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


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Old 01-16-2014
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Question How do they pick their matches?

Since we're all just waiting for March with nothing else to do but biting our nails, I thought I 'd ask this question.

If someone goes to an interview & feel that it went very well & the people their liked him,does that mean he'll get ranked or it's just a subjective feeling & what happens behind the stage is the program is different ?

My situation is, I went to 3 IVs so far one of them was a prematch, I felt like I really screwed up the prematch IV & I was right on the money cause they didn't pick me obviously but the other 2 interviews I felt I was good, at one of them the program chairman spent a very long time interviewing me while he only spent 10 or 15 minutes with the other candidates.

So what are the odds? do they rank us depending on the interview performance alone ? or they still consider our credentials one more time ?

hope my point is clear.
thank you & good luck
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Old 01-16-2014
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The way programs rank an applicant is very complex (and understandably so). The criteria they use for offering interviews in the first place and ranking thereafter depends a lot on the reputation / status of the program.

For the obvious top-tier programs, they tend to only interview and rank the best of the best. There's no doubt about that. We can argue the merits of what type of applicants is considered the 'best of the best', but as IMGs, I think we have a general idea of what that is.

There are several groups of applicants who are invited for interviews. Outside some of the top-tier programs who only interview a certain caliber of applicant (and will have 100% acceptance rates for their interview offers), these groups include:

1. Applicants who programs are really interested in due to their application (AMG vs IMG, scores, CV, PS, etc.). Those who accept interviews and perform as expected (i.e. well) in their interviews will be ranked high.

2. Applicants with an initial application a little less impressive than group 1. Those who go to interviews and perform well and are likeable individuals are usually ranked such that the chances of ranking are decent.

3. Applicants who have considerably less impressive applications than 1 and 2. They are offered interviews to see if they are missing out on an outstanding applicant (e.g. didn't have a very high Step 1 score for some weird reason, etc. etc.). Those applicants have the opportunity to 'redeem' themselves during an interview and can impress the program to the point that they are ranked favorably (or at least in the hunt for a residency spot).

4. 'Backup Applicants'. These are a group of applicants who may be offered interviews late (for a variety of reasons), or they may get an interview because of a favor from an internal faculty member / contact who knows the applicant. The odds are stacked against these applicants because the onus is on the applicant to light the sky on fire during their interview. It's not that it can't be done - it's just unlikely.

The bottom line is that many programs already have their minds made up (or are fairly sure) before the interview. If you interview well and impress, that can change their impression of you (and vice versa).
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Old 01-16-2014
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Thanks a lot for this answer, what about someone who got an interview very late in the season with no connections what so ever in the program? does that person have a shot in that program?
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Old 01-16-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by younissmed View Post
Thanks a lot for this answer,what about someone who got an interview very late in the season with no connections what so ever in the program? does that person have a shot in that program?
The last group I described above.
Sure - I believe that anyone who gets an interview is in with at least a chance.
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Old 01-17-2014
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@usmleire

Very nice post. I agree with you.
So I understand that if you get a call on the first batch you are most likely on the first or second group? And how you performed in the interview will determine how you will be ranked in this group?
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Old 01-17-2014
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I agree with usmleire.. I think most of the programs have already decided before the interview who they wanna rank.. Interview is to see whether those candidates are friendly, good colleagues, can fit in their dept and not weird. For the same reason I don't think ur answers to questions like " any difficult situation n how u handled it" make much difference. If you get interview in first batch, u r highly competetive for dat program. At the end, ur credentials are the most important thing to decide ur ranking..
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Old 01-21-2014
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Although I agree with what the previous posters have said, I did want to offer some more insight into the program selection criteria.

When its said your scores aren't always the most important thing, that's very true.

We also tend to look for "fit" into the program. We residents don't want complete weirdo's in the group. We want dependable, friendly people who are on the ball at work and fun to hang out with after. Believe it or not, this is where the dinner comes into play. We see how you interact with everyone, table manners, judge your personality, how you hold yourself etc. Being anti-social & nerdy will not win you any awards. Residency is stressful, besides work, we look for support from colleagues which is why all of the above comes into play on top of the credentials.
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