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Can I Match After Not Matching?

group of successful young doctors with program director

Written by David Lombardino  |  Updated March 16, 2024

What Do I Do if I Don’t Match?

I have seen it firsthand: the range of emotions you can be feeling, from frustration and confusion to self-doubt and despair, when the results come back and you have not matched.

I know the substantial effort it takes as an international medical graduate (IMG) to get ECFMG-certified, sufficiently high scores on the Steps, and the clinical and research experience to make your application compelling, all while needing visa sponsorship.

And even when you don’t need visa sponsorship.

So what do you do next? Is it possible to match next year if you did not match this year? What do you do if you don’t match?

Why Didn’t I Match?

One of the first questions you likely asked yourself when you didn’t match is: Why didn’t I match? What did I do wrong?

While you may be looking at one single answer to this question, the answer is more likely a combination of factors. For example:

  • Did you get sufficient interviews to match? If so, how were your interview skills?
  • Did you send enough applications to get interviews but did not get any, or got only very few? If so, did you meet the program’s minimum requirements? How was your personal statement?

When assessing your application, it is important to take an honest, objective perspective across all aspects of your application. For example:

  • Did you need visa sponsorship, or did you have a green card or U.S. citizenship?
  • Did you have Step 3 (and a good score on it)?
  • Does the program have a history of ranking IMGs high enough to match (regardless of whether it claims to be an IMG-friendly program)?

group of successful young doctors

After covering those basics, you should go even deeper, with questions like:

  • How is the quality of each of your application documents, including your MSPE, LORs, personal statement and ERAS Application (selected experiences, geographic preferences, etc.)?
  • What is the quality of the experiences you include in your ERAS CV?
  • What are your red flags, from the program director’s perspective?

And did you apply on time?

While some of these questions can be easy to answer in a self-assessment (e.g., Did you apply on time?), others will be more difficult, like how does a program director see your application? And what changes can you make for the next cycle to show program directors what makes you a compelling candidate?

Are you looking to match after not matching? If so, you’ll want to follow a developed to address the issues that prevented you from matching previously. That’s where DLA Editors & Proofers comes in.

Led by David Lombardino, DLA Editors & Proofers employs a team of residency application experts to help applicants match to medical residency after previously not matching. With their expertise across many specialties, programs and unique candidate circumstances, DLA Editors & Proofers develops personalized strategies tailored to address the specific issues present in your application to increase your chances of matching in the next cycle.

So if you are looking to to match after not matching, take your time—use DLA Editors & Proofers to give your residency application the edge it needs to show program directors what makes you a good fit for their programs. Try DLA Editors & Proofers today, and take the first step toward matching into residency.

How Can I Improve My Chances for the Next Cycle?

In the majority of cases of going unmatched, there are key steps you can take to improve your application and chances of matching in the next cycle. And it all starts with assessing your application.

“What are the barriers that kept me from getting more interviews? What can I do between now and when applications open for the next cycle to reduce or remove those barriers and show program directors what makes me a compelling candidate?”

Beyond doing this self-assessment, try reaching out to programs where you applied to see if you can get any feedback on how to improve your application for next year. This is always a good step to take, as it may lead to some valuable insight, though do keep in mind that most of your inquiries will go unanswered.

The next step to take is to hire a professional consultant who can provide you an in-depth, objective assessment of your application and a tailored strategy for addressing the specific issues that prevented you from matching last time.

You have invested so much in coming this far in your journey. Why not take that additional step to join the many who have successfully matched after failing to match previously?

Posted in  Applicants
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