Monday, March 3, 2014

The Waiting Game

You certified your rank list last month, and now you're anxiously awaiting your Match results. You're hopeful or worried, but most of all, you're determined to succeed and want to be prepared. What can you do?

1) Update your personal statement. You don't need to make sweeping changes, but you wrote this back in the summer or fall. What have you done since then that you wish the residency directors knew about you? Remember, your ERAS Common Application Form is certified, meaning that it can't be changed or updated in any way. So if you have recently completed an observership or externship, had a paper accepted for publication, participated in a volunteer experience, or learned a new language, adding a new paragraph just before the conclusion of your personal statement might be the best way to share this information. Try starting with "Recently, I..."

2) Transmit your newest USMLE scores. Since you originally applied, perhaps you finally took Step 2 (or if you're an international graduate, Step 3). Depending on the options you checked in ERAS last fall, the residency programs might not have your most recent scores. If you think that's the case, go to the Documents section of ERAS and look for the USMLE Transcript tab. Open that page, then click to "Retransmit" your scores, which will also transmit any new scores (as well as information about recent failed attempts) to all of your programs.

3) Transmit your updated medical school transcript, and maybe even a newer MSPE. If you're still in medical school, you were probably disappointed that so few grades and evaluations appeared on your original school documents when you first applied. Have a copy of your current transcript scanned into ERAS (after checking it for accuracy, of course), usually through your medical school's Registrar. After that, talk to your dean's office, and find out the policy for having an addendum added to your original MSPE. The addition of your newest evaluations might boost the value of your application...if your dean's office can prepare the addendum quickly.

4) Consider getting the support that you need for SOAP or during next year's match. I would be happy to assess your candidacy for residency, so please contact me for a free consultation. Share some information about your application and interviews with me, and also include your personal statement, CAF, list of USMLE scores and attempts, and LORs and MSPE if you have access to them.

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