jaydada

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Anyone here with experiance with the scramble services on the net? Are these websites and what they offer for real or phoney. In other words, do they just take your money and do nothing or do they actually forward you application on the day of the scramble, and any sucess stories. Please let me know soon, I'm really stressing out over the match......help......thanx in advance.
 

Marci Way

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jaydada said:
Anyone here with experiance with the scramble services on the net? Are these websites and what they offer for real or phoney. In other words, do they just take your money and do nothing or do they actually forward you application on the day of the scramble, and any sucess stories. Please let me know soon, I'm really stressing out over the match......help......thanx in advance.
From the standpoint of a program coordinator in the scramble, there have been occasions when I was contacted by someone other than the applicant, but I did not see anything that would inform me that there was a Scramble Agency involved. I am just now more aware of these agencies. Applicants might do just as well on their own if fees are expensive.
 

Winged Scapula

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While there may well be suspect companies that do little more than "take the money and run", most do provide a service. However, as Marci points out, in general, what they provide is NO DIFFERENT than what the applicant can do for themselves. There is no reason why an applicant cannot forward their application materials to the programs/ERAS/NRMP etc. The agencies carry no persuasive powers with the PDs and the DO charge often exhorbitant fees.

My advice...stay away unless you have a devilish need to rid yourself of excess moola (and in that case, please PM me...I have several personal needs which could be attended to with some more cash in-flow ;) ).
 

anatolyk

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First of all, I am working for such a company - no names for not being considered as a service solicitor.

I am a 100% for not using any services for calling the programs.

I have been reading about how easy it is to scramble. Some people say you can do your own faxing, etc. This is true for AMGs. They usually are only interested in one city or at most one state.

I will try to be as objective as possible. I went through this with my IMG wife, so this is a first hand experience.

IMGs are in a worse position and most of them are desperate to get into residency ANYWHERE. Now, back to the scramble. Most IMGs are looking for IM and/or FP. That's about 350 programs that have unfilled positions each year.

Typical application is about 10-12 pages long. Average fax throughput is 3 pages/min. 10*350 = 3500 pages -> 19 hrs

A person can send e-mails with a speed of about 5 messages/min -> 70 min
Lots of them will get blocked because of large attachments.

On top of that, programs start calling right after results get published. A person cannot do anything while interviewing. But one interview is sure not enough.

I think the whole scramble process is unfair. There is too much left to a chance. That's why I am looking at that strictly from statistical point of view. The more programs get IMGs application fast, the higher the chances.

Good luck to y'all!
 

Winged Scapula

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I agree that the process is daunting and sending out those number of applications can be darn near impossible.

However, to participate in the scramble IMGs have registered with ERAS anyway during the match and ERAS which will forward your information to programs FREE OF CHARGE (up to 30 programs) during the scramble (the two days prior to Match Day). There is no reason therefore to pay extra for a service that is already provided. The following is from ECFMG:

Post-Match Scramble
This General Information about the post-Match Scramble may answer your questions.
Please be aware that the Scramble involves three different organizations:
MyERAS, operated by the Association of American Medical Colleges www.myeras.aamc.org

The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP, or "the Match") www.nrmp.org

Your ERAS Crew at ECFMG, your designated Dean's Office www.ecfmg.org/eras
Who may apply?
All applicants who have not matched.
IMGs must have their passing results for all required exams reported to the NRMP in time to participate in the Match (refer to the NRMP website for complete information), but they do not have to be certified prior to the Match in order to participate.
When do I apply?
You may apply as soon as the list of unfilled positions has been posted at www.nrmp.org at 12:00 noon, Eastern Time in the United States, on Tuesday, March 15, 2005. This is also the site where the final Match results will be posted 2 days later.
To which programs can I apply?
You may apply to any program that has an unfilled position.
What if I have applied to a program earlier?
Let them know that they already have your application, and ask them to take another look at it. You cannot re-transmit your application.
How do I gain access to the list of unfilled positions if I did not register with the Match?
You need an NRMP / AAMC ID and a password.
How do I apply, via fax or ERAS?
Ideally, you will have contacted a few programs in advance to find out whether you should apply, and how each program wants to receive your application.
Since it will be difficult to reach the program directors and receive the answers you need during the Scramble, we suggest the following method:
Add up to 30 programs to the list of programs to which you have applied and try to follow up with these programs by phone, if you can. If a program prefers to receive your application by fax, you can still fax your application to them.
How much will it cost?
You may apply to a maximum of 30 programs during the two-day scramble. There is no charge for applying to programs during the scramble. However, to release your application, you must complete the payment process, even if the amount due is zero.
Any programs to which you apply after 12:00 noon, Eastern Time in the United States, on Thursday, March 17, 2005 will be charged at the regular rate.
For more information, see ERAS 2005 Application Fees on the AAMC ERAS website.
How long will the Scramble last?
Two days, from 12:00 noon, Eastern Time in the United States, Tuesday, March 15, 2005 to 12:00 noon, Eastern Time in the United States, Thursday, March 17, 2005. On Thursday, March 17, 2005, at 1:00 PM, the results of the Match will be announced.
Are there programs that participate in ERAS, but not in the Match?
Yes.
Are there programs that participate in the Match, but not in ERAS?
Yes.
Which programs are they?
We do not have this information.
Do I have to appear for interviews?
We do not know. The program directors will tell you.
Can I make any changes or updates to my application?
You may change any information that the software will allow you to change. You may change the information in MyProfile and you may reassign personal statements and Letters of Recommendation.
What will my ERAS Crew at ECFMG do for me during this period?
Throughout the season we check your files, on a daily basis, for any new information that would require an updated ECFMG Status Report to be transmitted to the programs. That new information could be a USMLE score or issuance of an ECFMG Certificate. Once a new Status Report has been created, based on any of these conditions, it will be transmitted automatically at the end of the day. There is nothing you need to do.
During the two Scramble days, we will login to the ERAS PostOffice several times each day to retrieve your document assignments and program lists. We will process those lists and transmit your documents shortly thereafter.
What is the best strategy?
During the 48 hours of the Scramble, there is no time for manual processing. Your file must be ready for automatic processing by our system before the Scramble begins.
That means:
At least one week before the Scramble, you must apply to at least one program.
If you are planning to apply during the post-Match Scramble only, you must still apply to at least one program about one week before the Scramble.
You must also make sure that all of your documents have been received and assigned, so that we can attach and transmit them before the Scramble.
If you are sending us new or replacement LoRs, we must have them one week prior to the Scramble, so that we have time to attach them. If you have a new, additional LoR, assign it to one of your original programs. This gives us time to attach it before the Scramble. During the Scramble we will not have time to do it.
If you are sending us a replacement LoR from the same writer, attach a note to it that reads, "This replaces the previous LoR." Otherwise, we might mistake it for another copy of the one we have already scanned and discard it without scanning.
After that, your file is ready for the Scramble.



If the applicant wishes they can apply for more programs themselves (in addition to the 30 offered by ERAS) during the scramble. Post match time pressure is not as intense and an applicant could conceivably transmit the information him or herself with the aid of some assistants and MORE than one FAX machine. Perhaps even more importantly is to not waste money transmitting information to programs that they have little chance at obtaining a spot. While there may be 350 programs with open spots, surely a little research before hand (especially if the applicant suspects they will not match) will help them weed through the pile and lower that number. To randomly submit FAXes to programs that may never look at them, or have no interest in FMGs, seem a waste of money, IMHO.
 

anatolyk

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I totally agree with you if we are talking about AMG or a specialty with less than 50 unfilled programs.

IMHO: if you are looking for ANYTHING, thats just the numbers game.

Unfortunately scramble mostly is just a statistical game. The more you bet, the higher your chances to win.

Translating to scramble:
The more programs you apply for, the higher your chances to get an interview. Even though at least half of your applications will just get tossed to a trash can and hopefully get shreded...

IMHO: Scramble pressure is very high. I cannot find anything to compare it with. There is no time to do e-mailing and faxing. Hopefuly you get busy doing phone interviews. I wish nobody gets this experience.

The same theory applies to the match. Some IMGs get surprised not getting any interviews after applying to 20-30 programs.
 

LisaY

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Hi,
I recently moved to the US from Australia, having graduated from med school there. I just wrote Step 1 and Step 2-CK, and am doing the CS next month. Can I apply for positions in the scramble without having registered for the match? Otherwise I was hoping to get a position out of the match by contacting programme directors.
Does anyone know anything about this process, it is Heiroglyphics to me!
Thanks.
 

anatolyk

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Technicaly you can scramble with no CS as long as you have it passed by July 1st.

There will be lots of applicants with ECFMG certificates, so you should give a PD a really good reason to pick you.

Good luck
 

doc05

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WRONG. You can't scramble if you haven't registered for the match -- only unmatched applicants are provided with information on programs that didn't fill. Good luck next year.
 

anatolyk

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doc05 said:
WRONG. You can't scramble if you haven't registered for the match -- only unmatched applicants are provided with information on programs that didn't fill. Good luck next year.
You can scramble even if you haven't registered with nrmp. There are a lot of places to get the list from on a scramble day.

http://www.imgresidency.com/thelist.htm