fancymylotus

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So.
What's the procedure if no offers today? It turns into a phone call/fax free for all starting tomorrow at 5?
 

IlDestriero

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All you can do is figure out what your weaknesses or problems with this years match were and soldier on.
I would recommend talking to your desired programs head of research at your school and trying to arrange a research year.
Fix what you can fix, apply smarter if that was a problem, and work on strengthening your application for next year.
And of course don't give up on looking for an out of match spot. Things open up, and if they don't know you're available, they're not going to call you.
 
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Only my close friends know I am SOAP'ing. But my "laypeople" friends all know that actual Match Day is tomorrow. I am going to be swarmed by texts, FB posts asking me where am I off to in the summer to go be a doctor. And I can't crawl into a hole, throw my cel in the trash, deactivate my FB. UGH!

If you're religious: God has a purpose. If you aren't: S*** Happens!
 

PMRMD2B

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The threat of not matching for IMGs has been increases each year, yet the applications aren't going down. In fact, the big 3 Carib schools matched over 1500 people last year (over 800 alone from Ross). If you group ALL IMGs into the 50% match rate, odds aren't great.. but if you just look at the match rates of the top 3 schools, odds are a lot better (don't know the exact number because they won't publish).

The solution is in legislation that has been introduced and never passed. It would increase residency positions by 15,000 for 5 years, enough to match EVERYONE in the match and solve the physician shortage that we have (which was predicted 20 years ago). Increase the training spots, that solves many problems.
 

PMRMD2B

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I wonder how many people today do what some used to do.. offer to work for free for a year in order to prove themselves and hope to get a paid PGY-2 spot.
 
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As for working a year for free and then applying for a PGY-2 spot, pretty sure you can't do that. Labor laws and crap. Regulations for licensure require legitimate internships. At least that is my understanding.
 
Mar 16, 2015
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I believe this is my first post here. I am also SOAPing right now with no offers. This is my 2nd year of applying for FM and IM. I am a US/IMG with low Step 1 and Step 2 scores. After an unsuccessful go with the match and SOAP last year, I prepared and took Step 3 and got even better score. I also work at an ED as a scribe - which helped me tremendously to prepare for Step 3 and has improved my clinical acumen to a great deal. I am exposed to some of the most critical cases first hand and I am in the room charting in real time and constantly process the information and 'think like a physician', and almost all of the times the medical decisions that I make in my head are spot on after I see the physicians I work with, approach their decisions. On several occasions, I have made suggestions that ultimately benefited patients. I included all of these experiences on my ERAS and elaborated them on PS.
But I am getting filtered out by low Step scores and most of the programs do not even look at what I am capable of bringing to the table. I know I am to blame for low scores, but I would like to hope that programs at least review what other qualities does an applicant have that would show them that he/she is determined and has overcome the low scores. My family is distraught after 2 unsuccessful outcomes and left wondering about the past 10 years of hard work, sweat and money spent just to see 'doors being slammed at our faces'. Yea sure I will go back to work, and live another day, and will probably seek other 'extra curricular' activities to improve my resume. But those things cost time and money and we are running out of all of them.
I empathize with everyone who is vying for a position this week... and who may be doing it for the second or third time. Unfortunately, programs do filter based on Step Scores (as well as year of graduation, citizenship status etc etc). Not sure what the solution is, other than to get out there and put a face to your name so next year they might take a second to review your application instead of automatically filtering it. Make some connections that will put in a phonecall to programs, that may help getting your application reviewed next year. Also- there are a handful of off-cycle spots (WHERE to find this info, not exactly sure) and many spots open up in July/August because of visa issues or failure to graduate etc. Be optimistic, don't give up- you're lucky you have the support of your family. I understand that it is trying, not just for you, but for your parents (and kids and other family members as well).
 
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US-IMG from small carib school here. I matched on monday to an IM program, not sure where yet. I was really surprised, I thought I would be SOAPing too. but I wanted to wish everyone here good luck.

I have a question though, what seems to be the consensus about why people went unmatched? was it due to a small rank list? Very specific geographical applications? or just very competitive residencies with no backups?

I have a couple friends who went unmatched because they just didnt have enough interviews..
 

SLC

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…You mentioned God. He is very much aware of your situation and He loves you VERY much. He has a plan for you. Have faith in that. Having faith in Him means having faith in His timing. Everything will fall into place and when it all clicks you will have this epiphone -- "so THAT'S why I had to go through all that!" You will have far more empathy and patience and kindness now for having gone through this. I think it definitely makes us better docs. Blessings to you and yours.
Another amazing post. I'm sorry that you haven't had the luck that I was hoping for on your behalf. Like you I believe there's a plan for all of us that we are often not fully aware of, but God is and he will see it through. It is tough to have faith in that all the time but it's the truth.

My entire journey has been marked by those tender mercies, including the SOAP process and the way I stumbled into my spot yesterday.

I was never a likely candidate for medical school in the first place. Grades, lack of connections in medicine etc. But before college I went through a very serious trial related to something I thought I was supposed to do. This was to be a defining part of my life, or so I was told by friends, family, and clergy. I started out with this endeavor only to have it fall apart almost immediately. I returned home to my family feeling utter shame, having let them down. I became horribly depressed and even had some thoughts of suicide for a time.

Thing is, preparing for this endeavor actually gave me the opportunity to learn a certain skill that opened up a volunteer experience in college (that I was otherwise completely unqualified for). That experience cracked open the door for me into medical school (was the main focus of the one interview I got).

Medical school went smoothly and I should absolutely have matched without problem. I had above average scores, class rank, and letters for my field. I never failed anything, never had any gaps in training etc. On one interview, when I stepped out of the residency office to change before the flight home, my wife was on the other side of the door and heard the faculty and PD gushing about how much they had hoped I would come to the interview and how impressed they were with me, and this was a place that only interviewed one person at a time and only 2 per week, I placed that program #2 on my rank list and didn't match.

In the SOAP, every single of the 12 or 13 programs that I had the time to speak with told me they couldn't see why I hadn't matched and that I could rest assured that I would be getting a first round offer. One program, that had only one opening decided to put me #2 on their list, but called Wednesday morning telling me they wrestled all night with what to do and that their #1 was indistinguishable from me. They were in close contact during the first round asking me not to accept any offers until they heard if their spot would be rejected because they wanted the opportunity to give it to me in the second round if it was. I don't say that to make anyone jealous or to brag, just to point out that this SOAP thing was part of the process that I believe God has in place for me as I'll outline below.

So flash forward to the program I did take. This was a program that despite my application and scores, I didn't feel I had any business thinking about, much less applying to. They called me up and the interview process went forward. They seemed so impressed with that skill I had developed after highschool that they wanted to talk to me. By Tuesday afternoon they had contacted me multiple other times, and I got a first round offer. All due in large part to that same difficult experience I had as a young adult over 15 years ago that I thought had ruined my life as I knew it.

I can only continue to look for what God has in store for me next in this process. I sort of doubt that it will even have all that much to do with medicine but rather that I'll be put in a place to do something for someone or make a difference somehow because of this path I've been set on.

I sincerely believe that everyone here has a similar situation, these types of things happen for a reason, I have no doubt of that. So please don't think less of yourselves for this, things have a way of working out when we put our trust in the idea that they will. Even if medicine isn't in the cards for some of us (and I say us because I'm with you folks matched and unmatched alike), we had to learn it for some yet unseen reason that will hopefully become apparent someday.
 
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As for working a year for free and then applying for a PGY-2 spot, pretty sure you can't do that. Labor laws and crap. Regulations for licensure require legitimate internships. At least that is my understanding.
There are institutions that have "funded" residency slots in certain specialties (typically primary care) for international graduates- would that be a viable option for some?
 
Mar 16, 2015
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My entire journey has been marked by those tender mercies, including the SOAP process and the way I stumbled into my spot yesterday.
Great post- great life lesson. Do you mind me asking what you soaped into and if you were a US grad or Foreign Grad?
 

IlDestriero

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Something to watch about the power of "No,"


I personally know a few people that didn't match the first time around. They all went on to great success. One is a pediatric cardiac surgeon, another is a pediatric anesthesiologist and Ivy League Professor, the third is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and the last one is a retina specialist in one of the most competitive and desirable cities in the US. All failed to match, and all overcame that and every other obstacle in their way.

Don't let "No!" get the best of you!

It is always darkest before the dawn.
 

j4pac

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The threat of not matching for IMGs has been increases each year, yet the applications aren't going down. In fact, the big 3 Carib schools matched over 1500 people last year (over 800 alone from Ross). If you group ALL IMGs into the 50% match rate, odds aren't great.. but if you just look at the match rates of the top 3 schools, odds are a lot better (don't know the exact number because they won't publish).

The solution is in legislation that has been introduced and never passed. It would increase residency positions by 15,000 for 5 years, enough to match EVERYONE in the match and solve the physician shortage that we have (which was predicted 20 years ago). Increase the training spots, that solves many problems.
The ACGME and AOA programs have enough slots to fill their own applicants. The problem is that IMG/FMG programs do NOT have residency programs, so their students have nowhere to go. IMGs/FMGs are now boss hogging their way into ACGME programs and I would imagine that this year will have the highest rate of AMGs not matching in history. There should be some incentive for IMG programs to have their own residencies...and the problem is solved. But it is unlikely to happen because they are too happy collecting your check without practically any overhead.

The solution you are proposing is one a valid one...but again it comes down to money. Our government is essentially broke. Do you really think that Congressmen and Senators care about poor medical students, especially the ones going OUT OF OUR COUNTRY for training? I highly doubt it. They have more important things to worry about. Especially knowing that the FP/PA momentum is in full-effect.

And if the legislation is passed...who's to say that more Caribbean schools won't continue to open their doors unregulated? There has to more responsibility from the medical schools. If the DO schools were putting out more DOs than residency spots...there would a huge outcry. But since its IMG programs...everyone kind of turns a blind eye.
 
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Something to watch about the power of "No,"


I personally know a few people that didn't match the first time around. They all went on to great success. One is a pediatric cardiac surgeon, another is a pediatric anesthesiologist and Ivy League Professor, the third is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and the last one is a retina specialist in one of the most competitive and desirable cities in the US. All failed to match, and all overcame that and every other obstacle in their way.

Don't let "No!" get the best of you!

It is always darkest before the dawn.
I take it that all of them were AMGs....?
 

asuka99

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Only my close friends know I am SOAP'ing. But my "laypeople" friends all know that actual Match Day is tomorrow. I am going to be swarmed by texts, FB posts asking me where am I off to in the summer to go be a doctor. And I can't crawl into a hole, throw my cel in the trash, deactivate my FB. UGH!

If you're religious: God has a purpose. If you aren't: S*** Happens!
i absolutely hate those people

tell them it's none of their business. **** them. they just want to engage in salaciousness
 
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IlDestriero

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i absolutely hate those people

tell them it's none of their business. **** them. they just want to engage in salaciousness
I think they just want to share in the joy and excitement surrounding the match, not knowing the unfortunate details of what happened.
Also, I don't think salacious means what you think it means. It has a lewd connotation absent from this situation.
 

IlDestriero

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I take it that all of them were AMGs....?
Yes. I the only FMGs I know and/or work with were just that, foreign medical students that went to good medical schools in their home countries before moving to the U.S.
 
Mar 19, 2015
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I am in same boat as everyone else that isn't matched and would also like to know come 5PM how can we proceed to contact PDs as well as what documents we would need. Apart from PDF of step scores, transcript copy, etc is it still a violation to contact programs for copies of LoRs? I applied to all the programs I have LoRs from.... assuming to wait after SOAP concludes to ask for letter copies?
 
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I remember when I was a premed undergrad and in a biology class. It was a warm, Southern Spring day in March, and our class had been moved into a smaller room because there was some to-do with the medical students that morning. Our lecture was interrupted by peals of shouting and applause, and we were just like, what the heck is going on? Our professor explained to us what "Match Day" was and an understanding "ohhhhhh" rippled through the students. She continued her lecture, but from that day forward I was so excited to participate in my own match day. The first time I went through the Match, I was so positive I was going to get a position in my chosen field. I didn't even consider the possibility of not matching. Everyone in my class knew I was the "Queen" of OB. It was my passion, I loved it, I had great rapport with (most of) my professors, and it seemed I was a shoe-in for the program of my choice. So imagine my shock that Monday when I got the e-mail, "We're sorry, you did not match to any position." But that was nothing compared to the Scramble. I had three attendings there the next day to help field phone calls -- one in place of my mentor (who couldn't be bothered to show up and help), one I'd never even met before and didn't know me from Adam's housecat, and one who was the biggest misogynistic pig you ever met. Needless to say, while I had wanted to give it a good half hour before giving up on OB, they only gave it five minutes before they said I should just move on to "less competitive" specialties. Five minutes. Five minutes and all of a sudden everything I'd worked and prayed and sweated and bled and cried for was gone. There was even one program on the list of unfilled positions that Mr. Misogynist actually KNEW the PD personally -- like they were old friends! But when the PC told him just to have me fax my ERAS application in, he said fine and hung up. He couldn't even be bothered to call up an old buddy on my behalf! They bullied me into accepting an offer from an FM program I knew darn well wasn't a good fit, but they had me over a barrel and were far more concerned about reporting a "100% match rate" for my top-tier med school than whatever the hell happened to me. I was so embarrassed and heartbroken I didn't even attend my class Match Day. I just couldn't. Those years of looking forward to standing at the podium and reading out my dream program to the cheers and applause of my friends and classmates were shattered. I cried every day for about a month. I kept trying to tell myself I was lucky just to have a job, and 800 unmatched US Seniors would sell their right ball for my position. I kept trying to tell myself to get over my selfishness and that perhaps this was the best path for me, that maybe OB hadn't been the way to go all along. I kept telling myself that if I went to this program humble, ready to listen and learn, eager to be the best I could, that I would come out a better person for it. I tried to look on the bright side. I tried to be positive. And there were definitely some very good days. There were patients I was meant to treat and learn from, relationships I was meant to form. But it still hurts to talk about, and I still ended up leaving, and it was still the right thing to do. I have no idea why I'm going through what I am. I have no idea what I'm supposed to learn from all this that I obviously still haven't learned, and I have no idea what I'm going to do now. But doesn't it seem kind of ridiculous that after all we've done, all the money we've spent (loans plus out-of-pockets expenses for test prep and interviews), all the work we've put in, that we should have to "settle" for anything? Should it really be this hard to have to "try" to be happy and see the positive side of our trials all the time? And when does it get better? I know, trust in the Lord, trust in His timing. But God, seriously?!? I could really use some of the good stuff about now. . .
 
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SLC

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It's so great to know you matched into your original choice! Best of luck to you- and to everyone else out there!
Best of luck to you as well. Keep your head up, stay positive and proactive and it will work out for the best in the end.

One of the biggest lessons I learned this week is that programs want to see people who are calm under stress, this was commented on over and over in my follow up with programs. It's a big deal in residency, so do your best to project a calm, collected, and poised persona despite this being among the most stressful thing any of us have gone through.
 
Mar 18, 2015
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Best of luck to you as well. Keep your head up, stay positive and proactive and it will work out for the best in the end.

One of the biggest lessons I learned this week is that programs want to see people who are calm under stress, this was commented on over and over in my follow up with programs. It's a big deal in residency, so do your best to project a calm, collected, and poised persona despite this being among the most stressful thing any of us have gone through.
That's really great advice, SLC. Thanks
 
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No offers in SOAP....at least they are now getting quicker in their generating thing.....
Well best of luck to everybody else.... :) I sincerely hope everybody gets something....we all deserve top notch places :)
For me, I know next year is definitely my year iA.....hope for the best as always :)
 

SLC

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No offers. It's over for this year. Gotta figure out a game plan now.
I'm so sorry, go hug your kids and husband. They're your best allies, they love you all the same no matter what.
 
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I'm so sorry, go hug your kids and husband. They're your best allies, they love you all the same no matter what.
Yup, baby boy is toddling around talking jibberish happily. Hubs is making him a PB&J. Middle child gets out of preschool in less than an hour. And Oldest's two-week Spring Break starts next week. Life goes on. I just wish at this point I knew *where* it was going ;)
 

SLC

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Yup, baby boy is toddling around talking jibberish happily. Hubs is making him a PB&J. Middle child gets out of preschool in less than an hour. And Oldest's two-week Spring Break starts next week. Life goes on. I just wish at this point I knew *where* it was going ;)
Yep, having my 3 year old playing with his toys behind my desk as if nothing was happening all week definitely helped me keep perspective. I kept telling myself I'd do anything to be in his shoes right then...
 
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Mar 19, 2015
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Docmama... why do you say its over? You could still call to handful of places that may have any availabilities? No?

In regards to programs that don't participate in SOAP, can someone please enlighten me what's their rationale? Why would programs not partake in SOAP to snatch the best applicants?
 
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Yep, having my 3 year old playing with histoys behind my desk as if nothing was happening all week definitely helped me keep perspective. Inept telling myself I'd do anything to be in his shoes right then...
That's such a sweet image. I've had the flu all week so my kids have mostly annoyed the crap out of me and given me headaches ;)
 
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@docmama I am very sorry for your misfortune. Were you an AMG or IMG?
Former AMG (class of 2011), top-tier school. Board scores not fantastic (and I don't mean 22* "not fantastic" I mean REALLY not fantastic). Lots of extracurriculars and stellar LORs. Plus the tug-at-the-heartstrings veteran husband sob story (sorry, couldn't help it -- but for a while my life was really starting to sound like a country song ;)!)
 
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Docmama... why do you say its over? You could still call to handful of places that may have any availabilities? No?

In regards to programs that don't participate in SOAP, can someone please enlighten me what's their rationale? Why would programs not partake in SOAP to snatch the best applicants?
Oh I just meant the Match/SOAP cycle. I need to come up with a game plan for whatever might still be out there. So the list they release for SOAP-eligible candidates this evening, is that just what we've been getting updated from the NRMP site, or will it include additional programs? Cuz the only FM program left with unfilled spots was in Corn Country. Not that I wouldn't take it, but there were only two spots left and I'm sure they filled this last round.
 
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Rewarding failure IS the American way...
Well see here's the thing -- I feel like they sold me a false bill of goods. I was never told that what I've been through in the past few years was a possibility. Not even remotely. I had no idea there were others like me out there. So knowing there are quite a few in this boat tells me that med schools need to be more up front about the potential for NOT getting what you work for (rather than protecting their precious retention and match numbers). Look, I have no sympathy for the Occupy Wall Streeter who is out there demanding the government forgive her $100K student loan for a BA in 16th century lesbian french poetry. There was NEVER going to be any kind of career potential with a degree like that to cover that kind of student debt. But a medical degree? Useless without post-grad training. And the school can't guarantee post-grad training. That's not exactly something they covered during orientation week. Long story short, if I'd known there was even a remote possibility of my outcome, I'd have NEVER pursued a medical degree. So I kinda want my money back ;)
 

fancymylotus

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Well see here's the thing -- I feel like they sold me a false bill of goods. I was never told that what I've been through in the past few years was a possibility. Not even remotely. I had no idea there were others like me out there. So knowing there are quite a few in this boat tells me that med schools need to be more up front about the potential for NOT getting what you work for (rather than protecting their precious retention and match numbers). Look, I have no sympathy for the Occupy Wall Streeter who is out there demanding the government forgive her $100K student loan for a BA in 16th century lesbian french poetry. There was NEVER going to be any kind of career potential with a degree like that to cover that kind of student debt. But a medical degree? Useless without post-grad training. And the school can't guarantee post-grad training. That's not exactly something they covered during orientation week. Long story short, if I'd known there was even a remote possibility of my outcome, I'd have NEVER pursued a medical degree. So I kinda want my money back ;)
For us, there are states that require post grad training to get licensed(like my state) and if you don't match, you have to move, or do a research year and re apply if you want to be in one of those states, and they told us this repeatedly over our four years. Seems like maybe they should have done the same for you :/ sorry. The whole process sucks.
 
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Also, how is trying over and over without success a failure? Wouldn't failure be giving up without a fight? Do you realize that the most common reasons med students and residents with setbacks like us sink into depression or even commit suicide is because of the soulcrushing debt they worry they'll never pay off? Do you realize that with my short-term life insurance policy, I'm actually worth far more dead than alive? Think about that before you insinuate "rewarding failure."
 

Keona

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I think it's that we have more medical students than residencies in the United states alone, we can't go to another country and practice. Please correct me if I am wrong . I'm an AMG and have no idea what to do now
 
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For us, there are states that require post grad training to get licensed(like my state) and if you don't match, you have to move, or do a research year and re apply if you want to be in one of those states, and they told us this repeatedly over our four years. Seems like maybe they should have done the same for you :/ sorry. The whole process sucks.
Oh they mentioned the remote possibility of not matching, but they told us not to worry too much about it because they were a top-tier school and their match rates were usually 98-100%. And while my grad year had 15 unmatched students in the scramble, they had the balls to report a 100% match rate that year because we all got scramble positions (even though they bullied most of us into taking positions in places we had no desire to go). And they never really explained how GME works, or what happens when you need to take a break, because once we graduated and "matched" we weren't their problem any more. Gotta love those top-tier schools. . .
 
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