grateful for the 4 invites I have - just not sure when I should officially freak out.
 

Celexa

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I sympathize with you all. The over application problem is pretty clearly making life harder for both applicants and programs (although I have much more sympathy for applicants).

From what I have heard from our PD, number of apps are about the same as last year but I suspect this actually represents at least a slight decrease in the actual number of applicants, as the number of applications per applicant has been rising lockstep with the panic.

We have apparently filled all of our interview spots but expect some movement off the waitlist. How much movement? Your guess is as good as mine.
 
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docksan

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I sympathize with you all. The over application problem is pretty clearly making life harder for both applicants and programs (although I have much more sympathy for applicants).

From what I have heard from our PD, number of apps are about the same as last year but I suspect this actually represents at least a slight decrease in the actual number of applicants, as the number of applications per applicant has been rising lockstep with the panic.

We have apparently filled all of our interview spots but expect some movement off the waitlist. How much movement? Your guess is as good as mine.
It doesn't help that many of us have heard "oh you need to apply to like 60 programs".
 

zoreo09

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For all the PGY-1's on here, how many invites did you have around this time of last year? My stats are low and I think I applied to more reaches than safeties, but I'm grateful for the 4 invites I have - just not sure when I should officially freak out.
At this time I had 9 interviews. 18 total for the season.
 
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Old&InTheWay

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For all the PGY-1's on here, how many invites did you have around this time of last year? My stats are low and I think I applied to more reaches than safeties, but I'm grateful for the 4 invites I have - just not sure when I should officially freak out.
I applied to 17 programs and had 8 at this time last year. I ended up getting 2-3 more. I had decent numbers with good clinical grades/evals and LORs.

I ended up canceling all but 6 of my interviews and matched #2. I suspect you’ll get some more invites, and even if you don’t your odds of matching are not bad. But, however it plays out, you’re gong to feel anxious until March 15th.

I would write some LOIs to programs you haven’t heard from and practice the **** out of interviewing. They’re the only two things you can control at the moment. Otherwise it’s just waiting. And it sucks.
 

superfrogpoke

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I applied to 17 programs and had 8 at this time last year. I ended up getting 2-3 more. I had decent numbers with good clinical grades/evals and LORs.

I ended up canceling all but 6 of my interviews and matched #2. I suspect you’ll get some more invites, and even if you don’t your odds of matching are not bad. But, however it plays out, you’re gong to feel anxious until March 15th.

I would write some LOIs to programs you haven’t heard from and practice the **** out of interviewing. They’re the only two things you can control at the moment. Otherwise it’s just waiting. And it sucks.
How do you recommend practicing if our program doesn't offer mock interviews?
 
May 21, 2019
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If it makes anyone else feel better:

DO applicant, bottom of the class. Below average COMLEX 1/2 but passed on first attempts. Excellent third year though - all A's, great evaluations. Four strong LoRs. Applied to 60 programs. Haven't gotten a single invitation.
I'm sorry bro. There's still a ton of time and people will cancel interviews. I also think it'd be cool to reach out to your school admin and let others know how you're feeling.
 
Jun 11, 2019
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How do you recommend practicing if our program doesn't offer mock interviews?
Not remotely an authority but at least get a friend or family member to interview you. Even better you can do it with a peer and reverse roles. Give them a list of questions you want to work on and let them ask follow up questions. My friend asked me to do this for her for a non-medical job and it was helpful for both of us. You at least learn the timing better and can help each other come up with better ways of wording things.
 

MacDonaldTriad

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It is a bit frustrating to not get interviews from programs you are really interested in but have no ties to.

Not everyone is a family hearth-cultist trying to live right next to their kinfolk their whole life. Oh well... programs will continue to be as incestuous as possible at every turn it seems.
I agree with you and I have only recently been pushed into paying attention to geography. Not so long ago we could just interview the 100 strongest applicants from anywhere. Now we get 100 applications per slot, it has become important to pay more attention to those that are more likely to come and want to train at our program. When all programs get a significant portion of all applicants, it would be disastrous if all programs chose to interview the same top 100 applicants. The strongest predictor of true interest is geography so I feel kind of forced into using it. I still agree with what you say, but I am also responsible for filling my slots.
 
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Old&InTheWay

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How do you recommend practicing if our program doesn't offer mock interviews?
Think of every interview questions you can imagine and start formulating your responses. I find that when I write down my thoughts, they come easier when I am talking about them. You can record yourself answering questions and watch the recordings a few days later to see how you look/sound. Practice with a friend.
 

krj

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The hard part of this is figuring how to pick the "right" 10% to interview. I trust the Sorting Hat Match to sort out the ones we will actually get, but how to offer interviews--the true "scarce resource" I have to allocate--to the applicants who are best suited to benefit from meeting us?

We have 50-60 no-brainers that we send out in the first wave--but another 100+ who look "good enough". I can't interview them all...
In general, how many interviews get extended per spot available at a program? Seems like there is a fine balancing act to not overspend on interviewing students while also interviewing enough to definitely fill.
 

docksan

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I have heard as much as 10x the number of spots, so it'll be interesting to see if we get an answer.
 

MacDonaldTriad

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I have heard as much as 10x the number of spots, so it'll be interesting to see if we get an answer.
According to the NRMP data. In psychiatry listing the average number of interviews per slot in 2017 shows the 75% ranks 12.3 interviews per slot
50% (average) was 9.6, 25% was 6.8.
For 2018 it was 12.8, 10.1, and 7.2
For 2019 it was 12.5, 10.0, and 7.5
So for most places it is 10 interviews per slot.
 
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MacDonaldTriad

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Programs brag about how few interviews it takes them to fill, but this is a silly measure. It really depends on how many other programs are near by and competing for applicants.
 

nebuchadnezzarII

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I have an interview at my dream place and I am super happy. Anyone have any advice on how not to mess it up and do anything I can to get in? It’s a little bit of a reach for me as the program usually takes applicants from better schools.
 
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MacDonaldTriad

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Read up on the place and know something about what they are proud of. Just be yourself because anything else is artificial and obvious. Say how interested you are, but don't be desperate or sycophantic.
 

whackamole21

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For all the PGY-1's on here, how many invites did you have around this time of last year? My stats are low and I think I applied to more reaches than safeties, but I'm grateful for the 4 invites I have - just not sure when I should officially freak out.

Guessing this won't put your mind at ease, but offers another data point. I had 16 by this date last year, received 27 total during the process. Couples matchers who over applied and admittedly had some good luck
 
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yanks26dmb

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For all the PGY-1's on here, how many invites did you have around this time of last year? My stats are low and I think I applied to more reaches than safeties, but I'm grateful for the 4 invites I have - just not sure when I should officially freak out.
Probably had about 8 interviews at this time..ended up with 20 overall. DO here with good stats.
 
Jul 10, 2019
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The places I have not heard from at this point are mostly NIH top 20 funding kind of places (fwiw I’m an MD PhD with decent stats). Is it unreasonable to assume that these places have probably sent out their invites by now, and that a lot of movement is unlikely- especially the higher up the ol’ academic tier you go? I certainly can’t imagine anyone canceling at a Top 10 place, for example.

For the record I’m extremely grateful for the interviews I have at this point. I know this message might make it sound like I’m obsessed with tiers but moreso I just want to manage my expectations. And practically speaking- I am unsure how important it is to have someone else monitor my ERAS email and scheduling when I have interview days in the coming weeks. Given that I do not really expect more invites I don’t see much need to give anyone else my password/instructions for those days. Am I wrong?

Congrats to those of you with interviews you are excited about, and I wish all the best to those still waiting. I have really appreciated SDN throughout this rather stressful process.
 
Sep 16, 2019
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The places I have not heard from at this point are mostly NIH top 20 funding kind of places (fwiw I’m an MD PhD with decent stats). Is it unreasonable to assume that these places have probably sent out their invites by now, and that a lot of movement is unlikely- especially the higher up the ol’ academic tier you go? I certainly can’t imagine anyone canceling at a Top 10 place, for example.

For the record I’m extremely grateful for the interviews I have at this point. I know this message might make it sound like I’m obsessed with tiers but moreso I just want to manage my expectations. And practically speaking- I am unsure how important it is to have someone else monitor my ERAS email and scheduling when I have interview days in the coming weeks. Given that I do not really expect more invites I don’t see much need to give anyone else my password/instructions for those days. Am I wrong?

Congrats to those of you with interviews you are excited about, and I wish all the best to those still waiting. I have really appreciated SDN throughout this rather stressful process.
Seems like a lot of MD/PhD/Research track stuff is going out a little later than most, based on discussion w/ some other people on research tracks apps.
 
Jul 10, 2019
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Seems like a lot of MD/PhD/Research track stuff is going out a little later than most, based on discussion w/ some other people on research tracks apps.
Maybe it’s just the doom and gloom of the season getting to me, but couldn’t that same observation be viewed another way... Namely, instead of the invites coming late, it’s just that I and the other research applicants have ended up getting significantly less than we expected? Unfortunately the only way to distinguish between these competing viewpoints is waiting. I hate waiting, though!
 

downwithDTB

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Seems like a lot of MD/PhD/Research track stuff is going out a little later than most, based on discussion w/ some other people on research tracks apps.
There is a lot more to review for research folk (although in some ways it's probably easier) and the applications often go down a different pathway than the non-research applicants. The person who does the reviewing may be more or less on top of it than the regular PDs. On the research side, you're playing a very small n game with maybe 20 good candidates out there. Some years programs will crush recruiting and the next only match the bottom of their list or struggle to interview. Some programs really want model organism researchers while others are open to less basic stuff. The amount of weight given to med school vs. PhD is highly variable as well.

Also, you may be surprised, but even some researchers have strong location preferences and a handful of solid interviews in the north east, mid west or west might lead some very talented people to decide against paying to fly to boston, palo alto, pittsburgh, ect. just to get a free dinner.

Finally, I can't imagine a good research track caring about same day invite turn around. This isn't orthopedics. They will interview the people that they want to. I wouldn't wait a week, but 48 hours is fine. There certainly are tiers of RT applicants, but if you know 2 with solid first author publications and good steps/clinical grades who aren't getting many invites, I would assume that it's slow going.
 
Jul 10, 2019
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There is a lot more to review for research folk (although in some ways it's probably easier) and the applications often go down a different pathway than the non-research applicants. The person who does the reviewing may be more or less on top of it than the regular PDs. On the research side, you're playing a very small n game with maybe 20 good candidates out there. Some years programs will crush recruiting and the next only match the bottom of their list or struggle to interview. Some programs really want model organism researchers while others are open to less basic stuff. The amount of weight given to med school vs. PhD is highly variable as well.

Also, you may be surprised, but even some researchers have strong location preferences and a handful of solid interviews in the north east, mid west or west might lead some very talented people to decide against paying to fly to boston, palo alto, pittsburgh, ect. just to get a free dinner.

Finally, I can't imagine a good research track caring about same day invite turn around. This isn't orthopedics. They will interview the people that they want to. I wouldn't wait a week, but 48 hours is fine. There certainly are tiers of RT applicants, but if you know 2 with solid first author publications and good steps/clinical grades who aren't getting many invites, I would assume that it's slow going.
Thank you- that is really good perspective