8 Reasons Why Medical Students Do Not Match to Residency Positions

Some get it. Others don’t. Many will land the residency position of their dreams, while others will find themselves without a spot at the end of the medical residency application season. Why is is that some applicants succeed when many others do not Match? Is there a recipe for success?

The truth is – there are no guarantees. BUT! There is certainly a formula for making sure that your application process and strategies are maxed out for success. However, do NOT be fooled. There are no shortcuts and no gimmicks. Those who do not match often find themselves unprepared, not knowing the ins and outs of residency applications, and confused as to why they did not succeed.

We are here to help you avoid this confusion. But to do so, it will take your time, diligence, energy, and effort. We will be linking many other resources below which are equally important to delve into as this article. So, ask yourself: Are you ready to dig deep? To do what it takes to prepare? To explore and reach out for professional assistance which can be integral to success? If your answers are yes, then keep reading below.

8 Reasons Why Medical Students Do Not Match to Residency Positions


1. Attitude

Yes, in fact, your attitude is one of the most important factors for landing a residency position. A proactive, positive mindset is essential! Also, those who feel entitled, arrogant, or even timid and undeserving will face challenges in the process. Confidence is key, and knowledge is power.


2. USMLE/COMLEX Test Scores

While test scores are not the sole reason why some residency applicants do not match, the truth is that test scores are one of the first and easiest filters programs use to narrow their applicant pool. So, in accordance with Number 1, make sure your attitude is in the right place. You will need MONTHS of consistent, dedicated, detailed, and precise studying in order to do well on your USMLE and/or COMLEX exams. A failure can set you back mentally and can also delay preparedness for the application season.


3. MyERAS Application

The MyERAS Application is very extensive and comes with little additional information and instruction. It is essential to begin filling this out early and to make sure you are making the most out of each and every section. There are many common mistakes that applicants can, and often do, make when filling out the application. Make sure that you do not Certify your application until your are 100% sure it is complete and error-free, as it is locked in permanently for the rest of the season.

Make sure that your MyERAS Written Sections are professional, complete, and error-free by visiting our partner, Residency Experts – https://residencyexperts.com/myeras-application-written-sections/


4. Supporting Documents

You will need to make sure your supporting documents are complete, specialty specific, recent, and professional. Oftentimes, applicants who apply with weak personal statements or old Letters of Recommendation from the wrong specialty find themselves in hot water when it comes to interview season.


5. Application Strategy

A strong application strategy includes arming oneself with knowledge, planning ahead, utilizing professional assistance early-on in the season, creating a residency network, applying to compatible and enough programs (a minimum of 100 programs per specialty), and considering at least 2-3 backup specialties.

For more information on why applicants do not get residency interviews, read 9 Reasons Why Medical Students Do Not Get Residency Interviews


6. Interviews

Most successful applicants get around 10 interviews or more. Now, let’s say you do get interviews. Many applicants find themselves with cold feet due to a lack of knowledge and preparation. Dive into this vast topic with some of the resources below:


7. Ranking

Did you remember to register with the NRMP® in time to Rank? Did you submit your Rank Order List on time? Is your Rank Order list effective and realistic? These are all important considerations when mid to late February comes around (and well before).

Learn more about Match A Resident’s unique Rank Assist Feature, available for anyone to use – http://blog.matcharesident.com/using-rank-assist/


8. Failure to Meet Requirements

Now, let’s say you DID MATCH. The program will certainly be helping you, but you must keep your head on your shoulders and be proactive about complying with all requirements, making sure your documentation (visas and the like) are ready and up to date, and that you complete all essential paperwork.


Now that you know the most crucial reasons why medical students do not match, you can better prepare to avoid making any of these mistakes. Success will come from research, preparation, hard work, plenty of re-visiting, and professional assistance when needed.


Have questions about what you can do to Match? Leave us your comments below and we can offer more advice and information!


The NATIONAL RESIDENT MATCHING PROGRAM®, The NRMP®, SUPPLEMENTAL OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE PROGRAM®, and SOAP® are registered trademarks of National Resident Matching Program. THE MATCH™ is a trademark of National Resident Matching Program. ResidencyPrep, LLC and this page are not sponsored by, endorsed by, or affiliated with National Resident Matching Program.

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