“How to get into Residency out of Match: Part II”
Dr. Piya (FM, Geriatrics)
Board Certified in Family Medicine
There are open residency positions throughout the US in various regions of the country at almost all times. This is true after the MATCH. This is also true after the SOAP program ends. This remains true at all times of the year but with a higher amount of open positions prevalent from March to July of each respective year. Though matched, some students are unable to start their residency programs for a variety of reasons and hence lose their positions creating valuable opportunities for unmatched applicants like yourself. The reasons can be simple or extreme but either way we see them year in and year out. Here is a list we have compiled from various faculty around the country:
- Students don’t get sponsorship of visa or not granted visa
- Fail USMLE exams
- Fail or delay in Medical School Exams
- Delay in Medical School Graduation
- Denial by State Medical Boards to issue license to trainees
- Strong criminal background checks that come to light later on
- Failure to disclose documents or falsify credentialing information
- Incomplete ECFMG certification
- Paperwork delays and lost mail/documents resulting in incomplete requirements
MOST if not ALL of the “Matched” applicants above will LOSE their Residency position!
How can you swoop in to potentially get interviewed and fill that position? Call programs, email programs and most of all visit programs. When you show your interest persistently they will want to know how much you are actively involved in your pursuit.
Are you in clinicals or doing research? Waiting around for a residency is not a proactive attitude. Stay persistent. Hundreds of positions are open after SOAP and open well into June, July and even August. After August much fewer open residency positions exist as most programs will wait to fill that slot in the MATCH officially through the interview season for the following year but it is still VERY much feasible to get in at anytime. Contact your MedClerkships Physician Consultants to find out about open positions. Getting physicians and preceptors to call on your behalf may make all the difference between getting an interview or not. Residency programs are desperate to get ALL positions filled. They have patient needs and service needs beyond education and training.
If you are enrolled in clinical externships, convey your qualifications and Letters of Recommendations (LoR’s) to residency programs as you get them, and create networking opportunities for yourself via our Physician MC Network, there exists a hopeful chance to continue the ascension to practicing medicine in the US. Not being proactive and having any open unexplainable gaps in your resume can be detrimental!
Show programs that you are qualified and hungry for that open position. Study for and take USMLE Step 3. This can be a saving grace. If you already have your score then submit it right away. A very high USMLE Step 3 score (>250) would be a homerun (or a “6” in cricket!) and can put you back into high ranking range. Engage in clinical rotations to create opportunities to interact with attending physicians, medical education directors, staff faculty physicians, program directors, associate program directors, associate professors, and chairmen of departments. Work hard to get strong Letters of Recommendations as these can make all the difference in the world. Work on research projects and submit to national journals and symposiums. Utilize your research director to work on medical vignettes, and manuscripts. Try to attend national conferences and meet staff physicians.
The world is your oyster! How can we help you to achieve your dreams?