1. Thank you letters.
Thank you letters are crucial for the match process. They help you identify your interest in a program. A well written thank you letter can show the program director or chairman that you are willing to go the extra mile in order to match at your number 1 position. There are certain key terms that you will want to use in the creation of this letter which can vary from program to program. This can include specific topics that you discussed during your interview, impressions you had about the program, as well as declaration of ties to the area. It is always a good idea to mention how you would benefit the program if they were to choose you in order to incentivise them to match you among their top applicants. If you are unsure if you have written an adequate thank you letter do not worry, you are not alone. There are services that can help you proofread and edit your letter for match readiness.
2. Declaration that they are your number 1.
We often get many questions about when you should tell a program they are your top program, and when you should tell a program that they are number one. Most people tend to tell every program that they are their top program, and this is a valid strategy. This can ensure that you are not burning bridges as you go across the interview trail. Even if you are interviewing in undesirable areas, it is always a good idea to keep options open just in case you match far down your match list. You always want to leave everyone with a favorable perception of you. If a program is you number 1 program, be sure to tell the program director and the chairman that this is the case. These are the two people who matter most during the match process and this will be taken with great consideration. It is not necessary to declare your intent to everyone in the room, but if these two people do not know that you are ranking them number 1 then your declaration will go unheard.
This can differ depending on the competitiveness of your application and your chosen sub-internship program. We recommend that you do one reach sub-internship because it will give you exposure to a highly competitive program and could get you an interview and possibly a spot. The rest of your chosen sub-internships should be done at programs where you think you have a great chance of matching. This will allow you to save time and money, but still have a reach program which will likely be able to give you an interview and a chance of matching.
Make sure to always be prompt, smell fresh, and be eager to learn on a sub-internship. The sub-internship has a tendency to help, but can hurt you if played poorly. Most of the program will forget your name as you leave the sub-internship, as they often have tens of dozens of sub-interns at their institution regularly. But the true power of the sub-internship is when you come back for the interview, and everyone recognizes you. You will gain clout with the program, and when they do their rank list for applicants on your interview day, you will be at the top of the list. But, if you offend even one attending, resident, or program coordinator, they can bring up issues you had during your sub-internship and take you off of their rank list accordingly. That is why it is so important to be at your best every single day while on a sub-internship. We can help you throughout this process as there are many pitfalls that people can encounter. But if this process is played perfectly, you're in.
4. Do mock interviews.
Obtaining a residency all comes down to your interview. Many applicants look great on paper but are ranked low solely because of their interview. You need to be completely prepared for every aspect of your interview from the initial handshake to connecting with the residents and attendings. Mock interviews prepare you to have a prepared responses that can be applied to any difficult question that is asked. Mock interviews enable you to learn how to control the interview environment and use this mastery to direct the interviewers conversation in the direction that you see beneficiation to you. This is a skill that is used by world class negotiators to achieve their desired goals. This is a skill that you can learn and apply to match your number one choice.
5. Have a game plan.
Most students who talk to us are fixated on their step scores. If you have the proper game strategy, and interview practice then your step score can become irrelevant. Programs want people that they would like to work with rather than impersonable yet book smart individuals. This is because they will be in close contact with you for many years. This means that you can have a chance at matching at any location as long as you follow interview etiquette, partake in sub-internships, and impress the correct people. This also signifies that with high step scores you can negate any progress you would have made at a program by acting a certain way to the staff, program director, and residents. Get your game plan today, as it is the only way that you will be able to match your number 1. You should follow your dreams no matter what your grades or USMLE scores. Schedule a free consult below to get help.