vipassana

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This qn might not be pertinent to many on the forum, but how to best prepare for scramble positions.

Should we start calling programs to ask about their preferences on receiving applications via ERAS or FAX!.

4 days and counting!!
 

qlobb

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vipassana said:
This qn might not be pertinent to many on the forum, but how to best prepare for scramble positions.

Should we start calling programs to ask about their preferences on receiving applications via ERAS or FAX!.

4 days and counting!!
An important strategy in medicine is to learn from the experience of others... With that being said: I had to scramble last year in the match and had a great experience in that I ended up at a program much stronger than any of the ones I applied to and ranked. Here are some tips for the scramble if you end up going that route.

1. Have at least two copies of your ERAS application printed off and ready to fax.

2. Bring food. You may be scrambling until the late afternoon or even later. My Dean's office was nice enough to provide pizza for all us scramblers, but had they not done that I would have STARVED. For some reason prolonged anxiety makes hungry...

3. Bring a friend (who is NOT scrambling) and have a 2nd phone line. The "rule" is that you cannot make any phone calls to programs prior to 12:00 p.m. EST. My wife came with me to the Dean's office at my med school. At 12:00 p.m. on the dot we started calling (I began calling programs on the west coast, she began on the east coast and we worked toward each other, the key is to divide and conquer). You're going to get a lot of busy signals; so just like the MCAT, USMLE, etc... don't waste too much time on one program. Mark it and come back to it later. By having an assistant you can cover programs twice as fast.

4. Try to find a phone near a computer with internet access (but not a dial up line that will tie up your phone line). That way once you get through to a program you're not familiar with you can do some quick research on the spot.

5. Bring a fully charged cell phone. When a program asks for a number to call you back at give them your cell number as the first number to try and then the phone from which you're making you calls. That way if you have to take a quick 5min restroom break or something of that sort you can take your cell with you and not risk missing an important call. I kept a list of area codes of programs I had gotten through to, and I only answered my cell phone if I saw one those area codes on the ID or if I did not recognize the number.

6. Even though you will feel a little stressed, remember to be calm and polite when the secretary answers your call. After all, he/she is practically a filter for scramble applications which will make it onto the program director's desk for review. Chances are the secretary may be a little short or abrupt with you. Do not take it personally, just remember that they are receiving a large number of phone calls and faxes all at once and they too will be a little stressed.

7. Most importantly, DON'T GIVE UP! Some people matched with in 20 minutes. I did not match until after 4.5 hours, and like I said things could not have ended up better! Be persistent with your phone calls. If you've run out of numbers to call and have not heard anything back from the programs you've faxed you application to, then call them back and follow up on where they stand.

I hope this helps you in your endeavours. The scramble taught me a very important lesson... ALL THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON. I simply could not be happier with the way my future career is lining up.
 
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vipassana

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Dear Globb,

Thanx a lot for your input!!

Do you know if program prefer to receive faxed documents or via ERAS and is it a good idea to look up at the past few year histories and contact them in the next few days asking for their doucment requirements.

Also, what documents other than the ERAS CAF did they generally request!
Thanx again.
 

refreshingred

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ERAS provides us with 30 free applications during the scramble. Why would scramblers need to fax anything?
 

LittleRock

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vipassana said:
This qn might not be pertinent to many on the forum, but how to best prepare for scramble positions.

Should we start calling programs to ask about their preferences on receiving applications via ERAS or FAX!.

4 days and counting!!
well contacting programs prior to tuesday noon is a match violation...
so i dunno if i would be calling programs and asking em how they want to receive material in hopes of avoiding busy phone lines when everyone else thats followed the rules has waited to call.. sounds like tryying to get a jumpstart on everyone else whose trying to scramble and its really supposed ot be an even playing field...
 

qlobb

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vipassana said:
Dear Globb,

Thanx a lot for your input!!

Do you know if program prefer to receive faxed documents or via ERAS and is it a good idea to look up at the past few year histories and contact them in the next few days asking for their doucment requirements.

Also, what documents other than the ERAS CAF did they generally request!
Thanx again.
Hey Vipassana,
Last year we did not have the option of scrambling via ERAS, this is a new and VERY convenient way of scrambling. Up until this year scramblers had to rely on the fax in order to distribute applications. Other than the ERAS CAF you'll need to have you letters of rec (including the dean's letter) sent also. That's why it is best to scramble close to if not in your schools office of student affairs/ dean's office, or where ever you can quickly request to have the letters sent. As far as contacting programs to find out their preferences; I would NOTdo so. It could be viewed as a violation of NRMP protocol and lead to serious repremand. Believe me, some people do jump the gun and call early. However, these people potentially face serious consequences. My advice: play by the rules. It has been my experience throughout life that good things happen to good people.
QLobb
 

dbiddy808

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My homeboy tried to scramble last year. He and his girlfriend got were calling programs non-stop for 4-5 hours and didn't get ahold of anyone. They faxed his CV to all the available programs and didn't get any callbacks or emails. He is a caribbean grad, PGY-2 in internal medicine (who was planning on getting ABIM certified), with excellent board scores and LORs.
 
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vipassana

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Great Help!

Thanx!!

I will hold off till tuesday to make the calls. GooD Luck to All.
 

ozzie20

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My homeboy tried to scramble last year. He and his girlfriend got were calling programs non-stop for 4-5 hours and didn't get ahold of anyone. They faxed his CV to all the available programs and didn't get any callbacks or emails. He is a caribbean grad, PGY-2 in internal medicine (who was planning on getting ABIM certified), with excellent board scores and LORs.
so what happened to him?
 

drccw

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I had a buddy of mine who didnt match in Emergency Medicine... good board scores (>240) and good class rank. honors in most of his 3rd year rotations. Big black spot was an incomplete on his transcript because he had to miss part of his third year surgery rotation due to a family emergency. He made up the time fourth year; the school didnt fix his transcript so all of the programs got one with an incomplete. He scrambled into an anesthesia spot after doing a 4th year anesthesia rotation. The absolute best way to get a spot:
Have a faculty advocate in the anesthesia department; one who is well connected. Your school should provide access to someone in the anesthesia department. If they can go to bat for you, then you will get a spot.

The chair of the anesthesia department looked at his transcript, his board scores, and his evals from his anesthesia rotation and picked the phone up and called the department chairs of programs with open spots. My buddy actually picked between UW, NYU, and Cornell....
 

anestheticman

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does NYU normally not fill? I thought they only didn't fill like 5ish years ago. God I hope they pick me :love:

I had a buddy of mine who didnt match in Emergency Medicine... good board scores (>240) and good class rank. honors in most of his 3rd year rotations. Big black spot was an incomplete on his transcript because he had to miss part of his third year surgery rotation due to a family emergency. He made up the time fourth year; the school didnt fix his transcript so all of the programs got one with an incomplete. He scrambled into an anesthesia spot after doing a 4th year anesthesia rotation. The absolute best way to get a spot:
Have a faculty advocate in the anesthesia department; one who is well connected. Your school should provide access to someone in the anesthesia department. If they can go to bat for you, then you will get a spot.

The chair of the anesthesia department looked at his transcript, his board scores, and his evals from his anesthesia rotation and picked the phone up and called the department chairs of programs with open spots. My buddy actually picked between UW, NYU, and Cornell....