The NRMP Residency Match process just ended for this year and the most common question I’ve received in the Ask RookieDoc survey is “I didn’t match… What should I do now?” While I can provide some general advice about what to do if you didn’t match, it really depends on your personal situation. There is no one-size-fits-all advice for people who didn’t match. For some of you, it’s your scores, for others it’s communication skills, and for others it’s something else.
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- Scramble process
- Honestly assess the potential reasons for not matching
- Set goals
- Monitor for openings (ongoing)
- Improve your credentials (ongoing)
- Before reviewing your stuff… ask this very important question: What does your gut feeling tell you – Why didn’t you match?
- Then while reviewing these things above, put yourself in the mind of someone reviewing your application. Why should they take you? What about you is easy to sell to them? What about you would be a red flag?
- Take a look at the relationships you’ve developed at various institutions – everyone from attendings to residents to nurses to residency program coordinators & secretaries. Ask yourself if there were any that were great. If so, what made them great? Were there any that didn’t go so well? If so, why not?
- Take a look at your CV. What’s great about your CV? What’s not so good? What could be better?
- How about the places you’ve done rotations… Which ones did you perform well in? Which ones not so well? Why? What relationships can continue to be nurtured now?
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In the next post, I’ll cover what to do if you got in… What should you do between now and starting residency?