An email written to the Class of 2009 from Dr. Nancy Nielsen
This is not intended to freak you out about matching, as the vast majority of you will get a
nice "You matched" email on 3/16. But a few of you have asked how it works if you don't. Here's the way it goes.
Noon on Monday: email notification that you didn't match. Or that you matched to a prelim year (if you listed some on your primary list but not to any of the advanced programs you applied to), or that you matched to an advanced program but not to a prelim program. In the latter two cases, I will be told where you matched for the one program, so you have some geographic guidance in scrambling for what you need (either the prelim or the advanced position you're lacking). Note that I will know that day how many openings there are in each field and the broad geographic location - no specifics till 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday. For example, 3 openings in psych in the Northeast.
Monday afternoon: I meet with each unmatched student, separately. We go over the possible scenarios for the scramble, and the student then gathers any new documents needed. For example, suppose you didn't match in Surgery and you decide to scramble for a position in Family Med, you'll need to madly get someone in Fam Med to write you at least one LOR, right? You'll also need to write a personal statement directed toward a career in Fam Med rather than Surgery. So there's work you will need to do after we meet. And the preparation of the documents is critical.
Tuesday morning: you come with a team of people (two more is good, three is also OK, more than that is just confusing) to help you. EVERYONE should bring a cell phone! We go through the drill as a group (no shame, no worries about privacy, this is Team UB!), as there are very important directions and advice you will each need to negotiate this successfully. We will give you copies of your documents, as faxes will be at a premium and your "team" will be helping you on the phone.
Tuesday: 11:30 a.m. I find out the exact openings. We duplicate it and give the right section to each team (so if you're looking for a Fam Med position, I give your team that section of the openings, for example). Your team disperses to search FREIDA for the descriptions of the programs that have openings.
Tuesday: Noon: you begin calling programs and sending your documents electronically or by fax. Then we all help you make decisions as programs do phone interviews and hopefully) offer you a contract. We have a location chart in OME, so that when the offer comes in, we can find you! That includes bathroom breaks - you let us know. We will feed you lunch.
Wed: If everyone isn't matched Tuesday afternoon, the same thing goes on Wed. It will all work out.
Thurs: Noon: Match ceremony!
Important: If you find out that you matched on Monday, please be prepared to help out a classmate who didn't. That's what friends do. It really is important. You will be surprised at the comeraderie that develops.