Whether you are planning to apply to some of the most competitive or least competitive residencies out there, our Residency Match Calculator will help you assess your match chances in 2022! Follow the easy steps below to learn how competitive you are for your chosen medical specialties and keep reading to learn how you can improve your chances of getting into your ideal residency program.
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How to Use the Residency Match Calculator:
DO vs. MD vs. IMG
Before we talk about what you can do to improve your residency application, let's talk about some of the factors that affect your chances of matching. While your qualifications, overall application components, and residency interview performance will have the most significant impact, your grad type is not to be underestimated. In order to prepare adequately and increase your chances of marching, you need to understand to be aware of the current conditions for matching.
DO vs. MD:
Both DO and MD graduates have to navigate ERAS ( the Electronic Residency Application Service) to apply to their chosen residency programs. The residency matching process is highly competitive for both types of applicants, but DO students experience lower success rates of matching than MD graduates for most specialties. For example, according to the NRMP data, Osteopathic graduates tend to have strong acceptance rates in primary care specialties such as family medicine or internal medicine. Yet, even within those specialties, their matching rate is still lower than that of MD graduates.
If you are an Osteopathic graduate, having this information as you start to prepare for residency applications is essential because it gives you a chance to prepare accordingly. Take some time to look for residency application strategies that are specifically for DO graduates. Or better yet, invest in the services of a residency application consultant who will be able to look at your application and provide personalized feedback to help you increase your chances of matching.
International Medical Graduates (IMGs)
In the United States, the location and accreditation of the medical school you graduated from determines whether you are considered an International Medical Graduate (IMG), not your citizenship. American citizens who graduated from medical schools outside the United States and Canada are considered IMGs, and Non-US citizens who graduated from medical schools in the United States and Canada are not considered IMGs.
Getting into a residency program as an IMG is more challenging than as a non-international applicant. One of the many reasons for this is the fact that an IMG applicant's ERAS timeline is different from a non-international student because IMGs must get their ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) certification before taking the USMLE, which non-international students typically sit for while in medical school. There are several other requirements and restrictions that make this process more difficult.
It, therefore, goes without saying that if you want to get into a residency program as an IMG, you need to be strategic and take some extra care with your application. We looked at the latest numbers, and they suggest that both US-IMGs and Non-US IMGs have less chance of matching to their first choice for a specialty, even if it is an IMG-friendly specialty. Only 57% of non-US IMGs who identified it as their only choice matched internal residency. In comparison, 98% of US MD and DO graduates who identified the same specialty as their only choice matched to internal medicine.
Have you started working on your personal statement yet? Check this out:
Five Tips to Improve your Chances of Matching
Whether you are an MD, DO or IMG graduate, the residency matching process is lengthy, challenging, and highly competitive. So, how do you improve your chances of landing that ideal match? Here are five tips to help you strengthen your application:
1. Use your medical student CV
Your residency CV is one of the most important documents that you will prepare and submit with your ERAS application. This is because residency program directors want to know how you choose to spend your free time and if you have had the experience needed to become a resident doctor. Most students understand how important a medical school resume, residency CV, and physician resume are, but many do not understand what a medical student CV is and why it is essential. Essentially, your medical student CV is what you use while you are in medical school. It is a document that is supposed to showcase your previous work and volunteer experience, academic background, research experience, etc. The aim is to use this document to apply for various extracurriculars while you are in medical school so that you can build what will eventually become your residency CV.
We bring up this document because it can be used for more than just applying for clinical research opportunities and other activities. One of the best ways to use your medical student CV is to keep track of your experiences and the competencies that you are mastering. The AAMC identifies 15 core competencies that we highly recommend familiarizing yourself with. You should use these competencies to guide you as you decide which extracurricular activities to pursue while in medical school. While clinical experience should be your priority, having other experiences to show the residency program directors that you are well-rounded and possess other transferable skills can help improve your chances of matching.
We highly recommend that you tweak your med school application resume in your first year of medical school and turn it into a med student CV. It is imperative that you keep this document up to date as you participate in different activities. Not only will this make it easier for you to apply for various positions without needing to disrupt your medical school study schedule, but it will also allow you to clearly see what roles and skills are represented on your CV at a given time and which ones you still need to work on. For example, you might look at your medical student CV and notice that you have quite a bit of clinical research experience, but you do not have many experiences that involve direct patient interaction. Catching this early, while you still have the opportunity to get additional experience and improve your patient assessment skills, would be far better than scrambling to get other clinical experience at the last minute.
In addition to helping you gain those valuable experiences to help you stand out as a residency applicant, having an updated medical student CV will make it a lot easier for you to prepare your ERAS application and residency CV when the time comes. You will already have most of the information available to you, so you will simply need to make a few formatting changes to your document.
2. Write multiple personal statements
First, let's clarify: we are not saying that you need to write a residency personal statement for every single program that you are applying to. According to the overall data provided by AAMC about ERAS, the average number of applications that students prepare for residency is 95. Although, if you ask us how many residency programs you need to apply to, our answer would be 15 to 35, depending on the strength of your application. Being strategic with your choices and submitting fewer quality applications is better than submitting a higher number of applications that are less likely to yield results.
Considering the numbers we just reviewed, writing a personal statement for each medical residency program you're applying to would require too much time. Instead, we recommend that you write at least one personal statement for each specialty that you have chosen. You can also choose to write a personal statement for specific programs that share similarities.
For example, let's say that you are applying to 20 residency programs. Most of them are for a neurology specialty, and a few are for psychiatry, and six of them are in the same state. In that case, you might want to write three different essays:
We recommend doing this because it allows you to tailor your application to specific specialties and sometimes residency programs. You must remember that your residency personal statement is supposed to tell the residency directors why you are a good fit for their program and this particular field of medicine. The traits that a program is looking for in an emergency physician are not the same ones as a psychiatrist or plastic surgeon. So you want to make sure that the essay you are writing for a particular specialty showcases the relevant aspects of your background and highlights the pertinent skills.
For example, let's say that your top two specialty choices are emergency medicine and internal medicine, and you want to talk about the same experiences in your essay for both specialties. Your emergency medicine personal statement could focus on how much multitasking and thinking on your feet you had to do while volunteering. In contrast, your family medicine personal statement could focus on the connections you made with patients during that same time.
Check out this video for some residency personal statement examples:
3. Enroll in a USMLE prep course
The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is one of the key elements of your residency application. Depending on your grad status, you may have to take this exam while in medical school or after. Either way, it is an exam that requires quite a bit of preparation, and if you want to maximize your chances of getting an excellent score, professional help might be the way to go.
The USMLE is a comprehensive exam that tests everything you learned in medical school, courses and rotations included. The aim of this exam is to determine which students have the skills and knowledge required to provide patient care under supervision. It does this by testing your theoretical knowledge - with questions about individual organ systems and concepts spanning organ systems, and evaluating your practical knowledge using hypothetical cases. In other words, to get a good score on the USMLE Step 1 and 2, you have to review and understand an overwhelming amount of content.
Some students are able to do this on their own without any guidance or support, but many other students do much better on the exam when they work with a tutor or enroll in a prep course. The right USMLE prep course will not only help you review content, but also teach you the strategies that you need to ace the exam. If you’re not sure in which category of students you fall, we suggest that you start by taking a diagnostic test to establish your baseline and reflecting on your performance. Are you happy with the results? Did you find specific types of questions or questions about specific material more challenging? Do you know how to include USMLE prep in your regular medical school study schedule? Questions like these can help you figure out if you would benefit from a USMLE prep course.
4. Don't underestimate the interview
Residency interviews are one of the most important steps of the matching process. According to the NRMP data, 98% of residency programs consider your communication skills to be very important, and 94% of them went even further to say that candidates' interactions with staff and faculty members on interview day is just as important. This tells us that if you want to end up on a residency program's rank order list, you can't underestimate the importance of your residency interview.
In order to prepare adequately, you need to understand that what you say matters as much as how you say it, and how you behave throughout the interview. Greeting your interviewers properly, remembering their name and mentioning it during the conversation, eye contact, and other nonverbal cues all play a role in your overall interview performance. This is why we recommend participating in a few residency mock interviews while you prepare. Mock interviews are a great way to identify issues in your interview behavior and answering strategies while you still have time to work on them and improve.
Speaking of answering strategies, developing one ahead of your interview is another important step in ERAS interview prep. You should make some time to look at common residency interview questions, and come up with a structure for your answers to those questions. We don't recommend crafting your entire answer in advance and memorizing it, as that would be counterproductive. Instead, write down your answers' key points and the structure you want your response to follow. This will help you ensure that you are staying on track and providing all the relevant information in your answers.
Lastly, if you feel that your interview skills might be lacking or if you want to get some feedback from a professional, you can invest in residency interview coaching. An interview coach can teach you how to answer common residency interview questions like "tell me about yourself" or "how will you contribute to our program? ", and give you the tools and strategies needed to provide strong answers to the less common questions, especially those that are specific to your chosen specialty.
5. Get professional help
The residency matching process can be lengthy, complex, and easily overwhelming - especially if you are an International Medical Graduate. Working with a residency application consultant is your best bet to maximize your chances of matching. A residency consultant can help you plan for your residency application well in advance; work with you during the application process to ensure that your application is not only competitive, but compelling; and they can provide interview coaching, thus giving you the tools you need to impress the residency program directors.
Not every student needs professional help, but it is worth considering. Especially if you're hoping to improve your chances of matching after going unmatched the first time, then in that case, the services of a residency application consultant are well worth the investment!
1. Why does my graduation type matter?
According to the statistics, your chances of matching may be different based on your graduation type. For example, they show that DO graduates have lower success rates than MD graduates. So, it is important to keep that in mind while you prepare your residency application.
2. What should I talk about in my residency personal statement?
Your residency personal statement should tell the residency program directors why you've chosen a particular specialty, how your background and experiences have prepared you for it, and why you are a good fit for it.
3. Do I need a personal statement for each residency program I apply to?
No, you do not! It would be best to write a personal statement for each of your chosen specialties instead of specific programs. So, for example, you may write a surgery personal statement and a plastic surgery personal statement if those are your specialties of choice.
4. How important is the residency interview?
Your residency interview is very important! Residency programs value communication and interpersonal skills, both of which they assess during the interview. It is, therefore, crucial that you prepare accordingly.
5. What residency specialties are IMG-friendly?
Family medicine, anesthesiology, and neurology are three of many IMG-friendly specialties.
6. What are the best specialties for DO graduates?
DO graduates tend to do well with primary care specialties such as family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics. However, remember that this doesn't mean that DO grads can't successfully match a different specialty. Your application just needs to be compelling enough.
7. What are the best extracurriculars for residency applicants?
We recommend familiarizing yourself with CANmeds and the core competencies identified by the AAMC, and looking for activities that build those skills. Clinical experiences and other activities that allow you to interact with patients directly are also great for future resident doctors.
8. What can I do to improve my residency application?
Instead of giving you some general tips that might not apply to your situation, we encourage you to get in touch with us by booking your free initial consultation. That is the best way for us to provide some personalized feedback and help you!
To your success,
Your friends at BeMo
BeMo Academic Consulting
Disclaimer: Please note that, although the Residency Match Calculator has been designed with the utmost attention to detail and accuracy, BeMo Academic Consulting Inc. ("BeMo") cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that might arise during the use of the calculator. Although all steps have been taken to ensure that the calculator is as accurate as possible, students are ultimately responsible for cross-referencing their results with the program’s websites to ensure absolute accuracy. BeMo Academic Consulting Inc. is in no way or shape responsible for any action or inaction taken on the part of students as a result of using the Residency Match Calculator.
Additionally, please note that there are many factors that cannot be assessed in this calculator, such as reference letters, written applications, CASPer (if applicable), interview performance, strengths and weaknesses of other applicants, etc. by each program. Moreover, note that you must check to make sure you have all the requirements for each program, and if you have any questions, contact the admissions office directly.
BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any universities or college or test administrators and vice versa. Test names and trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders.
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