On Monday, March 13 at 10 a.m. ET, medical students across the country (and around the world) will find out if they have matched into a residency program. Some will learn that they matched and on Friday, will learn which program they will attend.
Others will learn that they didn’t match. If you are in the second group, this can be a setback, but it is not the end of your journey towards becoming a physician. Here’s what to know about what is next.
If you find out you didn’t match at the beginning of Match Week, you are likely disappointed, but there is still an opportunity to be matched with a program by the end of the week. You will be provided with a list of unfilled positions and the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program will begin.
After receiving the list of unfilled positions, you will begin applying to programs. These programs will then rank the applicants, and you will be able to accept or reject any offers you may receive. This sequence of events will happen three more times to fill any remaining spots before the process comes to a close on Thursday night.
If after completing SOAP you are still unmatched, it is time to take a deep breath. This week has likely been a whirlwind of emotion and activity as you have applied to other programs and received feedback. Now, it is important to take a moment to rest.
Surround yourself with friends and family who will encourage you. Know you are not alone.
When you are ready, it is time to refocus and prepare for the next stage of your journey towards becoming a physician. There are still so many opportunities ahead of you, and this is not the end of pursuing this dream. Though you will not be entering residency this year, there are many opportunities that can strengthen your application for next year and prepare you to better serve your future patients once in residency and practice.
The American Medical Association shares tips from Margarita Loeza, MD, a family physician and chief medical information officer in Los Angeles, who has worked with unmatched applicants. Here is her advice:
Other tips to consider:
As you look toward next year’s Match process, it’s important to manage your expectations. Maybe in your first Match season, you applied and ranked only to a very competitive specialty. Picking a backup specialty will give you a greater chance of matching. This graph shows the percentage of applicants who ranked only one specialty and were left unmatched.
Also, it is advisable to make sure you are applying and ranking as many slots as is reasonable. According to the American Academy of Family Practitioners, unmatched students’ lists were typically shorter than matched students’ lists. Applying to more programs and ranking the ones you interviewed with may also give you a better chance of matching.
Being more open minded about the programs or specialties you apply for can offer you a greater chance of matching the second time around.
As you make plans for the next year and prepare for another Match season, we encourage you to be optimistic. Though this is likely not what you were hoping for, this extra year may give you a new perspective or greater understanding of different areas of patient care that may benefit you in the long run.
Find more Match Day resources on our Match Day page!
You are leaving Panacea Financial, and being directed to a third-party site that is not maintained, owned or operated by Panacea Financial. Panacea Financial does not control and is not responsible for the site content or the privacy or security practices of third parties.Please select "Continue" below!