Do you know how the match works?
Every September, Match season begins and stress levels increase all the way until the December application deadline. However, some portions of your application must be planned well in advance - remember that great letters of recommendation are the single most important factor for success!
Today we'll look at how the Match algorithm works since this is always a confusing part of the whole process.
Can the virmp website help?
Absolutely, make sure you read all their material on the VIRMP info section!
The Match process is done by a complicated mathematical algorithm. Luckily, you don't have to have a deep knowledge of it to be successful.
You can think of the Match as a set of multiple marriage proposals:
You propose to your favorite program for an internship or residency (ie. the program you ranked first); the program accepts you (assuming they ranked you) if there'ss still an open position. However, they still can decline your offer if a better candidate comes along (ie. that they ranked higher than you).
If no better candidate is present, you get the position. If a program didn't rank you, or a better candidate came along, you then propose to your second favorite program and so on until you either matched, or ran out of proposals (ie. programs in your ranking list).
As you can deduct from the diagram above, the candidate perspective is actually quite simple. See some examples below:
1.If you ranked 5 programs, and assuming you were ranked #1 by all of them, you will match to the program you ranked #1. You always match to the program you ranked highest, assuming the program also ranked you highest, or when all other candidates the same program ranked have already matched elsewhere.
2.If you ranked the same 5 programs, but only program #5 ranked you, you will only be able to match to that program. If they also didn't rank you, you will go unmatched.
3.If you ranked 10 programs, and #4, #8 and #9 ranked you, the algorithm will tentatively match you with #4 first. If you were ranked #2 by the program, and the person they ranked #1 comes along, you will get removed and be offered a position with program #8 (you can't match with your #5-7 choice because they didn't rank you to begin with). If program #8 doesn't work out (higher ranked candidate comes along), you will then be paired with program #9. If you are the highest ranked candidate that program chose (or the highest of the available candidates), the position is yours.
Only rank programs you want to match with!
Ranking more programs (ie. 35 vs 10) won't necessarily give you a higher probability of matching. The above process will repeat itself more times, but there's no guarantee of a better outcome!
You should always rank programs based on your own preference. Your chances of matching are not lowered by the number of programs you rank.