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IMG Residency Match Forum International Medical Graduates (IMGs) discussing the residency matching process.

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Old 03-21-2016
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Default "Why did I not Match?" - an analysis

Every year around this time we receive e-mails from applicants inquiring as to why they did not match. After six years of working with a few hundred applicants we believe the following approach serves as a reasonable guide:

Scenario 1)
No Interviews / Only one or two interviews, Unmatched
-Without further information this scenario is generally toughest to assess. Most people in this situation fall into one of two categories: A) inadequate credentials (no U.S. clinical experience, low test scores, year of graduation 10+ years out, etc.) or B) respectable credentials, but poorly written documents (an unfortunate, but common mistake).

Scenario 2)
Multiple Interviews, Unmatched
-These applicants are generally easier to evaluate as they clearly have the credentials to achieve interview opportunities, but their interview performances are failing to pass the test.

Applicants have two primary opportunities to introduce themselves: 1) the personal statement and 2) the interview. The personal statement tells an applicant's story and (when written well) convinces the reader that the subject of the PS is worth interviewing. The interview is a performance of sorts in which the applicant displays emotional intelligence as a means to connect with the program director and faculty.

If you fall into either of these two scenarios, maintain your hope! The overwhelming majority of applicants are brilliant people with amazing backgrounds. Those who stand out from the crowd introduce themselves (i.e. PS and interview) in incredibly compelling fashion. Applicants must pass the "five minute rule." If the reader of your personal statement remembers your story five minutes after finishing the last sentence, you will likely receive an interview offer. The same concept applies to interviews. If the PD remembers you five minutes after the interview (assuming the memory is positive, of course), you probably have a fair chance at a high ranking or pre-match offer. Program directors are human beings. They want to find someone they can identify with or draw inspiration from. Be the inspiration they seek!

If you did not match last year, but plan to apply this year, I encourage you to take a more strategic approach. You are competing with 10,000+ bright, ambitious people just as eager to succeed as you. Walk yourself through the above analysis and try to identify where you can improve. Best of luck and do not hesitate to contact us directly to discuss your specific situation.

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