2011 Match: The Game has Changed, but the Players didn’t notice

There are three more medical schools graduating their first class this year in the United States. The existing schools expanded their classes four years ago and some are coming out now. But this little fact has escaped most of the applicants. People who go unmatched are often like those who die of cancer. You figure it is really sad, but it won’t happen to you and in any event, at least not today.

Yet, yesterday, I had to pare down those we were inviting for interview because we have already seen a LOT of people and the program director is getting fatigued. We chopped off all IMG with scored below 90 and chopped off all US grads who ever failed or had scores below 80.

What does this mean? It is getting harder and people don’t know.

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11 Responses to “2011 Match: The Game has Changed, but the Players didn’t notice”

  1. limopa Says:

    90 for img and 80 for us grads… liking the bias. what’s the point of having a standardized test if not to put everybody at the same level?

    • Conrad Fischer Says:

      It does not put everybody at the same level because there is more than just the test. Such as, for instance, communication ability. so, there is no point in feeling resentful about not getting equal treatment for exactly an equal grade. There is considerably more involved than only the grade, and unfortunately , with 54 carribbean schools, some of which have no meaningful clinical rotations and exist ‘on-line’ you have to see that the overall quality of schools is not the same. The LCME for US schools assures far more than just USMLE grades

  2. Jack Says:

    It is getting harder and people don’t know.
    Yeah i guess you should find ways to make your blog more popular!!

    • Conrad Fischer Says:

      It is objectively harder because the number of US grads has finally starting moving up for the first time in years. As for the blog, it is a matter of time availability. WIth the Step 2 CK book out tuesday, and the Internal Medicine version out in February, it is hard to write on a blog all the time too.

  3. Aa Says:

    Can you reconcile to yourself that this is the right thing to do ? Well, is the program director getting fatigued a good enough reason ? And be able to sleep through peacefully because a 99/90/cs 2nd attempt is definitely absolutely worse than everybody else ?

  4. Faeza Says:

    I’ve always seen it as a gamble. You just don’t know until you give it a shot. Then you hear and know of all sorts of people who got through despite all kinds of odds. So it may be getting harder….and I may know of it, but I’m sure as hell not giving up….all I’m hoping for is that the person across the table sees my potential and gives me my chance.

  5. Alaa Says:

    Hello,
    I am an international medical student and i will be applying for residency in 2011, I am really concerned that IMG chances are decreasing, and its getting worse every year!!
    I read this article:
    http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343%2809%2900680-9/fulltext#sec7

    It predicts that by 2012, the US graduates number will exceed the number of available residency positions!! and I quote:
    “As a result, unless the number of first-year positions in GME training increases, not enough positions will exist to accommodate all US medical graduates by the year 2012”
    can I please ask what is your opinion about this Dr.Fischer?
    How should i as an IMG take this news? Is it the time to stop dreaming about residency in USA and start looking for alternatives!!!!

    • Conrad Fischer Says:

      It will take longer than just by 2012. It iwll take till 2015, but on the current trajectory, the number of US students will be planned to match the number of residency positions, but I think they will expand the residency positions in two years. HOWEVER there is NO NO NO current confirmed plan to expand the positions, You must get through the door NOW!

  6. isotonic Says:

    Hi Dr. Fischer,

    I recently stumbled across your work and blog during my studies for Step 1. I must say that I am truly amazed to see a Doctor like you, who has not allowed his ego to dictate his morals and still stay true to one of the highest forms of civil service.

    I’m an IMG, but American born. I know the competition is tough for IMGs and even harder with all the recent (questionable) Caribbean medicals schools popping up. Would you be able to elaborate more on what IMGs will be facing in the next couple of years when it comes to Residency? Can you give more details on the average cutoff score of 90 for IMG- more specifically, what is the 3 digit score?

    I know it all comes down to hard work, ethics and attitude. But I also like to be prepared somewhat for what’s to come.

    When I get back to the States I will definitely be picking up a copy of your book.

    You’re a totally cool dude & keep up the awesome work!!!

    Isotonic

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