bitter9881

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I was one of those who was unfortunate not to match in gen surg. Crazy. I had ranked 10 programs, and this was a total punch to the gut on monday morning. I soon realized that scrambling to categorical was incredibly unlikely, but thought I would have no trouble finding a prelim spot somewhere out of the 460 that went unfilled.

Wow, those spots sure did disappear quickly. According to NRMP there are 28 right now, but that is probably an overestimation of what is still unfilled.

Now, I won't say that my school threw me under the bus, but I will say they neither coached me for nor assisted me with the scramble. Maybe I didn't move quick enough, I was operating under the assumption (perhaps incorrectly) that there are usually prelim spots left over even after the scramble. By yesterday afternoon I had a few surgeons calling programs where they had connections, and it seemed that most places were filling up their prelim spots with their own students. I was unlucky in that regard because I go to a school with multiple clinical campuses, and there is no surgery program at my campus, and our main campus filled their prelim spots with their own students.

Anyway, I know this is a sob story. And there's probably more I could have done to avoid getting myself into this position at this time.

If anyone finds out about someone backing out of a prelim spot that they verbally agreed to. please let me know. Also, please let me know if you are aware of any good research positions open for next year (that will probably be my plan).

[email protected]

Step 2 CS: pass
Step 2 CK: 222
Step 1: 192
Honors in 2 out of 6 core clerkships.
Strong letters from academic surgeons in the midwest.
Very strong extracurricular and volunteer involvement.

Thanks.
 

DrAwsome

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Sorry to hear about your situation. There are quite a number of open spots in residentswap.org, both for designated and non designated prelim as well as a few categorical. Have you thought about applying to those? Some seem to be wanting applicants to call asap. Just a suggestion...

I was one of those who was unfortunate not to match in gen surg. Crazy. I had ranked 10 programs, and this was a total punch to the gut on monday morning. I soon realized that scrambling to categorical was incredibly unlikely, but thought I would have no trouble finding a prelim spot somewhere out of the 460 that went unfilled.

Wow, those spots sure did disappear quickly. According to NRMP there are 28 right now, but that is probably an overestimation of what is still unfilled.

Now, I won't say that my school threw me under the bus, but I will say they neither coached me for nor assisted me with the scramble. Maybe I didn't move quick enough, I was operating under the assumption (perhaps incorrectly) that there are usually prelim spots left over even after the scramble. By yesterday afternoon I had a few surgeons calling programs where they had connections, and it seemed that most places were filling up their prelim spots with their own students. I was unlucky in that regard because I go to a school with multiple clinical campuses, and there is no surgery program at my campus, and our main campus filled their prelim spots with their own students.

Anyway, I know this is a sob story. And there's probably more I could have done to avoid getting myself into this position at this time.

If anyone finds out about someone backing out of a prelim spot that they verbally agreed to. please let me know. Also, please let me know if you are aware of any good research positions open for next year (that will probably be my plan).

[email protected]

Step 2 CS: pass
Step 2 CK: 222
Step 1: 192
Honors in 2 out of 6 core clerkships.
Strong letters from academic surgeons in the midwest.
Very strong extracurricular and volunteer involvement.

Thanks.
 

BlondeDocteur

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I'm sorry to hear that. If it makes you feel any better, attrition in surgery is so high (20-25% total) that many people will quit in the first few months of internship. Keep your ear to the ground in the event you don't find anything in the next few days... the Scramble isn't the only way.
 

pnle119

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I was one of those who was unfortunate not to match in gen surg. Crazy. I had ranked 10 programs, and this was a total punch to the gut on monday morning. I soon realized that scrambling to categorical was incredibly unlikely, but thought I would have no trouble finding a prelim spot somewhere out of the 460 that went unfilled.

Wow, those spots sure did disappear quickly. According to NRMP there are 28 right now, but that is probably an overestimation of what is still unfilled.

Now, I won't say that my school threw me under the bus, but I will say they neither coached me for nor assisted me with the scramble. Maybe I didn't move quick enough, I was operating under the assumption (perhaps incorrectly) that there are usually prelim spots left over even after the scramble. By yesterday afternoon I had a few surgeons calling programs where they had connections, and it seemed that most places were filling up their prelim spots with their own students. I was unlucky in that regard because I go to a school with multiple clinical campuses, and there is no surgery program at my campus, and our main campus filled their prelim spots with their own students.

Anyway, I know this is a sob story. And there's probably more I could have done to avoid getting myself into this position at this time.

If anyone finds out about someone backing out of a prelim spot that they verbally agreed to. please let me know. Also, please let me know if you are aware of any good research positions open for next year (that will probably be my plan).

[email protected]

Step 2 CS: pass
Step 2 CK: 222
Step 1: 192
Honors in 2 out of 6 core clerkships.
Strong letters from academic surgeons in the midwest.
Very strong extracurricular and volunteer involvement.

Thanks.
I feel your pain. Was in the Dean's Office yesterday for 6 hours straight making phone calls and sending emails. Didn't take long before I maxed out all my Scramble spots, and it was extremely frustrating after that. Many programs I called refused to accept email or fax applications and wanted everything through ERAS, but I couldn't submit my app because I had already reached the limit!! There's got to be a better way to do this!

Like you, I had preconceived notions of the scramble that were blown out the window in the first hour. I figured if I interviewed at a program for a categorical spot, then I would stand a damn good chance of getting a prelim there...NOPE! Of course, this was mostly due to the fact that I simply was not fast enough in getting my communications through to the programs..at least that's what I like to think.

I think future MS4's need to be adequately warned about the Scramble and be made aware of the "blitzkrieg" way the spots are taken up. Looking back, I realize how ludicrous it was of me to sit and ponder about the location of the program and whether or not I should call them. What a stupid thing to do on Scramble Day.

Anyways, I know exactly how you feel, and I'm sure there are at least a couple hundred other applicants out there sharing our little boat. Hang in there and best of luck in the post-scramble.
 

funshi baba

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i am there with you both. I have slowly watched the NRMP list dissipate to 6progs and still can't look away. I skipped the DO match to do the NRMP match, and i feel like in the middle of the ocean right now. I still have few options in the AOA match but very skeptical abt the quality. Would I spend 5yrs (gen surg)of my life settling for this low standard or stand my ground, find me a yr spot by any means necessary and live to fight again next yr?

Which ever it is, this has been one of my worst fear come true. Am sitting at home now, calling still, hoping but reality saying otherwise. I would call more DO progs tommorrow but even that doesnt seem like a guarantee.

Keep ur head up guys. I know i didnt come this far to be told there is no way forward. I will find a way.
 

njbmd

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I'm sorry to hear that. If it makes you feel any better, attrition in surgery is so high (20-25% total) that many people will quit in the first few months of internship. Keep your ear to the ground in the event you don't find anything in the next few days... the Scramble isn't the only way.
I wouldn't plan on "many people" quitting in the first few months of internship. Most folks will stick it out until the end of the year and move into something else. There are very few positions out there after July 1st.

A better strategy would be to try to find some places that are down a person or have dropped a person due to visa issues rather than count on people dropping out in the first few months. Even in these cases, there isn't much happening after the scramble places are filled.
 
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JackADeli

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I wouldn't plan on "many people" quitting in the first few months of internship...
The "burn out" factor usually hits around January/February... at which point folks don't actually physically leave until the academic year concludes (end June)... though mentally/motivation wise, some have already checked out. Programs are unlikely to mid-yearstart anyone.
 

njbmd

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I was one of those who was unfortunate not to match in gen surg. Crazy. I had ranked 10 programs, and this was a total punch to the gut on monday morning. I soon realized that scrambling to categorical was incredibly unlikely, but thought I would have no trouble finding a prelim spot somewhere out of the 460 that went unfilled.

Wow, those spots sure did disappear quickly. According to NRMP there are 28 right now, but that is probably an overestimation of what is still unfilled.

Now, I won't say that my school threw me under the bus, but I will say they neither coached me for nor assisted me with the scramble. Maybe I didn't move quick enough, I was operating under the assumption (perhaps incorrectly) that there are usually prelim spots left over even after the scramble. By yesterday afternoon I had a few surgeons calling programs where they had connections, and it seemed that most places were filling up their prelim spots with their own students. I was unlucky in that regard because I go to a school with multiple clinical campuses, and there is no surgery program at my campus, and our main campus filled their prelim spots with their own students.

Anyway, I know this is a sob story. And there's probably more I could have done to avoid getting myself into this position at this time.

If anyone finds out about someone backing out of a prelim spot that they verbally agreed to. please let me know. Also, please let me know if you are aware of any good research positions open for next year (that will probably be my plan).

[email protected]

Step 2 CS: pass
Step 2 CK: 222
Step 1: 192
Honors in 2 out of 6 core clerkships.
Strong letters from academic surgeons in the midwest.
Very strong extracurricular and volunteer involvement.

Thanks.
Be sure to check the APDS site APDS for openings in either research or when visa problems prevent an FMG from being able to fill a slot that they might have matched into. You might want to put your stuff out there right now (under Available Residents) so that programs might contact you. At any rate, check that site often as things can move around quite a bit between now and July so don't beat yourself. Good luck!
 

bitter9881

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Just want to drop an update for any interested parties...

I ended up finding a prelim spot at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC. Don't know much about the program but a job is a job, and I was not in a position to be picky. They have 2 categorical spots and 13 prelim, and apparently they have a good track record of getting their non-designated prelims into PGY-2 spots or matched into PGY-1 categorical.

Talking to the associate PD yesterday morning, his first question for me was "Why didn't you match? You're a great candidate." I did not have a good answer for him.

This week has really sucked. Monday morning was bad enough. But I almost lost my mind sitting around on tuesday, watching the prelim spots around the country evaporate while my administration did absolutely nothing to help me out.

By the way, the one piece of info about myself that I forget to mention in the OP is that I'm an allopathic student, which might add some shock value to my story. (Hopefully that doesn't offend osteopaths and FMG's, you are all very nice people from my personal experience.) It just sucked being told for the last few years that I have the stuff to be a surgeon, having a decent number of interviews that went well as far as I could tell, and then just having things totally unravel for me this week.

My advice to anyone going for gen surg next year is to rank a few prelim spots behind your categorical list, just so you don't have to deal with this **** in the event that you don't match categorical.

Looking forward to moving to NYC. The program has subsidized housing for residents, which is a nice perk.
 

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Lenox Hill is really a great place. I did my clerkship for surgery there and loved it. Awesome residents, tons of OR time and attendings are pretty well connected. Plus its an amazing area of manhattan. good luck to you!

If you have any questions feel free to PM me
 

SLUser11

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By the way, the one piece of info about myself that I forget to mention in the OP is that I'm an allopathic student, which might add some shock value to my story. (Hopefully that doesn't offend osteopaths and FMG's, you are all very nice people from my personal experience.) It just sucked being told for the last few years that I have the stuff to be a surgeon, having a decent number of interviews that went well as far as I could tell, and then just having things totally unravel for me this week.

My advice to anyone going for gen surg next year is to rank a few prelim spots behind your categorical list, just so you don't have to deal with this **** in the event that you don't match categorical.

Looking forward to moving to NYC. The program has subsidized housing for residents, which is a nice perk.
Congrats on finding a spot. I'm sorry you had such a tough week, but that's behind you now, and you can get excited for residency.

One thing I would say is that although you are an allopathic US student, your scores (Step 1 192, Step 2 222) were below average, so you definitely received poor advice from your advisors that you were a sure thing.

I'm not sure if your situation is universally applicable to allopathic students. Most students with solid scores can still expect to match at one of their top choices. As for ranking preliminary programs, that is definitely a good idea for applicants that appear weak on paper, but I don't think it's necessary for everyone.

Now, for prelim programs, it might be a good idea for future applicants to aim for larger programs. 2 categorical spots and 13 prelims makes for a tight race for that 0 to 1 spot that may possibly open up.



I'm sorry to sound harsh here, and I definitely don't think that your USMLE scores are too predictive of your actual clinical abilities or overall intelligence. I just want to clarify for future applicants so there isn't any confusion. Once again, I'm happy for you, and it sounds like the PD is a fan of your application, so hopefully you'll start a step ahead of the other prelims.
 

JackADeli

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I was one of those who was unfortunate not to match in gen surg.
...I had ranked 10 programs, and this was a total punch to the gut on monday morning.
...Step 1: 192...
Congrats on finding a spot. I'm sorry you had such a tough week, but that's behind you now, and you can get excited for residency.

One thing I would say is that although you are an allopathic US student, your scores (Step 1 192...) were below average, so you definitely received poor advice from your advisors that you were a sure thing...
Glad you got a prelim, wish you the very best of luck. I must echoe SLUser, it does sound like you got poor advise and/or over-estimated yourself. It has been almost a decade since I was in the match, but this is what my take is just on the surface with no other information about your application:

1. 192 step 1 is ~low. In the past 210 was a common minimum. Step 1 is/was the score used as "first pass filtering" by programs. So, programs may not have gotten past that to even see your step 2 score.

2. ranking only 10 programs is a bad idea. It is a worse idea when your step 1 score is under par. If you interviewed at more then 10 programs, and if your scores are under par, you should rank as many as possible. If you do not rank a program, the program can NOT match you even if they liked you....

3. given 1 & 2 above, while unfortunate, it should not have been a big surprise. You were set for high probability of NOT matching....

Again, been a long time, so, I don't know what step 1 scores applicants are carrying. Maybe 190s is "competitive" now... though I suspect not.
 
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bitter9881

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Yeah, I'm well aware that my scores are lower than expected for gen surg these days. That being said, my scores are the weakest part of my application. I have a good deal of research experience and i've been told (by program directors even) that I stand out as an applicant because of prior work experience, leadership experience and volunteerism.

Because I knew my scores were less than ideal, i worked my ass of on aways and got good letters. I thought that if my scores became a road block for me it would happen on the front end, i.e. not getting enough interviews. And I was ready to apply to prelim and possibly anesthesia as backups if interviews didnt come. But then i got a good number of interviews and, like i said, i was poorly coached to not rank any prelim programs. I also made the mistake of not going on every interview i was offered and not ranking every program I interviewed at.

It's not that I was really high on myself and thought I was a sure thing to match. I'm actually a really humble guy, maybe even to a fault. With 20/20 hindsight it's now easy to see that I made a few critical mistakes.

I've got my work cut out for me this year. I have to kick ass as a prelim, keep an eye out for PGY-2 openings, and also reapply to NRMP and go on interviews if there's any chance of not getting into a second year categorical spot.

Having gone through all this, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a surgeon starting in July. I guess an optimist would call this week "character-building"
 

JackADeli

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...I'm well aware that my scores are lower than expected for gen surg these days. That being said, my scores are the weakest part of my application. I have a good deal of research experience and i've been told (by program directors even) that I stand out as an applicant because of prior work experience, leadership experience and volunteerism.

...i got a good number of interviews and, like i said, i was poorly coached to not rank any prelim programs. I also made the mistake of not going on every interview i was offered and not ranking every program I interviewed at.

It's not that I was really high on myself ...I'm actually a really humble guy, maybe even to a fault. With 20/20 hindsight it's now easy to see that I made a few critical mistakes...
I think we all wish you the best. My reply is not an indictment on you per se.... rather, I hope it helps others to open their eyes and understand that they need to have strategy. Do not buy the press your fans are selling you.

1. The number of interviews can indicate you need to worry if they are low.... But, just because you got offered a number of interviews does not indicate you are a good applicant. Rhetoricaly speaking, suppose you got offered 50 interviews and only went on 15 and ranked 10.... why didn't you go on more interviews.... was it lack of funding or because you already knew the quality of programs offering was not so good. Someone can be a poor candidate and get 25 interview offers to the lowest totem pole programs in the country. So, the number of offers does not always indicate a particular candidates merits.... though very low/limited offers might.
2. Volunteerism and such are nice... but in general you won't be doing any volunteering in residency. Most Gen Surgery programs, while looking for a "nice guy" resident are not going to see a great deal of value in how much medical school time you spent at the community health clinic or HIV awareness program.... especially if these activities may appear to have been exchanged for good USMLE performance.... Again, not aimed at you, but simply put out as a learning moment for future aspiring applicants.

As to you, seems like you have the right attitude. Being a prelim is a tougher road, very do-able. Work hard, don't give up and you can make it. I have seen happen numerous times over the last decade. I have even been surprised to see ridiculously pathetic (based on clinical performance) prelims succeed in transitioning to categorical. So, chin up, head down, grind on and keep focused.

One last thing..... please [all prelims] do NOT buy the sales pitch that the ABSITE is "not really that important at our program"!!!! Just do NOT buy that one. You've been warned.
 

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another tip I have heard through the grapevine at my new program that now has taken a prelim as a categorical for 2 straight years...

the current prelim who was accepted as a categorical did 1 thing right from day 1: She went to the previous prelim to get a categorical and asked her How she did it?. Apparently, her advice worked cause she got a categorical spot at this program this year.

For future advice to people, UMDNJ-NJMS has a track record now of taking prelims as categoricals the following year. It has been 2 straight years now. Last year (so current interns) actually contains 2 people who were prelims (one from BID, the other a home resident). The one caveot to list is that all 3 of those prelims to be accepted were AMG's who didn't match categorical and thus became prelims. Take this for what its worth... as I start my residency, I guess I can fill you in more to how it is there (but as a home student and seeing 3/7 slots this year go to home students and the prelim to categorical was a member of class 2009, the students think highly of the program).
 

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Not much to add to the excellent posts above by JAD and SLUser11, but I will again echo that your Step 1 score hurt you. While your Step 2 score showed a great improvement, many programs don't even look at that score (or take it into consideration) since it's generally not a required part of your app.

And a score of 190 is approximately 2 standard deviations below the mean, which put you at a disadvantage (1) during the initial ERAS screen, and (2) come ROL time.
 
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prelim is a bum deal for almost anybody wanting to advance in surgery. think about it, u start on july 1 as a prelim and applications for next years residency start on september 1, meaning u have like 2 months of internship experience (mostly grunt floor work), which means nothing of significance has changed from your previous application when u reapply. worse yet if u do 2 years of prelim because now when u reapply all the other programs are thinking to themselves if this applicant is so great and he's getting all these awesome letters of rec from his program, why haven't THEY offered him a categorical spot yet. sure there are some who make it to categorical land but the overwhelming majority wash out after their 1st/2nd prelim year to some other specialty. one of the programs i rotated at had tons of prelim spots but never took anybody from it into their categorical no matter how good they were. but that didn't stop every other hopeful FMG from signing up to be a prelim there thinking they'd impress and it would work out for them. it was disheartening seeing them work their azz off, staying later than everybody else to get noticed, trying to impress the attendings and chiefs...all to no avail.
 

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prelim is a bum deal for almost anybody wanting to advance in surgery. think about it, u start on july 1 as a prelim and applications for next years residency start on september 1, meaning u have like 2 months of internship experience (mostly grunt floor work), which means nothing of significance has changed from your previous application when u reapply. worse yet if u do 2 years of prelim because now when u reapply all the other programs are thinking to themselves if this applicant is so great and he's getting all these awesome letters of rec from his program, why haven't THEY offered him a categorical spot yet. sure there are some who make it to categorical land but the overwhelming majority wash out after their 1st/2nd prelim year to some other specialty...
I know it is a rare thing... but I like to be a little more positive. I have seen too many poor performing prelims succeed in transitioning to categorical over the last decade. So, I know hard working prelims, especially if your base app was fair, can and should make it. It will come down to you. It will take hard work. You should plan on repeating one or more years in the transition to categorical. But, if you really want it, if you really push yourself, you will make it. Frankly, I have seen numerous prelims not make it more out of their loss of motivation.

As noted above, if trying to categorical after PGY1, you have only a few months to push.... yet, prelims do it every year!!!
 

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I thought that if my scores became a road block for me it would happen on the front end, i.e. not getting enough interviews.

My thoughts for future applicants reading this - not meaning to pile on the OP, for whom I have great sympathy


With a slightly higher score (?200), your theory might have been true. Trouble with 190 is that it's close enough to not passing that a program might worry about your ability to pass the boards. That's a BIG red flag, as board failures are a major problem for programs.

You'll probably be thinking ... but my Step II, but my grades, but my ... Doesn't matter. The program isn't looking to give you a fair shake. The program is looking to avoid risk.

The other thing I would add - not ranking every program where you interview is a HUGE step to take. You should ALWAYS rank EVERY program where you interview unless you find the OP's story more appealing than a particular program (which may be true in some cases). If you interview at 15 places, rank 15. Ranking less than you interview at can only only only hurt you.
 
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I know it is a rare thing... but I like to be a little more positive. I have seen too many poor performing prelims succeed in transitioning to categorical over the last decade. So, I know hard working prelims, especially if your base app was fair, can and should make it. It will come down to you. It will take hard work. You should plan on repeating one or more years in the transition to categorical. But, if you really want it, if you really push yourself, you will make it. Frankly, I have seen numerous prelims not make it more out of their loss of motivation.

As noted above, if trying to categorical after PGY1, you have only a few months to push.... yet, prelims do it every year!!!
i understand where you're coming from. i'd also say if you go prelim make sure u go to a program that at least gives u a chance at a categorical spot or better yet has a record of converting prelims to categoricals. the program i was talking about has a blanket policy that won't consider prelims for categoricals no matter what. for example a categorical quit during the year and they didn't replace him with any of the prelims. also there was a superstar FMG prelim who was already an attending in his country, super nice guy, top scores, as capable as any of the attendings...but after 2 yrs as prelim they didn't even interview him for a categorical spot....yet they interviewed 4th year med students who don't know surgery from a hole in the wall.
 

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bitter -- not to be harsh, but it was a bad move to think you were a lock to match w/ that step 1 score. you got some very poor advice from your school. do they not match surgeons very often? i think more so than most other fields, surgery will judge you on that score and no amount of good deeds elsewhere on your eras will completely level that out for you. you should have been on the defensive from the start.

for any future ms4s reading this for next year... you don't necessarily need to rank prelim spots, and i don't think it's ideal to apply anesthesia and surg (prob will hurt your surg chances even more). most years, a 'standard' applicant will have at least gotten average (210?) on step 1 but a lot of places, esp. the competitive ones, will cut you out in their initial screen for anything lower than a 220. such an applicant should rank at least 10-11 since that's typically the average ROL for a surgical applicant per NRMP. obviously, you should rank/interview much more if you're not a solid candidate.

i agree that not ranking all the places you interview is a huge mistake, bc when it comes down to it you're choosing to scramble over working at that place -- not a luxury you can always afford. part of it though was that this year was much harder than expected to match. i saw a lot of awesome candidates that i met on the trail have to scramble... makes me very, very grateful.

lastly, bitter -- i think it's hard to call yourself humble and then say you're shocked bc you're allopathic and didn't match. as much as the 'whole picture' does matter, it comes down to scores primarily and even for an allopathic your scores were not good. (i say this as an allopathic as well, btw.) glad you found a spot though. best of luck.
 
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bitter..., I feel your pain and my situation was even more shocking than yours, I believe. I'm a 4th yr US senior at a good school. My stats were no where perfect but my step 1 was >200, step 2 in "2teens". Strong research background with publication, good LORs. Secured >20 invs (including very solid academic programs) with a mix of comm. progs, went to 19 and ended up ranking 18. I knew I was set for a match even if it came down to my last chx on the list. But guess what? I was shocked when NRMP told me I didn't get any match. I don't know what the hell happened but it is what happened. Don't know what to make of it. They say things happen for a reason but I'm really wondering if there's any +ve reason in this case. What's keeping me going right now is my faith in God, that's it.
 

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yup, this process is a crapshoot. there is no gaurantee to get a spot period. I am graduating from a US allopathic school, step 1 over 230, ranked quite a few programs, and didn't match. There is nothing you can really do except to accept reality and re-apply.

Oh, and the worse part of getting rejected is when your counsler starts trying to push you to scramble for a Family medicine or an IM spot. All I can think of was what the @#$%!

Anyways, congrats for everyone who matched. And for people applying next year, don't get scared of not matching. I know people with not so great scores who still matched at good places.
 

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yup, this process is a crapshoot. there is no gaurantee to get a spot period. I am graduating from a US allopathic school, step 1 over 230, ranked quite a few programs, and didn't match. There is nothing you can really do except to accept reality and re-apply.

Oh, and the worse part of getting rejected is when your counsler starts trying to push you to scramble for a Family medicine or an IM spot. All I can think of was what the @#$%!

Anyways, congrats for everyone who matched. And for people applying next year, don't get scared of not matching. I know people with not so great scores who still matched at good places.

Shangal - step 1>230 is pretty solid no? what do you think played against you not matching?? THis is a bit worrisome..
 

Shangal

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My application is actually more impressive then just a high step 1 score. good class rank, extracurricular activity, great letters .... I thought I played it safe, only went to 2 extra competitive interviews, interviewed mostly at average programs, and interviewed at one below average program. My only regret is not going on every interview I was offered. I tried talking it over with my wife, and she said that I make bad first impressions, so that might be it. Maybe I looked uninterested or something, I just have a too laid back personality. To be honest, I can't pinpoint what I did wrong

Again, I don't think other people should be worried about getting a general surgery spot. I know a few people this year who matched, some at great places, with much lower stats. Like someone mentioned earlier, I don't think the field is getting more competitive, its still a easier field to match in then say ortho or radiology
 

JackADeli

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...there is no gaurantee to get a spot period...

...the worse part of getting rejected is when your counsler starts trying to push you to scramble for a Family medicine or an IM spot...
Shangal - step 1>230 is pretty solid no? what do you think played against you not matching?? THis is a bit worrisome..
I can not answer for Shangal.... I will speak to some generalities of the issue though....

In general, if you are a stellar candidate with the scores to boot and your counselar suggests IM/FP when you fail to match....
1. something else sub-optimal in your application
2. something sub-optimal in you (interview/etc....)
3. something sub-optimal in your program i.e. poor advisors, poor mentors, poor letters, etc... (you would be surprised what an attending may put into their letter of "recommendation")
4. something wrong with your strategy... refer back to poor mentor/advising

I spoke with a colleague from a large name University program. On interview day, an applicant with good letters and acceptable USMLE scores showed up with..... 1foot high "fohawk"...

Bottom line, scores do NOT mean everything. You can have rotten scores and still get categorical spot. You can have stellar scores and not match. High scores and solid letters only open the door... presuming your general application is reasonable.
 

Shangal

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My letters were actually pretty good, my school gave me my letters so I can scramble somewhere. And I think my counsler told me that because he is aware that I need a job for next year, so he asked me to settle for something that was gauranteed. To be honest, I don't know whether he knows which residencies are competitive or not since he is not an MD himself. He is there mostly to write our Deans letter, never met him before or after that. My school actually offered a few IM and FM spots to those who didn't match.

I agree with your number 3 though. There had to be a problem with my interviews. Whats bothering me though is that I actually preped for the interviews, asked the annoying questions, tried to talk with most of the residents, and I felt really good after a few of them. But I didn't get any contact from the programs after the interview was over like many others did.





I can not answer for Shangal.... I will speak to some generalities of the issue though....

In general, if you are a stellar candidate with the scores to boot and your counselar suggests IM/FP when you fail to match....
1. something else sub-optimal in your application
2. something sub-optimal in you (interview/etc....)
3. something sub-optimal in your program i.e. poor advisors, poor mentors, poor letters, etc... (you would be surprised what an attending may put into their letter of "recommendation")
4. something wrong with your strategy... refer back to poor mentor/advising

I spoke with a colleague from a large name University program. On interview day, an applicant with good letters and acceptable USMLE scores showed up with..... 1foot high "fohawk"...

Bottom line, scores do NOT mean everything. You can have rotten scores and still get categorical spot. You can have stellar scores and not match. High scores and solid letters only open the door... presuming your general application is reasonable.
 

JackADeli

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From what you describe, including insight of significant other, I think the answer is there:
...my wife ...said that I make bad first impressions, so that might be it...
...my counsler ...I don't know whether he knows ...since he is not an MD himself. He is there mostly to write our Deans letter, never met him before or after that...

I agree with your number 3 though...
Sounds like possible issues in numbers 2 & 3. Sorry dude, work hard. I have seen people make it through numerous challenges.
 

Shangal

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thats what I meant, number 2! I think I played the game safe though, so number 3 shouldn't be it. One more thing that I should mention is that I was actually interested in ortho at one point, so I have a few publications in ortho and one of my letters was from an ortho guy. But I did make the point during my interviews that I am only applying for general surgery. Next year I am definetly going to use another letter and not put those publications in my ERAS file.
 
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JackADeli

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...only went to 2 extra competitive interviews, interviewed mostly at average programs, and interviewed at one below average program. My only regret is not going on every interview I was offered...my wife ...said that I make bad first impressions, so that might be it...
...my counsler ...I don't know whether he knows ...since he is not an MD himself. He is there mostly to write our Deans letter, never met him before or after that...

I agree with your number 3 though...
Actually, IMHO, I would say 2, 3, & 4. Interview problems, counselar problem, strategy problem (i.e. you regret your strategy, likely means you recognize something could have been better...)

Either way, sounds like you have enough in the post-mortem to regroup, pound it out, and drive forward. I would NOT hide my scientific publications.
 

BlondeDocteur

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Well I for one give bitter and Shangal my heartiest congrats on picking up a spot. Lenox Hill is a great place-- it has to be the most "normal," functional hospital in the city.

If you feel you've identified the problem (how you present yourself and how you interview), it could well be worth investing a couple of hundred dollars on a consultant to give you mock job interviews. Does your school offer them through its career counseling services? If so, line one up before you graduate. In my past life before med school I "won" some seriously difficult, combative, challenging interviews, and the best thing I did was to dream up the most commonly asked questions (i.e. why this field, describe your research, etc), write down a tight cohesive response, and practice it.
 

thedrjojo

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thats what I meant, number 2! I think I played the game safe though, so number 3 shouldn't be it. One more thing that I should mention is that I was actually interested in ortho at one point, so I have a few publications in ortho and one of my letters was from an ortho guy. But I did make the point during my interviews that I am only applying for general surgery. Next year I am definetly going to use another letter and not put those publications in my ERAS file.
Sounds like a rough treck Shangal... one question: Are you MD or DO? Cause, if you are DO, then that could also have been a factor. I think you should probably still use your Ortho research IMHO though
 

Shangal

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thanks for the advice everyone. it sucks that it didn't work out but I guess its not the end of the world. I am just gonna give it another shot, this time going on every interview I get and sucking ass like crazy!

oh, and I attend a not so popular MD school in the midwest