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


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Old 05-20-2012
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Question Can I decline a residency spot

I've heard that if you match you are obliged to go to that hospital, is that true?

Are you able to decline a residency spot offer if you matched and had a change of heart or something?
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Old 05-20-2012
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As a general rule, you are ethically and legally bound to join the residency program that you have been matched into.

Nevertheless, I've seen some cases in which residents did not show up and they were able to go somewhere else, I don't know how they do it. But definitely the program will be really pissed off for such an action and they'll try their best to black list you with the NRMP and ECFMG and effectively ruin your future in USA.

Here's an excerpt from the NRMP policy;

Quote:
Section 8.2.1:
The NRMP's Final Report on the confirmed violation will be delivered to the applicant with copies to:
(1) the applicant's medical school official, with a request that the Final Report be placed in the applicant's permanent file
(2) the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates if the applicant is a student/graduate of an international medical school
(3) the NRMP institutional official and director of the program to which the applicant matched
(4) the NRMP institutional official and the director of the program to which the applicant has applied or switched (if known)
(5) the party who originally reported the violation
(6) the NRMP Executive Committee
(7) the American Board of Medical Specialties
(8) the applicant's residency program director if the violation occurred in a fellowship match
(9) the Federation of State Medical Boards if the applicant is to be permanently identified as a match violator or permanently barred from future NRMP matches
(10) any parties whom the NRMP has determined are relevant to its investigation.
In addition, the applicant may be barred from subsequent NRMP matches and/or identified as a match violator to participating programs for one to three years or permanently, as determined by the NRMP. The applicant also may be barred from accepting or starting a position in any program sponsored by a match-participating institution that would commence training within one year from the date of issuance of the Final Report. Further, any applicant who does not accept his/her position and has been denied a waiver of his/her binding commitment may be barred from accepting or starting a position in any program sponsored by a match-participating institution that would commence training within one year from the date of the NRMP's decision on the waiver.
The decision conveyed in the Final Report will be reflected in the Match Site Applicant Match History for one to three years or permanently, as determined by the NRMP. Term limits of any sanction(s) imposed for the violation will be included to identify the length of time the action is in effect.
The NRMP has sole discretion to determine which of the sanctions described above shall be applied in the event an applicant violates this Agreement

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Old 05-20-2012
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I meant not do a US residency at all.

I ask mainly because the June timeline poses a problem for me since residency programs in my country start in March (I was planning to apply on both countries). Also because here we are allowed to apply to multiple programs and get accepted by multiple programs and then decline offers of those we don't like that much.

Also here we are allowed to start a residency program and then decide that is not what we wanted, I've seen a whole lot of first year residents give up on their choice in the first 6-7 months of residency.


Here were I live I have the chance to get into a pretty good residency program, however I was interested in the more advantages I get from a title from the US. However since they both start in different months I'm at a crossroad now and I'm weighting my options.
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When you participate in the NRMP match, you sign an agreement that you are not allowed to withdraw after the Rank Order List which is typically in mid February.

This agreement is a legal document. You will be held responsible for violations of this agreement.

If you were matched in USA and then you changed your mind and instead do residency in your country then that's fine you can do it but expect that you will be reported to US authorities as outlined in my previous post.

The issue here is that once you are matched into a position, they can't fill it up if you don't show up or they will have difficulties filling it up with another candidate and you will cause a mess to the program.

If you are not 100% sure that you don't want to do residency in USA then my advice is not go into the process.

The process of residency matching in USA is a long time process and you will be spending long times doing USCE, going for interviews, traveling between cities, spending thousands of dollars on USMLE exams and applying in ERAS ...etc

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Old 05-20-2012
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I second Sabio's thought. If you are by the rank order list day not 100% sure about your intentions to do residency in USA, withdraw from the match !

It is not acceptable legally and ethically to simply "not show" for your residency program. You will waste hundreds of work hours spent on reviewing your profile, interviewing you, ranking you and doing your paperwork, you will also have a serious strike to your chances of ever being accepted in USA in the future and finally you will take the place of most probably another IMG who was dying to have this position.
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