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StudentInMedicine

Vacancies after first iteration?

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Looking at data from past few years regarding R1 vacancies after the first iteration, and I'm surprised to sometimes see leftover spots in competitive specialties. For instance, in the last cycle, after the first iteration, 2 spots in urology at U of Alberta were still open. How does that happen? There were 3 urology applicants that year who went unmatched; is it just because those people didn't rank U of Alberta? Or could the school have rejected these applicants despite having open spots?

I'm just not sure if I should be reading anything into these vacancies, in terms of competitiveness and chances of getting a spot if one was willing to go anywhere in the country for it.

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I’m not sure you have a complete understanding of the match. It’s not as if the program was aware it hadn’t filled all its spots before the first iteration results were released. They program probably incorrectly assumed it had interviewed and ranked enough applicants who had in turn ranked the program high enough for the spots to be filled.  That and/or not enough applicants were interested in the program and matched to more preferred choices. 

In all likelihood, the program probably wished it had ranked more applicants after the results came out. The second iteration is a lot heavier for programs in terms of the sheer number of applications to evaluate from a pool of possibly (but not necessarily) less qualified candidates. 

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7 minutes ago, collegedude22 said:

I’m not sure you have a complete understanding of the match. It’s not as if the program was aware it hadn’t filled all its spots before the first iteration results were released. They program probably incorrectly assumed it had interviewed and ranked enough applicants who had in turn ranked the program high enough for the spots to be filled.  That and/or not enough applicants were interested in the program and matched to more preferred choices. 

In all likelihood, the program probably wished it had ranked more applicants after the results came out. The second iteration is a lot heavier for programs in terms of the sheer number of applications to evaluate from a pool of possibly (but not necessarily) less qualified candidates. 

Do you know why a program might not even rank an applicant? If a program doesn't rank someone after interviewing them, they should be prepared to have unfilled spots and I suppose that means they'd rather have the spot unfilled than to be filled with less-than-ideal candidates. And I'm wondering what's the general consensus on the bar that needs to be met to be considered viable enough to be ranked, even if pretty low. Does it take like a red flag or something to be unranked?

Thanks :)

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16 hours ago, StudentInMedicine said:

Do you know why a program might not even rank an applicant? If a program doesn't rank someone after interviewing them, they should be prepared to have unfilled spots and I suppose that means they'd rather have the spot unfilled than to be filled with less-than-ideal candidates. And I'm wondering what's the general consensus on the bar that needs to be met to be considered viable enough to be ranked, even if pretty low. Does it take like a red flag or something to be unranked?

Thanks :)

If a program decides not to rank an applicant post interview, it's BECAUSE the program would prefer to have an empty spot rather than match that applicant. Most programs plan to rank all applicants they interview unless the interview goes poorly or there is a red flag. 

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As as been said above, for very small programs with 1-2 residents a year, personality and "fit" are hugely important, so if for whatever reason the impression is that you won't be a good fit, they might prefer to not rank someone and risk that position going unfilled, allowing an increased selection in the second round, including international applicants, etc.

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