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The Couples Match

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DoctorSax

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I'm going to be couples matching with my wife, who is also applying IM. What do you guys hear about the following:

Matching in the same program vs. different programs in the same city?

How well folks do match-wise. In other words, does the couples match algorithm hurt you more than it helps you?

Should we interview on the same days? Cos it sure would make planning airport trips easier!

I ask all of this because I knew several folks from last years class who were amazing applicants trying for traditionally not-so-competitive specialties (both IM/Family) and they ended up getting something like their 10th choice.

(Not that it's going to change anything--we're doing it anyway. I just want to mentally prepare to not get our top choices!)

DS
 

PalCareGrl

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Hi, I'm couples matching too this year - my BF is doing EM and I'm doing IM. So far, the programs that we've rotated at for electives have gone way out of their way when they find out we're couples matching (contacting the other department in one case to make room for my BF to rotate when a spot was previously unavailable). We're applying to about 40 places each and now we're just waiting on interviews. I've heard that some couples have to go further down on their lists, but I don't know of anyone personally who's done it from my school...
Anyway - you two are lucky if you interview at the same time, we're not going to be able to due to our schedules. Best of luck, let me know if you hear of any tricks, etc for couples..

Also, for anyone who's gone through the couple's match previously - when is too soon for someone to call the program and ask if they're going to get an interview?? Thanks! :)
 

DoctorSax

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Dr. Corday said:
I'm also couples matching, him into radiology. One of my programs actually offered to contact the radiology department...we'll see what comes out of it. But anybody have any advice on when to contact programs?


Not a lot of response on this thread...anybody know when it's kosher to email a program and ask if your couple-ee is going to receive an interview? Plane flights ain't gettin' no cheaper.

DS
 

peptidoglycan

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I have to run right now, but I'll try to post my experiences later today. My husband and I couples matched into IM last year. Great experience.
 

DoctorSax

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peptidoglycan said:
I have to run right now, but I'll try to post my experiences later today. My husband and I couples matched into IM last year. Great experience.

Much obliged!

DS
 

PalCareGrl

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From what I've heard, it IS okay to call/email programs if your SO already has an interview (I was told this by a PD). He also said that it's not too early already, and that, in general, he's getting about 15 calls per day to ask about their applications.

My SO and I are waiting until Nov 1st for some programs, for him to call and ask, and until about Nov 15th for others (waiting for Dean's letter to get out and all). I'm not interviewing at most until January, so I can wait to cancel, but I'm starting to have to juggle, so I'm going to make him call about 5 places next week to see if I can cancel or not (based on whether they'll interview him or not).

:)
 

peptidoglycan

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Here's the deal I found with the couples match:

When we applied, my husband and I were just dating. By the end of interview season, we were engaged; by July 1, we were married. The reason I tell you this is in case you think things work differently depending on your "relationship status". We checked yes to the couples match question on the ERAS cover sheet page, some schools still didn't know that we were couples matching. Make sure you call the programs directly and let them know -- that greased the way some of the time. Only UAB (if memory serves) asked what our status was, and maybe that's because they got us hotel rooms (separate since we weren't married, but maybe they would put us together if we were?).
We applied to all the same programs, always interviewed on the same day, and ranked all programs the same for the match. We applied to 20 programs, I got interviews at 17, I believe, and he got interviews at 9. We ended up doing 7 interviews, and we matched at our first choice. He got one of his 9 offers after being rejected because my PD and I called and told them about the couples matching thing and they sent him an interview.
We chose to apply only to the same institutions rather than different ones in the same city because we found universally that programs would coordinate our call schedules so that most of the time we would be on call months at the same time and on call the same days. Since we are newly married and have a dog, we decided that it was important to have similar schedules so that we can see each other.

To answer your question about the couples match algorithm, I think if you are both applying to IM, you almost don't even need to officially couples match, so the algorithm doesn't really apply that much. What I mean is that you are dealing with one PD and if you have made it clear to him that you are planning to come together, they should rank you together. Package or nothing. Of course you should use definitely go through the match as an official couple because you can get really screwed otherwise -- I know people who thought they could beat the system and have ended up strewn across the country from one another, very miserable. Intern year is tough enough -- you don't need the added emotional stress. In the end, though, talk to the PD. Usually we were both interviewed by the PD wherever we went and they were fairly frank about who was the stronger candidate and what it would take for us to both be there. But it worked out well. I hear the problems coming in more often from people who are couples matching across specialties -- a phone call from one PD to another can only do so much, but if only one PD is making the decision about both of you, the chances are much higher that you'll either both be wanted there or both be passed on. And interviewing on the same day will help implant in the PDs head that you go together. it makes sense, it's easier for you, and it's easier for them.

Good luck...sorry if not linear -- post call...

Pepti
 

DoctorSax

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I really appreciate the insight. I actually did call a couple of the programs and they went ahead and scheduled us together for some interviews that she hadn't received yet. I think that we'll end up interviewing at a large number of programs (could be 18!) despite the fact we are both doing medicine, mostly to get a feel for the city and see if it's a place we can see ourselves living (temporarily and/or permanently). Probably won't rank all of them.

I think that the coordination of call schedules is absolutely key, which drives me toward attempting to match in the same program.

Thanks for all the input! Very reassuring...if anyone else has a perspective, please do post it--folks seem to be checking out this thread!

DS
 

postme

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Anyone out there matching with a future Anesthesiologist? Seems just about impossible to schedule interviews at the same time....
:thumbdown:
 
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