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Pre Match Offers

October 18, 2011

My good friend has been lucky. My friend has gotten 18 interviews. My friend is an IMG and outstanding candidate with excellent scores, an MPH from a big US university and a track record of very strong research and has US clinical experience as a medical student.

My friend now has two pre-match offers. This is the last year of the pre-match offer as the policy is changing next year which is a good thing for the applicants. (See my post on pre-match)

Here is the dilemma. Does my friend take a pre-match offer when interviews have not begun for university programs??? My friend is strong enough to match at a university program in my opinion.

One program gave my friend a month to decide. The other program gave my friend 24 hours!!! Both of these programs are not my friend’s top choice among those that my friend interviewed. In fact, if my friend ranked those programs they would be in the bottom half. Not bad places but my friend has interviews at several university programs.

I always tell people to accept the pre-match if the program has a record of getting people into fellowships that you might want to pursue. If the program has never had a graduate go into a fellowship program then you might want to take your chances with the match. Alternatively if you have very few interviews you might just take what you are given.

Regarding my friend, at 18 interviews the probability of matching is > 80% but it is not 100%.
My friend has several more interviews scheduled. I told my friend to go on the interviews to see if there are any more pre-match offers.

If there are no more pre-match offers I told my friend to accept the pre-match offer at the program where residents get fellowships even though it is probably not the best “match.”  Having a spot that is an OK fit is better than not matching at all.  Once my friend is in fellowship the location of the residency will no longer matter.

The views expressed in this post are those of Kenneth Christopher, MD and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dr. Christopher’s employer Partners HealthCare.

Categories: Interview
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