How to Excel at Your Medical School Interview  
How to Excel at Your Medical School Interview  

7 common questions and answers about Match Day

Match Day occurs on the third Friday of March every year when thousands of students find out where they will be completing their residencies.

Discovering your path in medicine is a journey marked by milestones, and none are as defining as Match Day. As a prospective medical student, you’re undoubtedly aware of a residency’s role in shaping your future. It’s not merely a phase of training; it’s the bridge to your specialization, charting the course of your next three to five years after medical school. At St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine, we understand the significance of this important day and offer insights to help you better understand the process.

What is Match Day?

It’s an annual rite of passage, occurring every third Friday of March, where the dreams of thousands of medical students converge. Hosted by medical colleges nationwide, Match Day ceremonies are eagerly awaited moments where results reveal the culmination of years of dedication. Through the intricate workings of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), students are paired with residency positions accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

With Match Day on the horizon, let us unpack the most asked questions about Match Day:

Question 1: How does the Match process work?

The Match process can be highly complex and depends on the student’s and residency hospital preferences. The NRMP decides on the residency allotments using an algorithm that ranks your residency preferences against the available positions. The process starts towards the beginning of your fourth year in medical school and may include the following steps:

  • You submit applications for different residency programs through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).
  • You appear for residency interviews based on your grades and the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) performance.
  • You create an ordered list of your preferred programs.
  • You wait until the NRMP calculates and releases your results on Match Day.

Question 2: What are my chances of matching into residency?

Your chances of securing your desired residency hinge on your performance in your USMLE exams, exemplary interviews, and meticulous submission of information to the NRMP.

Question 3: Which year of medical do you match?

Typically, Match Day unfolds during your fourth year of medical school.

Question 4: What happens if you don’t match with a residency program?

The Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) offers a lifeline, allowing you to secure a suitable position amidst remaining vacancies.

If you discover that you haven’t yet been accepted on Match Monday, you have an hour to submit up to 45 applications to the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). You can get interview calls over the phone on Match Tuesday and Match Wednesday. If you still need to be matched by the end of Wednesday, you can contact residency programs with open positions to negotiate a match directly.

Question 5: What happens after Match Day?

With the revelation of your residency placement, the groundwork for the next three to seven years of your life begins. You might plan to relocate to a new city, depending upon your placement. Most residency positions start in June, so it’s essential to use the time to prepare for the exciting next step in your medical journey.

Question 6: How do I boost my prospects on Match Day?

You can increase your chances of a good placement on Medical Residency Match Day by:

  • Evaluating different residency programs while applying.
  • Thoroughly creating your rank list.
  • Staying calm about your rankings once you finish your interviews.
  • Using the time to secure a suitable position among the remaining vacancies if you aren’t matched on Match Monday.

Question 7: Can I leave my allotted residency placement in favor of another?

Usually, participating in a Match would contractually obligate you to attend the residency allotted to you at a specific hospital for at least 45 days. However, you can leave your residency after that and re-enter the Match process.

As you embark on this medical school discovery, remember that your choice of medical school lays the foundation for your success. At St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine, we pride ourselves on nurturing aspiring doctors, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to excel in their endeavors. With a legacy of excellence underscored by a first-time USMLE Step 1 pass rate of 97%, your journey toward medical greatness begins here. 

Interested in learning more about our program or want to speak to an advisor? Contact us.

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