National (Medical) Residency Match Day 2013

This week, thousands of graduating medical students will find out where they are going to spend the next 3 - 7 years. Unlike normal job seekers and employers, applicants to residencies and residency programs submit ranked lists of their preferences to the NRMP, which uses an algorithm to figure out where to place people.

On Monday, everyone finds out if they matched anywhere, but not where. If they didn’t match anywhere, they get to scramble for one of the residency spots which went unfilled in the match, which may be in a completely different specialty and geographic region from the one they had applied to. On Friday, everyone finds out where they matched.

Anyone else going through the Match or have any mundane pointless questions about it?

I have an ex-student going through the match, but I don’t know why I thought it was the fifteenth, not today. I am sure she will be matched, and get her first or second choice, but perhaps i am biased, but are there some people who don’t get matched? How common is it to get your last choice school?

Trivia: In 2004, Congress passed a special antitrust exemption to permit the NRMP to continue (and to escape a pending lawsuit).

The 15th is actually Match day, but you find out if you matched at all today. In general, 80% of students match at one of their top 3 choices. Since most applicants rank many more programs than that, it’s pretty uncommon to get your last choice. Some people do though, and about 5% don’t match at all. Generally those people know they are at risk beforehand, for example if they applied to a competitive specialty and got relatively few interviews. One thing the NRMP does well is collect statistics, so you can have a pretty good idea of your chances of matching based on specialty, test scores, numbers of programs you rank, etc.

I had to scramble for a spot in Emergency Medicine back in 2004. What a nightmare, but it all worked out well in the end.

Have they changed the schedule? For years, students found out their Match on Thursday not Friday.

Yes they changed it last year, when they turned the scramble into something more organized.

I’m applying to EM as well. Last year was the first time every single EM program filled in the match with no spots available for scrambling, so naturally everyone freaked out and applied to tons of programs this year.


QtM, matched (at my 1st choice) in 1983.

[sub]Good luck to all contestants![/sub]

So… Did you get the dreaded page from Student Services or the “You’ve Matched!” email?

For the life of me, I can’t remember what day of the week Match Day was when I went through it back in 1994.

I do remember matching at my 2nd choice (which was fine; my 1st and 2nd choices were pretty much a toss-up), calling my future wife and saying, “Hey, want to come to San Francisco with me?” :cool:

Ooh nice. I posted a similar thread almost exactly one year ago after I matched. What are you going into? Also, I think the process is called SOAP now, not scramble. Beats me what it stands for.
My only advice: enjoy MS4 year. It honestly does not get better than that. It does, however, get a lot worse. Duty hours are more… flexible… than you might think.

So, this thread may be about to get more interesting. Turns out I am the 5%, and in fact didn’t match. Currently seeing what’s available in the SOAP, but I am unlikely to end up in emergency medicine that way, since there was only one EM spot available in the whole country. Considering other specialties (radiology, anesthesiology, family medicine) or taking a year off for research/other clinical activities and reapplying.

I am NOT considering doing a malignant 1 year surgical internship, unlike some of the other failed EM applicants at my school.

I don’t know whether it’s good or bad that you find out whether or not you matched a few days early. While it beats watching all your friends celebrate while you have to tell them you didn’t match, I would have been going nuts those four days wondering where I was going. All I remember is that the Dean of Student knew before we did, and that I was happy to get my second choice but dreaded telling my roommate that I was moving to DC and she would have to find another roommate and possibly somewhere else to live (first choice was in the same city and I know she was hoping I would stay).

Ouch, sorry to hear. They are saying on SDN that there are 3 spots in EM, is it just the one?

I was this close to taking a FM spot at my home program and trying to match back into EM the following year (the FM program director knew I was going to try to switch and was OK with it). The intern year for FM is very similar to EM so a lot of rotations would carry over, so that is one thing to consider.

I am sorry you didn’t match, and don’t know enough about the process or what you want to do to say, “Oh, go for radiology!” or whatever, but I wish you well and the best of luck in what you decide to do.

Shmendrik, please PM me.

Words of wisdom.

The main gist of the SOAP vs. the Scramble is that the SOAP restricts the amount of time you have to apply to programs- there are fixed time slots and blocks that you can start applying to programs rather than in the scramble, where if you found out you didn’t match- you could start calling up programs and looking around. Now they make you wait till Tuesday/Weds before sending out applications. The gist of it is supposed to be “fairer” to all students rather than those who may have found out about a certain program (usually one in their home school) that didn’t fill up and getting an earlier crack at it.

At least that’s the idea in theory. In practice, I’ve heard it’s just as much a mess of jumbly-tumbly. But I was there when it was implemented, and I didn’t go through it. so :shrug:

Best of luck, OP! Hang in there and keep us posted!
-R, Class of 2012.

Hey, another c/o 2012! How’s intern year treating you?
To the OP, good luck with the SOAP! Some of the other specialties you listed are ones I always thought were some of the more competitive ones. Is it easier to scramble into a radiology spot than EM?

Match day is so exciting! I’m at a medical library and our two major medical schools throw big events on Match Day. It’s really nice seeing all the happy students and proud families.

Good luck OP!

Yup. Apparently unfilled spots =/= to spots available in the SOAP.

A lot of more competitive programs have spots in the SOAP, including dermatology and plastic surgery. Last year there 60 radiology spots in the SOAP, and there dozens this year, not sure exactly how many.

Thanks to everyone for your good wishes. So far I’ve had 2 interviews and hope to get more tomorrow. The first round of offers is Wednesday.

My wife is the Registrar of a local medical school here in Cleveland, so I’m well-steeped in Match Day drama and spectacle. Good luck on Friday to everyone matching this year!