ROAD TO MATCHING P1: INTRODUCTION & TIMELINE

I’m going to break down the match in a series of  three post. I am in my fourth and final year of medical school and this is the year that I participated in the 2019 Match for a residency position in Obstetrics and Gynecology. The NRMP Match is the process that fourth year allopathic medical students participate in, in order to apply, interview and get into a residency position of their choice after graduation. So I want to start this series off by introducing the general timeline! So lets dive right in!

Timeline Breakdown:

February-April of Third year:

  1. Specialty– this is the time where you should be narrowing down and figuring out your specialty of choice. Keep in mind based off your medical schools third year schedule you may have a few more clinical rotations left to complete, so it’s perfectly okay to not have your specialty choice finalized.
  2. Away rotations– begin applying to and accepting away rotation/elective opportunities. (check out my post about away rotations).
  3. CV – this is a great time to begin updating and editing your CV. Find out if you have someone at your institution who can help look over your CV and provide feedback. I utilized this resource at my medical school and it was very helpful! You will need an updated CV for away rotation/elective apps as well as your residency application so it’s a great idea to have it updated and ready to go!
  4. Personal Statement– You may go through several revisions and updates before you are satisfied with your final personal statement. You should begin thinking about what to write and start crafting it now. The earlier you have a rough draft the more time others can look over it and provide comments and feedback!
  5. 4TH year schedule– depending on your medical school, around this time you should begin planning your 4th year schedule if you haven’t done so already! Keep in mind what specialty you are going into and be sure to take some electives to prepare you as well as other interesting electives outside of your specialty! There will be many specialities you see for the last time in medical school so it would be great to rotate through them one last time! 🙂
  6. Token/ERAS Account– Receive ERAS token from your home institution and make an account if you haven’t done so already! You can begin requesting your writers for your Letter of Recommendations and they can begin to upload their recommendation letters!

May-July of Third year/Fourth year:

  1. Letters of recommendation- This is a great time (if you haven’t started already) to begin to seek out your recommenders who you believe will write a FAVORABLE letter for you. You want to give them ample time to write and upload the letter.
  2. STEP 2 CK & CS– You should have registered for both exams by this time and your exams should be taken during this time frame (depending on your medical schools schedule). Also CS can be taken starting now and go through November of your 4th year. But I would advise taking Step 2 CK by July especially if your step 1 score is below average, this gives you time to receive your Step 2 score back and submit it with your application.
  3. 4th year rotations: Around this time, many of you should be wrapping up your third year and beginning your fourth year. Depending on your personalized schedule, this is where you will start participating in away rotations/electives, fourth year rotations at your medical school and board prep/examination.

August-September of Fourth year:

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 7.32.51 PMScreen Shot 2019-02-10 at 7.33.14 PM

  1. Begin working on your ERAS application (if you haven’t started already). Input all information requested, finalize your personal statement and upload to application portal. Recommenders should be uploading their letters around this time and your school officials should be uploading documents required by them. September each year is the earliest you can begin to apply. Submitting prior to or on September 15th is HIGHLY recommended. In September you will also be able to register for the NRMP Match (speak to your institution for more information).

October of Fourth year:

  1. Your school officials should submit your MSPE and make it available to programs by October 1st (speak to your school directly for more details about this).
  2. Interview invites should begin coming in (if they haven’t already, don’t panic. Remember this time frame ranges based on your intended specialty).
  3. Also depending on when you took your Step 2 CK and CS you may still be receiving results so don’t forget to go back into your ERAS application and submit your scores if applicable.

November-January of Fourth Year:

  1. This is prime interview season, you should be receiving interview invites and signing up for open spots! It’s vital that during this time you stay optimistic and encouraged! Focus on your journey and don’t get caught up on how many interview invites your classmates and friends have. You should have tunnel vision and just stay the course!
  2. Starting January 15th you can begin to rank your list for your specialty and certify it. If you are still in the midst of interviewing that’s okay, it is just the beginning and there is no first come first serve basis with this. I went out the country for all of February so I submitted my rank list by the end of January. You have until February 20th so no rush. Also during this time you can begin to compile your rank list; talk with family, friends, significant others, look over your notes from interview season and really break everything down to create your master list.

February of Fourth Year:

  1. Compile your final rank list; talk with family, friends, significant others, look over your notes from interview season and really break everything down to create your master list. (yes, repeated from above! lol)
  2. You have until February 20th at 9pm ET to submit your rank list.
  3. Celebrate after you submit your rank list, it is out of your hands so no reason to stress (LOL! So much easier said then done!)

March of Fourth Year:

  1. The Monday before Match Day by 11a.m. ET you should receive an email stating if you matched or not!
  2. If you didn’t match you will receive further instructions from your home institution about the SOAP process.
  3. MATCH DAY: This is when you find out where you will be training for the next 3-5 + years!!! AHHH INSANE RIGHT?!?! YOU DID IT!!!
  4. NOW IT’S  REALLY TIME TO ENJOY 4TH YEAR!!!!!

April-Graduation (May & June)

  1. Wrap up fourth year, relax, travel and GRADUATE!!

Congratulations you’ve worked so hard!!!

I hope that this was helpful! As always, if you have any questions or comments please reach out!

Stay tuned for part 2 next week 🙂

-SLR

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