Five Essential Resources for the Match

If I had to describe the Match in one word, it would be “nauseating.” The residency match is a physically and emotionally taxing months-long marathon that involves dozens of hours of research, many months of audition rotations and lots of travel for interviews. While traveling the country and interviewing at dozens of programs can be fun, it’s also exhausting, time-consuming and not to mention quite a drain on your wallet. (Pro Tip: get a credit card with your favorite airline, because you’re going to rack up some miles).

Doing plenty of research beforehand to find which programs are the best fit will help you decide which programs to apply to, minimizing the time and energy you waste. The information you gather will also come in handy again when you’re making your final rank list. Here were some of the resources I found most helpful while applying for residency:

#5 AAMC Roadmap to Residency

This free 48-page PDF is essentially the user manual for the match. The information it contains is a little basic, but it’s a good place to start. The guide goes through some useful information such as the timeline on which the match takes place, the various types of residency programs, as well as requirements to apply.

Cost: It’s free and no membership is required
Where to get it: AAMC Website

#4 The Successful Match: 200 Rules to Succeed in the Residency Match

The Successful Match is a must-read for all soon-to-be doctors. This nifty booklet earns its 5-star rating on Amazon by laying out a clear and concise roadmap to the entire match process with strong tips for how to navigate each step. Everything from what you need for a successful application to tips on preparing for interviews and what questions to ask is contained within the book’s 400 pages. Best of all, each statement is backed by extensive data from various studies and surveys.

Cost: $10–15 used
Where to get it: Amazon (Pro tip: You don’t really need the 2017 edition, which costs $20 extra, a scruffy old copy will do just fine)

#3 FREIDA Online

The Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Access, or FREIDA Online is an extensive database of GME programs that allows you to search and compare residency programs by specialty, geographic location or keyword. The database also provides basic information such as contact persons for each program and sponsoring institutions. A few programs publish more detailed information such as application requirements, work schedule and educational environment, but most list only the basic information.

Cost: Free, but an AMA login is required
Where to get it: AMA Website

#2 AAMC Report on Residents

The American Association of Medical Colleges publishes this information-packed annual report detailing the characteristics and outcomes of all residents entering the NRMP. This report is essential to look at in the early stages of the residency application process while you’re still deciding on your specialty and the type of program you want. The report details various metrics for residents who matched into each specialty, allowing you to compare your test scores and experiences such as research and volunteering to residents that matched into your prospective specialty that year.

Cost: Free

Where to get it: AAMC Website

#1 Doximity Residency Navigator

Doximity’s Residency Navigator is an exceptional tool that will help you filter through over 4,000 residency programs by specialty, geographic location, characteristics and training environments. You can then sort the results using various criteria including program reputation (obtained by surveying over 52,000 physicians across the country combined with objective outcomes for program grads), research output, program size, and more. You can view programs in a list or on a map, and create a favorites list to keep track of your preferred programs. You can even see residents from each program that went to the same medical school as you, allowing you to connect with them directly through Doximity for information and advice.

Where to get it: Doximity
Cost: Free, but a Doximity login is required

Written by Mazen Elkurd, DO

Mazen is a Third-Year Neurology Resident at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC writing about medicine, healthcare technology and policy.

Follow on Twitter (@MazElkurd) or see Doximity profile.

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