“Match Week” in March of every year is like a medical/osteopathic school lottery. Thousands of students hope to get accepted into a residency and if they don’t, they use this week to apply again or “scramble” into open spots that might not have been filled.
Many of these applicants have fantastic CV’s or resumes, but might not have matched because they applied to programs who were highly competitive, or chose a specialty that did not have enough spots (too much demand and not enough supply).
So many other students may find themselves in the Spring without an internship or residency, feeling lost and scared about what the future may bring. If you’re one of them, realize you have options. Here are your next steps….
Keep searching for new and open spots!!!
- Some programs still have spots that did not fill
- Some students may have extenuating circumstances that caused them to abandon a position they received during match
- Some are new programs who just received accreditation
Check for openings daily!!!!
Boost your resume
While you are searching and waiting for new spots to become available you can spend the time you have doing the following:
- Edit and improve your personal statement, MSPE characteristics, CV, etc.
- Do research – many projects can be accomplished in a short amount of time and very meaningful
- Do community service – again there are multiple meaningful projects that can be done that don’t require huge time commitments
- If you had low board scores, consider retaking one of them
Consider taking Step III or Level III of your boards
Many residencies might not have chosen you because they thought you would score low on the boards. If you need to reapply next year and already have a “Pass” for your third set of boards, that issue becomes a non-issue and you become a highly competitive applicant. This may not be an option for all students, but is worth looking into.
In short, you are not alone. Hundreds of students don’t match and multiple programs fail to fill each year. And as new residencies are born each year, their timeline on accreditation or opening may differ from the rest allowing you the opportunity to apply and secure a spot in April, May and June. Don’t give up hope! You graduated medical/osteopathic school. Now let’s get you a job!!!
Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.