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5+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2013
Medical Student
Hey everyone!!
I finally found the time to update you guys with where I'm at. Not that it matters but I'd like to believe my story is somewhat inspirational and that it will brighten up and clear someones pain and frustration. SDN forums really helped ease my anxiety last year from Step 2 to the interview cycle. It gave me hope for when I was at my absolute worst so I want to write back hoping that this will do the same for those who will be applying this year.

I'll start from where I left off and that is Step 2.
I've posted somewhere before that I went into step 2 with a "230-240 mentality"; unfortunately that wasn't the outcome. I scored lower than my Step 1 and at that point, there was nothing I could have done to change that. I had to accept it and move on.

Interviews - I applied to 240 programs (IM and FM combined). I received my 1st interview very early on and many told me that it's not common to get an invite that early so I became hopeful for many many more. A month later, I got 2 more back to back and starting feeling even more optimistic. I became interview hungry. Another month went by but this time not a single invitation. My friends, constantly reassuring me that there was still a long time before programs stopped sending out invites. Of course they weren't wrong, there was still enough time before the cycle ended but let's be honest, an IMG with a good step 1 score but lower step 2, who was I kidding? There was no way I'd get any more interviews... and I didn't. THREE was it.

There were days I became superstitious and believed that 3 was an unlucky number and I wouldn't match. Then, I also had days where I convinced myself I only needed one to match. I knew a girl who applied the cycle before me, received only 1 interview and matched into that one program.
I was hurt and prepared myself for the worst possible outcome. I'd have to try again next year with more and stronger LORS. A personal statement describing how I didn't match, a paragraph explaining what I learned and how I grew, etc, etc. I was devastated. There was nothing I could do but to just pray and hope for the best.

I'll briefly mention my interview experience. 2/3 interviews went great. I knew they went well. I was myself, had casual conversations with the faculty and just smiled as everyone told me too. When you go for interviews, not very many people ask you about your scores or that project you did in undergrad; its all about you and your personality. Will you fit into their program and their people? Are you social or just a book worm? They look at your demeanor more than your scores at that point. I am a pretty social and outgoing girl. I hope my friends can say the same : ) so I wasn't at all nervous while interviewing. I went in with confidence but not soo much that would turn them off.
My third interview did not go so well with the program director so lets just not talk about it.

Week leading to match day - I prepared myself for SOAP. I made sure that I knew the rules, what to do and how to do it. If I didn't match, I wanted to make sure I took full advantage of that "second chance" given to us. The night before Match Day I was restless; constantly fighting my fears, telling myself I only needed one interview to match and that I'd be okay.

Lets fast forward to March 11th 10am - I refreshed my email multiple times and nothing. I opened up NRMP on my computer and right in the middle of the screen it read "CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE MATCHED".
I was not prepared for it. I was not expecting to read that. I was ecstatic!!!
Yep, I matched into a university program with only 3 interviews. I matched at my second choice and I couldn't be happier.

A couple of weeks after match day, I learned of a family friend who got 13 interviews but did not match. It's so crazy how the process and algorithm works. I know its easier said now but never stop believing in yourself. I had a great step 1 score, however, I think the drop in step 2 really hurt me. I had 3 IV's but only 2 went well. I had a great resume with experience in teaching sciences in undergrad, tutoring in med school and more. Just when I thought I would have to fight for this again (and yes it is worth fighting for) God helped me out. Your efforts will always be rewarded so never lose faith, and never lose sight of the target! I just returned from the city I will be joining, signed a lease for my apartment, and couldn't be happier!

Good luck to you all!!


John William Waterhouse
Staff member
10+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2006
Attending Physician
Cross posted in the MD medical students forum. Please go there to comment.

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