Match day is right around the corner (tomorrow, 2/10/2020), and if you've applied, your stress levels are sky high! You're about to find out where you're going to spend the next year (or three for residencies). On the other hand, what if you don't Match? What will you do?
Stress levels are likely even higher for those of you that didn't get contacted by programs for interviews. You submitted your application and heard nothing but crickets. Or you were the one asking about interviews with programs you're interested in, regardless of if you ended up getting them interviews or not.
Meanwhile, some of your class/intern mates got contacted directly asking if they wanted to chat. Doesn't feel very good does it?
Does it mean I won't match?
The short and simple answer is YOU DON'T KNOW!
You can say that if a program contacted you directly, it means they are interested in your application and want to know more about you. This is normal.
It is also normal for you to be the one contacting programs asking about interviews. Make sure to carefully read the program description first! You don't want to email a program that clear cut states no interviews are offered! This would show poor attention to detail and will likely lower your chances with them.
Interviews don't mean you'll match
Yep, you read that right.
The simple fact you had interviews doesn't necessarily mean you'll get a position coming match day. Similarly, having few to no interviews, and no one contacting you directly doesn't mean you won't match.
I'll share my own experience when I was applying for residencies. You likely know that I didn't match the first year I applied. If you didn't know, this is a reminder that not matching doesn't mean you're not a good candidate and/or unworthy of obtaining a residency. Every year great candidates go unmatched. If you're still unsure how the Match algorithm works, read this post: The VIRMP algorithm explained.
When I didn't match, I felt like crap. Especially when others you know got positions and are obviously very happy!
IT's not necessarily you. It's the algorithm
Nothing really prepares you for the feeling of inadequacy, and the fact that "no one wanted you" or "deemed you worthy of training".
The thing is, that's not really the case. The Match algorithm has a lot to do with it. This is assuming you have a really good application. If your application is below average, all bets are off. Read our other blog posts on the Match if you don't don't know what to do and what truly matters to get a top notch application. You can also check our VIRMP guide for even more details.
I worked to further improve my application and fast forward one year, I matched at Cornell University for residency. Did I apply there the year before? Absolutely.
Both times, I was not contacted by any program requesting an interview. I was the one contacting programs for both phone and in-person interviews. Remember, some programs do not contact any applicants at all. Every program is different, and what truly matters is how good your application is. Don't despair if you didn't hear from anyone.
Lastly, make sure to read this post about Match day. You want to be prepared in the event you don't match. There's no time to lose if that's the case! We also have a full chapter on what you should do in case you don't match and have to scramble.
The Vetducator says
This is such great advice! We had in our position description, “Please contact for an interview.” Three of our applicants didn’t contact us, so we didn’t rank them. Read the position description. This is your LIFE we’re talking about! You can’t take a few minutes to read the detailed description?!? Then we (and others) probably don’t want you. Also, great point about not freaking out. You can’t affect the rankings now, so don’t worry about it. Prepare for the scramble.