Are you done or close to finishing your VIRMP application? Or are you procrastinating until the very last day?
Either way, make sure you have everything ready to go at least one day before the deadline! Avoid any last minute stress!
What to do and double check at this stage of the game?
Start by logging in to VIRMP – you should see checkmarks next to each application component you have completed so far. You can use our Application Checklist along with this screen to make sure you’re not forgetting or overlooking something. It’s free! Click here if you’re interested!
Another way to check the documents/information you submitted is to download your application packet. This will be updated as the VIRMP receives documents on your behalf. This packet is what programs receive to evaluate applicants and decide who they are going to rank. The difference is that you won’t see your own letters of recommendation.
It is crucial you double and triple check that all the information is correct, has no typos and that the uploaded documents are the final versions! It is easy to upload the wrong version if you have been receiving feedback on your CV and/or personal statement and have multiple versions on your computer!
Have your references finalized your letters?
If not, there’s no reason to panic, there’s still a decent amount of time until the deadline and most letter writers don’t finish them until closer to it. Remember that not only they are possibly on the clinic floor, but likely have multiple letters to write. The VIRMP sends them reminders as to when the letters are due. We think it’s always a good idea to send them a friendly reminder – simply ask if there’s anything else you can provide for your letter! If you already gave them your CV and personal statement (as you should have by now!), they’ll likely say they have everything. Regardless, you just confirmed that they have everything to write you a stellar letter, and you are on their radar again.
Is checking in with your references really necessary?
Probably not – It is unusual for people not to finish letters on time. However, I’ve seen applications over the years without the required three letters of recommendation. And honestly, all it takes is to see that in one application! That candidate has absolutely no chance of matching. The application is immediately sent into the “no” pile and it’s game over!
Have you decided which programs you are applying to?
Again, there’s still time to do so if you’re undecided on a few. However, you should apply to the ones you’re sure about! Don’t wait till the very end, as you never know what can happen – laptop dies, VIRMP servers overload, etc. Why add more stress to the whole thing?
You must also remember that, if unsure about a program, you should go ahead and apply. If you change you mind, simply don’t rank the program. Read the following post for more information: Applying vs Ranking a VIRMP program: What’s the difference?
We’ve dedicated a full chapter of our book, How to Navigate the Veterinary Matching Program, on how to read program descriptions and how to assess if they’d be a good fit for you. Check it out! Plus, you get access to our exclusive Facebook group where everything about the Match is discussed!
Did you email house officers?
If you did, great! If not, it’s probably time to start so you can have some replies before it’s time to rank programs in January. Information you get from house officers currently at the programs you’re applying to allow you to potentially decide if you’re a match made in heaven or not so much! You can also compare the program description with what they’re telling you. This information can make you change your rank order list quite a bit.
Do not ever submit your ranking order list this early in the game!
I’m going to repeat myself here: no matter what you’re thinking, do not rank programs or finalize your rank list even if the system lets you!! Remember that applying to programs and ranking programs are two completely different things! Make sure to read the upcoming blog post: Applying vs Ranking a VIRMP program: what’s the difference?
You are welcome to make a presumptive ranking list on a piece of paper or in your computer but nothing more than that. In addition to the information you are yet to obtain, there might be programs that drop out of the match for example. You want to make the best decisions while having the most information about the programs you’ll eventually rank.
And remember, you will only be able to match with a program you rank as long as they have ranked you as well.
Feel free to share with the community what your struggles with the Match have been by leaving a comment below! We can all learn more about it using each other’s experiences – this is exactly why we’re sharing ours on the Blog!