Friday, March 17, 2017

Match Day for American doctors and foreign medical grads

Today is Match Day for the National Resident Matching Program. Congratulations to all the newly matched residents.

Here are some articles in honor of match day, concerning difficulties in the interviewing process that proceeds the formal match, and some other things (including the US travel ban that is once again being adjudicated):

Match Day is coming up. Here’s how medical students game the residency system
"Writing love letters

This is the most common way to game the match. Applicants send emails to residency program directors expressing their interest in the program, hoping to influence how the director ranks them. Applicants sometimes end up writing multiple letters professing their love to different programs. Sometimes, they tell more than one program director that their program is their first choice.

While programs often say that they don’t adjust their rankings based on “love letters,” some do. For one of my friends, a residency director for surgery told her, “the love letter could be a deciding factor in how we rank you.”

So, we’re stuck: If you don’t send one, it might look like you’re not interested."

 2016 Dec 1;82(12):1163-1168.

Behind the Match Process: Is There Any Financial Difference Lurking Below the Specialty of Choice?

Abstract: The Match was developed in response to a chaotic residency selection process. While the match has remained relatively unchanged since it was introduced, the number of medical school graduates has increased at a rate outpacing the number of residency positions leading to a more competitive process for applicants. In May 2014, an 18-question mixed-response questionnaire was distributed to fourth year allopathic medical students via an E-mail distribution list for student affairs representatives. The individual surveys were accessible via SurveyMonkey and available for completion over the course of a 4-week period. Approximately 65.1 per cent of students performed at least one audition rotation and documented average expenditures of $2494 on housing, food, and transportation. The average applicant applied to 32 programs and attended 12 interviews while spending $4420 on the interview trail. Applicants for surgical programs applied to approximately 42 programs and attended 13 interviews compared with primary care applicants who averaged 23 programs (P < 0.001) and attended 12 interviews (P = 0.002). Surgical applicants averaged 20 days on the interview trail while spending $5500 ($423/interview) on housing, food, and transportation compared with primary care applicants averaged 19 days away from home (P < 0.05) and spending $3400 ($283/interview) on these same items (P < 0.001). The findings in our study indicate that the "Match process" contributes to the financial burden of graduating medical students and it is more expensive and time consuming for the candidates interested in surgical specialties.
No Heart Surgeon Match Day for Major Medical Center
Columbia University missed deadline to submit residents' ranking list
"Medical students hoping to train in cardiothoracic surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City got some bad news over the weekend: The center will not be able to select residents in Match Day for cardiothoracic surgery.
The center confirmed Monday that it missed the deadline to submit its ranking list for residents in the specialty."
And this:( 
Travel Ban Adds Stress To 'Match Week' For Some Doctors

Here incidentally is the NRMP statement on the travel ban:

NRMP Statement On The Executive Order On Immigration

February 3, 2017
NRMP has released a statement on the Administration’s Executive Order on immigration. We ask the medical education community to support all international medical graduates and their families during these difficult times. Please be assured that NRMP will do all it can to address the uncertainties the order has created. As for the current Match cycle, we hope that applicants and programs will continue to rank each other in the order of true preference, based on the qualifications and qualities each seeks in the other.
Maria C. Savoia, M.D., Chair
Mona M. Signer, President and CEO

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