And so it begins!
According to the VIRMP website, starting on Oct 12 (that’s next Monday!), all VIRMP internship and residency programs are in and available for review. Take a deep breath!! There will be much information to go through and many program descriptions to read!
You can register at this time if you’d like to. No rush though, you can access all program descriptions regardless.
If you decide to register right off the bat, be sure to select the cheaper application tier to start with. This year the cost hasn’t changed, and you’re looking at $90 for 10 or fewer applications. As you evaluate programs you can always go up to the next level if needed. However, downgrading is not allowed! And since the next tiers are $250 (11-20 applications) and $350 (21 or more), you don’t want to pay up front for slots you might not even use!
Have an idea of potential letter writters? Fantastic!! If not, you should start right away. Honestly, you should have started a while back – these letters are the backbone of your application, and hands down, the single most important factor that commitee members will look into. Not everyone know for sure they want to go into specialty medicine, but if you do, planning starts as early as year 1 of vet school! Check this guest post by The Vetducator, and make sure to check his website as well at http://vetducator.com/. Lot’s of great information there and the bottom line of why we’re sharing our knowledge with you are virtually the same.
I’ve recently read something saying that GPA and class rank are the most important factors of your aplication. I very much disagree with this. Although it’s true that some programs eliminate candidates based on a randomly assigned GPA cut off, others don’t really care much about these until they see the entire application.
You can have a stellar GPA and class rank, but if your letters are not excellent, you’re unlikely to match. On the other hand, an average GPA and class rank paired with really good letters is way more likely to land you a position. You must remember that you’re applying against other very capable candidates and the competition is real, especially for residencies! A low or just average GPA and class rank, although not the most important thing, will certainly impact your chances! Make sure to read our other posts on the Match and our eBook.
Next, take a look at the documents needed to complete your application. You’ll have plenty of time to get everything ready but it’s good to start working on it from day one.
Incomplete applications will basically be thrown away and will not be considered by selection committees!
No program applications this early in the game
DO NOT apply to and rank any programs just yet! You’ll make mistakes and use up valuable spots!
This is something to do closer to the December deadline when your application package is almost complete and you have reviewed the programs you’re interested in!
I can’t stress how much I like making notes regarding each program. This will make your life so much easier!
A simple “things I like” vs “things I don’t like” and a Yes / No / Maybe applied to each program description you read is going to be very helpful when the time comes to make decisions. If you’re not sure about a program just mark it as a maybe and return to it later. These notes will save you time when trying to decide which programs you’re applying to. Later on, when it’s time to submit the rank order list, these will again be very helpful.
For any programs you marked as yes or maybe, you can start contacting the program directors to obtain the email addresses of current intern/resident to start getting some inside information from the very beginning. This will give them time to reply and maximize the information you get on the programs you’re interested in! Remember they are as busy as or busier than you depending on your current position!
Now start reading those program descriptions!
Make sure to check all our posts on the Match for additional information and tips.
Want to a step by step, in-depth guide to the VIRMP matching program? Don’t miss out on our eBook, How to Navigate the Matching Program.
The Vetducator says
Thanks for the shout out! I absolutely agree with you that GPA/class rank is not the most essential thing about your application. I also agree about making notes on the programs which interest you. I made a table. 🙂 http://vetducator.com/how-to-choose-your-internship/
Thanks for sharing your experience and knowlege! It’s good to have others helping out – I wish this information was around when I was applying back in the day!