Should a Step 1 99/260 accept a PREMATCH? - USMLE Forums
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IMG Residency Match Forum International Medical Graduates (IMGs) discussing the residency matching process.


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  #1  
Old 07-16-2011
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Question Should a Step 1 99/260 accept a PREMATCH?

Hey guys,

I'll like to know your opinion (also from the experts if possible). I know this has been discussed elsewere very well by StepTaker (http://www.usmle-forums.com/residenc...-prematch.html), but, should someone who got a 99/260 in Step 1 accept a prematch in an Internal Medicine program?

Let's say this is the profile:
-Fresh graduate
-Step 1 99/261 first attempt
-Step 2 CS first attempt
-Step 2 CK 99/240 first attempt
-3 months Surgical Observership
-1 peer-reviewed published article
-1 LOR from US physician
-No research
-No visa and aiming for H1B.

The thing is that it's difficult to define a strong applicant (high USMLE scores BUT NO research, not many strong LORs, no visa) if it's in-between. In other words, how important are the other factors?

Would great scores be enough to get enough interviews to be safe for the match? or should it be better to accept a prematch?

Last edited by jorgemorales; 07-16-2011 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 07-16-2011
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Last year was crazy, I had some applicants with 8+ interviews refused prematch and ended unexpectedly unmatched. My strong advice to any applicants take the first opportunity as it will never come again. Anyway this year will be the last year for prematches.
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Old 07-16-2011
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It depends on how many interviews you will get.

Also, what specialty you are applying for? If you are applying for surgery, I don't think you will be given a prematch offer.

But if you are applying for IM or applying for surgery and IM as a backup then yes, the possibility of a prematch is out there.

My personal opinion is that you should not accept a prematch if you get more than 5 interviews.

The reason behind my opinion is that if you are offered a prematch it means you are an excellent candidate and you will get matched.

One caveat here, is what I mean by 5 interviews is 5 non-prematch interviews, i.e. 5 interviews in programs that do not offer prematch.

Because let's say you get 7 interviews, of these, 4 programs offer prematch. This means your NRMP matching programs possibility is 3 programs only (programs who offer prematch and did not give you a prematch are unlikely to rank you in the NRMP match), so in that case accept any prematch offer.

It gets more complicated if the programs give 50% prematch, I mean they don't fill up completely by prematches, in that case, there's still a possibility that they will match you even if they don't offer you a prematch. But anyway, the equation still the same if you get 5 or more interviews from such programs (or programs that do not offer prematch at all) then you are safe to go for the NRMP match.

To be exact, the equation should be 50 or more seats interviewed for. This means you've done interviews in a number of programs that will enter the NRMP match with 50 or more seats.

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Old 07-17-2011
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Thank you both for your input. This is certainly going to be a difficult decision if offered.

One other question. I guess that the number of interviews can be influenced by the number of programs one applies to. How many programs should I apply to?. Also, how can we tell where prematches are given in a program, and even more, how many slots (%) are reserved for prematches?
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Old 07-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgemorales View Post
Thank you both for your input. This is certainly going to be a difficult decision if offered.

One other question. I guess that the number of interviews can be influenced by the number of programs one applies to. How many programs should I apply to?. Also, how can we tell where prematches are given in a program, and even more, how many slots (%) are reserved for prematches?
Apply to as many programs as you can financially afford to maximize your chances. Many applicants apply to 150-250 to get all the chances.

Question> How to know prematches or prematch percentages of each program?
Answer> When you go to the interview you'll learn the details from the residents and from other applicants.

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Old 07-17-2011
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Got it!, thanks again!
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Old 07-17-2011
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Default last prematch year !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplicantGuide View Post
Last year was crazy, I had some applicants with 8+ interviews refused prematch and ended unexpectedly unmatched. My strong advice to any applicants take the first opportunity as it will never come again. Anyway this year will be the last year for prematches.
Can you provide an official link for this claim please ?
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Old 07-17-2011
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Arrow It's official

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger73jo View Post
Can you provide an official link for this claim please ?
If you are referring to the "no more prematches" rule, you can read our USMLE News bit here
No More Prematches starting 2013!
In that post there's a link to the official NRMP website, go there and read the "All-In Policy".

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Old 07-18-2011
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ya... same question too...

I think prematch is a safer bet.
THe need of visa makes the application less attractive.

FOr e.g, an AMG with 240, 240 for both steps vs an IMG with the stats above... I think the PD will choose the AMG because a 20pt score difference is not so huge a difference.
Most PDs undertand that IMGs may take 1 year off just to prepare the steps, which AMGs do not have the privelege...
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Old 01-13-2012
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i dont think pds should generalze...not all img take a year off to study to get crazy scores like 250-260. some of us use the same amount of studying that amgs get and give the exam......
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