In many parts of the world, March is a month of new beginnings. That premise certainly holds true in the world of medical students. Each March, the United States and Canada conduct a national residency match program that pairs fourth year and graduate medical students with residency training programs, a critical component to becoming licensed to practice.
The match process utilizes an algorithm that attempts to connect an applicant’s top ranked choice with an institution that has indicated an interest in the applicant. This results in students securing highly coveted placements in a specialty and at an institution where they will begin the next phase of their physician training.
To be successful in this highly competitive process, applicants must start planning their approach years in advance. The strongest applications are those that have been constructed over time and include activities and initiatives that set a candidate apart from the other capable, well prepared candidates. While top board scores can get an applicant in the door, getting a seat at the table requires sparkling letters of recommendation, eloquent personal statements, descriptive dean’s letters and, in many cases, an ability to showcase their skills in front of the right people. The outcomes this year are a testament to our students efforts, education, and overall match strategy.
|University of South Alabama College of Medicine||Internal Medicine||Alabama|
|Kendall Regional Medical Center Ctr||Anesthesiology||Florida|
|Ocala Health System||Internal Medicine||Florida|
|Med Center Central Georgia/Mercer Univ. SOM||General Surgery||Georgia|
|Med Center Central Georgia/Mercer Univ. SOM||Internal Medicine||Georgia|
|Med Center Central Georgia/Mercer Univ. SOM||Pediatrics||Georgia|
|Cook County-Stroger Hospital||Anesthesiology||Illinois|
|Weiss Memorial Hospital||Internal Medicine||Illinois|
|Deaconess Hospital||Family Medicine||Indiana|
|Louisiana State University SOM||Family Med/Rural-Bogalusa||Louisiana|
|University of Maryland Medical Center||Surgery-Preliminary||Maryland|
|St. Josephs Regional Medical Center||Family Medicine||New Jersey|
|St. Michael s Medical Center||Internal Medicine||New Jersey|
|Bronx- Lebanon Hospital||Psychiatry||New York|
|Harlem Hospital Center||Internal Medicine||New York|
|Stony Brook Hospital||Surgery-Preliminary||New York|
|Wilson Memorial Regional Medical Center||Medicine-Primary||New York|
|Wyckoff Heights Medical Center||Internal Medicine||New York|
|Case Western University||Family Medicine/Preventive Medicine||Ohio|
|Good Samaritan Hospital||Internal Medicine||Ohio|
|St. Elizabeth Northeast Ohio Medical Univ.||Family Medicine||Ohio|
|Drexel University Hahnemann Univ. Hospital||Internal Medicine||Pennsylvania|
|Eastern Virginia Medical School||Pediatrics||Virginia|
|University of Calgary||Internal Medicine||Alberta|
|University of Manitoba||Internal Medicine||Manitoba|
|Doctors Hospital||Family Medicine||Nassau|
Highlights shared by this year’s newly matched residents included:
Matching their top-ranked program
Matching to a program in their home state or province
Having a Trinity alum or faculty connection recommendation
Getting in, Competing to Win
With 42,370 registered applicants vying for 30,750 positions, how can a graduate of a Caribbean medical school compete against a graduate of a U.S. medical school? By selecting a program and an environment that would enable them to thrive. While having an average MCAT score may be a barrier to US or Canadian medical school admission, it is not a measure of someone’s ability to become, nor potential as, a physician.
The trendline in the chart below demonstrates that students with MCAT scores may also have higher USMLE Step 1 results. But it’s critical to recognize that it’s not a gating factor and it does not limit where your drive, perseverance, and focus can take you. Students at Trinity benefit from the faculty, tools, and curriculum that were put in place by a leader with over sixteen years as the head of a U.S. medical school.
In the chart below, you can see that it’s what you achieve in medical school that truly counts. What you’re seeing is a cross-sectional survey of applicants in the 2016 residency match programs (U.S. and Canada), distributed by their incoming MCAT score, co-illustrating their Step 1 scores, and successful matches (the white check marks). It’s clear there’s some correlation, but there’s no hard rule.
After your first day in medical school, your MCAT score no longer looms as a barrier to what you can achieve. The personal attention, home-away-from-home, and collaborative environment at Trinity enable students to reach their full potential. Social media groups, forums, and even campus pre-med groups will be full of people saying that there are hard and fast barriers and signs to “give up” if certain benchmarks aren’t achieved before students even go to medical school.
We’d like to remind you, once again, that each white check mark represents residency positions earned within each MCAT range.
There are no barriers, only different paths, some more difficult than others, that students can take to their own future.
Today, one in every four practicing physicians in the U.S. and Canada is an International Medical Graduate. If you have the focus, drive, and support of a strong MD program, you too have the tools to join the health care system as a licensed physician. Ask yourself, is your ultimate goal to get into a U.S./Canadian medical school, or is your goal to become a doctor? If it’s to become a doctor, what are you waiting for?