denialism blog : Choosing a medical specialty III – applying, interviewing and matching
Aside from taking 4th year medical school classes it’s also the time of year that medical students who plan to graduate in 2009 like me are applying to residency programs across the country. This is an interesting process and one that many people outside of medicine are unfamiliar with, and quite surprised by. For one, did you know that we don’t have final say on where we train in residency but that the decision is made by a computer?
It’s true. The process is called “the Match” and it’s a time of great excitement and anxiety for 4th year medical students. For one, there are far more applicants than there are residency positions around the country – largely due to application from foreign applicants. Also, depending on which field you’re applying, there may be many more applicants for each given position than there are positions. So let’s look at some of the match data from the National Residency Match Program that they publish each year Charting Outcomes in the Match 2008 – PDF to give you an idea of what a 4th year medical student is facing. Table 1 of the report is enough to give many students palpitations.