What's the best way to apply to programs and definitely match?

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by turquoiseblue, May 9, 2008.

  1. turquoiseblue

    5+ Year Member

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    Anyone know how to go about applying and making a definite match?

    Just curious if anyone has any special formulas to match. I've been applying for years--getting tired. I wish I knew what I may be doing wrong and do it right this time. Maybe some that matched can talk about what they did to get in.

    Someone said to leave off your transcripts for a while--and that it can get you prematches or even match because they won't see your scores until way later or maybe not at all--is that true?

    Also is there a special way to format your ERAS to make it look impressive to programs?

    Any special ways to write personal statements?

    I was in a past program too--what's the best thing to put down for reason for leaving?

    Do connections really work, and how?

    When you get an interview-----what's the best approach you can use to get into that program?

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. Top Gun

    7+ Year Member

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    If you're looking for a method that guarantees a match, sorry. Matching into a residency is one of those things in life that is not guaranteed.

    However, there are things you can do to maximize your chances of matching. First, make sure that you've obtained excellent grades (particularly during clinical rotations) and also excellent USMLE scores.
    Also, obtain great letters of recommendation from attendings who have worked with you extensively and know you well, especially attendings in the specialty you want to go into.
    In addition, and I can't stress this enough, APPLY EARLY! Try to get your ERAS application before the second week of September if you can, along with your LOR's and USMLE scores if possible. Programs will not be as inundated with applications then, and will have more time to look over yours.
    As for the personal statement, this is actually the least important part of your application, as a program director probably won't spend more than a minute reading it. However, if you can write a personal statement that's concise and thoughtful, that can leave a good impression on a program director. When you write your personal statement, try not to use cliches and don't write anything that seems flowery or overly sentimental. Try to write something original, yet not bizarre. The personal statement should also be something that gives a clear indication of your interest in the specialty, and also the reasons for your interest.
    Another thing you can do to maximize your chances is to apply to as many programs as possible, particularly if you're aiming for a competitive specialty or if your grades and USMLE scores are not that good. Try to be open to as many geographic locations as possible, since you want to increase your chances of getting at least some kind of residency, even if its not in your most desired location. And if you're shooting for a competitive specialty like derm or ortho, have a backup specialty just in case.
    Now, when it comes to interviews, here are a few simple rules. First, relax and be yourself, both during the actual dinner and any pre-interview social events. Many interviews also have social events in which you can practice this, such as a dinner the night before with residents. Try to answer questions intelligently, and also ask intelligent questions. Don't ask about things that you can easily find out by reading the information the program has sent you or looking up the website for the program. Appear confident without looking cocky. Dress appropriately and appear well-groomed. Smile a lot and be polite to everyone you come in contact with at your interview. And at the interview, unless your interviewers tell you specifically not to, send a follow -up note thanking them for interviewing you, and confirming your interest in the program. In the note, talk about what you liked about the program so they know that your interest is genuine.
    Finally, when you rank programs, rank as many as possible. But rank only acceptable ones. Don't rank programs that you know you'll hate. And rank programs in order of your preference, so you can increase your likelihood of matching into one of your top choices. The other programs should be acceptable ones that you will gladly take if you can't get into one of your top choices.
    Anyway, that's it. You can't guarantee that you'll match, even if you do everything right, but you can certainly maximize your chances of matching.
     
  4. Top Gun

    7+ Year Member

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    If you're looking for a method that guarantees a match, sorry. Matching into a residency is one of those things in life that is not guaranteed.

    However, there are things you can do to maximize your chances of matching. First, make sure that you've obtained excellent grades (particularly during clinical rotations) and also excellent USMLE scores.
    Also, obtain great letters of recommendation from attendings who have worked with you extensively and know you well, especially attendings in the specialty you want to go into.
    In addition, and I can't stress this enough, APPLY EARLY! Try to get your ERAS application before the second week of September if you can, along with your LOR's and USMLE scores if possible. Programs will not be as inundated with applications then, and will have more time to look over yours.
    As for the personal statement, this is actually the least important part of your application, as a program director probably won't spend more than a minute reading it. However, if you can write a personal statement that's concise and thoughtful, that can leave a good impression on a program director. When you write your personal statement, try not to use cliches and don't write anything that seems flowery or overly sentimental. Try to write something original, yet not bizarre. The personal statement should also be something that gives a clear indication of your interest in the specialty, and also the reasons for your interest.
    Another thing you can do to maximize your chances is to apply to as many programs as possible, particularly if you're aiming for a competitive specialty or if your grades and USMLE scores are not that good. Try to be open to as many geographic locations as possible, since you want to increase your chances of getting at least some kind of residency, even if its not in your most desired location. And if you're shooting for a competitive specialty like derm or ortho, have a backup specialty just in case.
    Now, when it comes to interviews, here are a few simple rules. First, relax and be yourself, both during the actual dinner and any pre-interview social events. Many interviews also have social events in which you can practice this, such as a dinner the night before with residents. Try to answer questions intelligently, and also ask intelligent questions. Don't ask about things that you can easily find out by reading the information the program has sent you or looking up the website for the program. Appear confident without looking cocky. Dress appropriately and appear well-groomed. Smile a lot and be polite to everyone you come in contact with at your interview. And at the interview, unless your interviewers tell you specifically not to, send a follow-up note thanking them for interviewing you, and confirming your interest in the program. In the note, talk about what you liked about the program so they know that your interest is genuine.
    Finally, when you rank programs, rank as many as possible. But rank only acceptable ones. Don't rank programs that you know you'll hate. And rank programs in order of your preference, so you can increase your likelihood of matching into one of your top choices. The other programs should be acceptable ones that you will gladly take if you can't get into one of your top choices.
    Anyway, that's it. You can't guarantee that you'll match, even if you do everything right, but you can certainly maximize your chances of matching.
     
  5. DadofDr2B

    DadofDr2B Member
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    Marry the program director.
     

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