Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
westcoastgirl

My Experiences Being Unmatched

Recommended Posts

There's a big difference between medical school admission and CaRMS. In the former ~10-15% of students make it through each cycle (many of them repeat applicants), while in the latter ~90% of students match (almost all going through CaRMS for the first time). 

The criteria CaRMS applicants are evaluated on are highly subjective. Doing well on an elective/LORs often depends on your preceptor. Getting publications/research out depends much more on "who you know" rather than how hard you work. Undeniably, working hard and smart will significantly improve your chances and while I do agree that controllable factors play a larger role than uncontrollable ones, it's it's not hard to see how someone could get unlucky (e.g. having research projects fall through, getting tough preceptors, etc.) and end up unmatched.

 

27 minutes ago, saskgrad001 said:

I think what hamham is highlighting is that for unmatched applicants, there are aspects of their application that they can improve on relative to their competition for a particular specialty. Just to sideline a bit, if someone didn't get into medical school, it's usually not all based on luck, there are always aspects that someone can improve on i.e. research etc. Similarily, same goes for CaRMS. Also, the number of interviews a med applicant gets is largely indicative on how good their application ranks.

Amichel, just out of curiosity, did you get interviews to all the schools/programs you applied to for CaRMS? More importantly, did you get interviews to all the schools you did electives at?

Not trying to be mean, but I do agree with hamham, that basing a failure all on luck is not realistic in my opinion. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, hamham said:

Indeed, the number of interviews one gets is usually testimony of the strength of his/her application. Most of the unmatched students I know had only 3-4 interviews out of the 10-12 programs that they apply to.

Again, going unmatched is awful, and I only want to help future students avoid this mess if possible. That's why I tried to empahsize on self-awareness and the need to back up. 

I'm not going to continue this discussion, but I will say that this was not me. 

I had 10 interviews out of 14 programs.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, 1D7 said:

There's a big difference between medical school admission and CaRMS. In the former ~10-15% of students make it through each cycle (many of them repeat applicants), while in the latter ~90% of students match (almost all going through CaRMS for the first time). 

The criteria CaRMS applicants are evaluated on are highly subjective. Doing well on an elective/LORs often depends on your preceptor. Getting publications/research out depends much more on "who you know" rather than how hard you work. Undeniably, working hard and smart will significantly improve your chances, but it's pretty obvious that it's entirely possible to get unlucky (e.g. having research projects fall through, getting tough preceptors, etc.)

 

I'm not stating that there is no element of luck (i.e. who you know), but saying that matching is all based on luck is unrealistic. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, JohnGrisham said:

This is not going to turn out well.

I don't know how it's going to turn out, but I'm peacing out for a few days! This forum is usually a pretty cool, supportive place but this has crossed a serious line for me during a time in my life that is already pretty terrible! I'm all for constructive discussion, but this isn't it  

Bye for now y'all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, amichel said:

I'm not going to continue this discussion, but I will say that this was not me. 

I had 10 interviews out of 14 programs.  

 

Your previous post states otherwise (see below):

 

"I'm starting to freak out as all the interviews for my specialty are out now and I only got about 30-40% of the programs I applied to. Got rejected at 3/4 places I did an elective at even though I had good evaluations and letters from those electives.

Thought I had a strong application - guess not. Starting to really consider the possibility of going unmatched now. I have 6 interviews but 2 are for programs with only 1-2 spots."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, saskgrad001 said:

Your previous post states otherwise (see below):

 

"I'm starting to freak out as all the interviews for my specialty are out now and I only got about 30-40% of the programs I applied to. Got rejected at 3/4 places I did an elective at even though I had good evaluations and letters from those electives.

Thought I had a strong application - guess not. Starting to really consider the possibility of going unmatched now. I have 6 interviews but 2 are for programs with only 1-2 spots."

Yah I freaked out for a bit early on!! (Like most people I know!)  Turned out okay in the end interview wise. Some of the interviews ended up coming out in waves so got a few more and I got offered 1 more after the fact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, JohnGrisham said:

This is not going to turn out well.

Sometimes, the truth hurts. Getting someone who has been so successful in life to acknowledge an inconvenient truth (that he/she may not be as good as others) can be heartbreaking. This is also the basis for them to blame their failures solely on lack of luck. Denial is the immature psychological defense mechanism that unfortunately, has accounted for many going unmatched over the years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not one to frequently post in the forums (I am more of a lurker), but this conversation is one that I feel pretty passionate about. 

This thread seems to have started as a supportive thread for students who have gone unmatched, whether it was through one or both iterations. I think that it is very important to have such to show support to our colleagues and friends. That being said, the way that this conversation has derailed is upsetting to see. It is easy to talk about matching and CaRMS academically and comfortably from the position of one who matched. I think that this has lead to some in the forum forgetting that we are talking to our colleagues who, very understandably, may be more emotionally invested in the topic. The reality is that when ~3000 CMGs apply through CaRMS and ~150 don't match in first iteration (https://www.carms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Table_1_Summary_of_Match_Results_English.pdf), the problem is obviously going to be multifactorial. Sure, some individuals won't match because they had a bad reference or poor interviews, but some non-negligible percentage of unmatched applicants had excellent references, a fair number of decent interviews, and fair prospects. Yet, these outlier candidates are branded as 'not good enough' or 'flawed' in what amounts to an information vacuum. That's a ridiculous assault on logic and you should consider rethinking your position on this subject. We shouldn't make unmatched applicants in a heartbreaking situation feel worse because we think we understand an incredibly complex process better than they do. 

Quote

I am lucky to have matched to my first-choice specialty.

Hamham, you attribute your matching to your first choice to luck? But someone stating that, for a lot of unmatched applicants, it comes down to luck is deluding themselves? I am having trouble with your logic here. You seem to think that you are somehow helping by pointing out to amichel that they are unmatched for a reason. But I fail to see how you talking to one student about their experience going unmatched and implying that they are an unlikeable person is helpful. I agree with amichel that the anonymity of the forums can lead to hurtfulness. You state that you sympathize with people who have gone unmatched, yet you go on to try to enlighten them that other people are "better" than they are. This attitude contributes to the idea out there that doctors have a 'god complex.' I am sure you worked hard to get to where you are, but the fact that things worked out for you and you were fortunate enough to match to your first choice in no way makes you better than those who did not match. You mention that your posts here are in an attempt to help future applicants - with that in mind, you may want to consider a more appropriate context for your help. I don't follow your logic in posting in a thread in which many already unmatched applicants are discussing their experiences to pretend that that helps future applicants. 

If you think for a minute that unmatched individuals don't do some serious self-scrutinization, you are deluded. Knowing unmatched applicants personally, I can assure you that the first question they ask is "what is wrong with me?." This is a system that stigmatizes and penalizes people for going unmatched and then goes on to refuse to provide feedback as to the reasons why, and I have a fairly obvious problem with that. If you would seriously like to 'help' people not go unmatched, I think a more realistic approach is to have an open and honest dialogue about the issues that occur in the system, rather than placing all of the blame on people who are going through one of the worst experiences of their professional life. 

CaRMS is a flawed process, and most people I have spoken to about it seem to feel that way. It is the process that we currently have and must work with, but it is certainly flawed and there is a large component of luck to it, which you seem to acknowledge in part in your posts. Knowing the people in my class who did not match, I can honestly say that it could have been anyone going unmatched this year. While there will always be some students with 'red flags' who go unmatched and you may be able to attribute reasons to it, that was not the norm at my school this year by any means. I count myself very lucky to have matched to one of my top choices, and I feel that I could certainly have been in a different position had it not been for luck and subjective variables. The CaRMS process is incredibly subjective and I think that dismissing luck in it is absurd.

Saskgrad001 - really? Trolling through someones post history and posting it as if their concerned posts MID INVITES somehow means that they got what they deserved when they went unmatched? You somehow convinced yourself that behaviour bolstered the idea that you have any sympathy for those who didn't match? 

I have so much more I would love to say on the topic, but I am at a bit of a loss in articulating how disturbing I find it that a thread that was intended to support those going through an awful process has been turned into a personal inquisition into one individual who had the BAD LUCK of being in that position. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, amichel said:

I don't know how it's going to turn out, but I'm peacing out for a few days! This forum is usually a pretty cool, supportive place but this has crossed a serious line for me during a time in my life that is already pretty terrible! I'm all for constructive discussion, but this isn't it  

Bye for now y'all. 

Good idea, I think sometimes people forget there's a difference between bluntness and rudeness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, hamham said:

Sometimes, the truth hurts. Getting someone who has been so successful in life to acknowledge an inconvenient truth (that he/she may not be as good as others) can be heartbreaking. This is also the basis for them to blame their failures solely on lack of luck. Denial is the immature psychological defense mechanism that unfortunately, has accounted for many going unmatched over the years.

Alright relax, your tact is not currently present. I think you're targeting the wrong people. I'll be the first to agree whole heartedly with you, but this isn't the way nor are you doing it in an appropriate manner.

They have made better arguments then you. If you dont think there is just as much luck in carms as there is getting into medical school, well that is a grand delusion.  CaRMs is far from being objective like NRMP down south. Having said that, I think carms is perfectly fine. I dont blame carms the algorithm or process itself. The vast majority match. The system is working just fine, nothing is ever 100% and people need not kid themselves. Additionally, it is the inputs of the system that need adjusting (either cut med student enrollment or modify residency spots with an increase... Or reversal of decreases), as well as ensuring students have expectations tempered. If you dont like FM, or primary care for that matter..well you may be in for a rude awakening when the dices roll. There is undeniably a lot of luck in a extremely subjective process.

I'll step away for now, as ive found it tiresome to have to repeat myself lately on a few topics. :)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, elr said:

We shouldn't make unmatched applicants in a heartbreaking situation feel worse because we think we understand an incredibly complex process better than they do. 

Never my intention to make anyone feel worse. If I did, my apologies. 

1 hour ago, elr said:

Hamham, you attribute your matching to your first choice to luck? But someone stating that, for a lot of unmatched applicants, it comes down to luck is deluding themselves? I am having trouble with your logic here. You seem to think that you are somehow helping by pointing out to amichel that they are unmatched for a reason. But I fail to see how you talking to one student about their experience going unmatched and implying that they are an unlikeable person is helpful. I agree with amichel that the anonymity of the forums can lead to hurtfulness.

No one is denying that luck is not a factor. But if you read my points carefully, I tried emphasize luck is not the sole factor. I have many friends who did not match to their desired specialties, but they did not go unmatched because they backed up. Personally, although I matched to where I desired, I also backed up just in case I went unmatched. To match to my top choice involved lots of luck. But to go unmatched is not luck, but a lack of appropriate strategy like backing up. >90% of my friends who went unmatched did not back up because they had the initial impression that "I am good enough to match to my desired specialty".

1 hour ago, elr said:

You state that you sympathize with people who have gone unmatched, yet you go on to try to enlighten them that other people are "better" than they are. This attitude contributes to the idea out there that doctors have a 'god complex.' I am sure you worked hard to get to where you are, but the fact that things worked out for you and you were fortunate enough to match to your first choice in no way makes you better than those who did not match.

You are taking my words out of context, and misjudging me here. I never said or implied that I am better than those who went unmatched. My point is: When applying to CaRMS, we all need to acknowledge that no matter how good our applications may be, there is always a chance that we can go unmatched because of the fact that there are always others out there who are better than us. Therefore, it is essential that we back up. This principle should apply everyone, regardless of what specialty you apply to. Apply widely and broadly is the key message. But many chose not to heed this advice because again, they had the initial impression that "I am good enough to match to my desired specialty". In the end, complacency was their downfall when they go unmatched, not luck.

1 hour ago, elr said:

You mention that your posts here are in an attempt to help future applicants - with that in mind, you may want to consider a more appropriate context for your help. I don't follow your logic in posting in a thread in which many already unmatched applicants are discussing their experiences to pretend that that helps future applicants. 

 You may be right on this one. I promise this will be my last post in this thread.

1 hour ago, elr said:

If you think for a minute that unmatched individuals don't do some serious self-scrutinization, you are deluded. Knowing unmatched applicants personally, I can assure you that the first question they ask is "what is wrong with me?." This is a system that stigmatizes and penalizes people for going unmatched and then goes on to refuse to provide feedback as to the reasons why, and I have a fairly obvious problem with that. If you would seriously like to 'help' people not go unmatched, I think a more realistic approach is to have an open and honest dialogue about the issues that occur in the system, rather than placing all of the blame on people who are going through one of the worst experiences of their professional life. 

CaRMS is a flawed process, and most people I have spoken to about it seem to feel that way. It is the process that we currently have and must work with, but it is certainly flawed and there is a large component of luck to it, which you seem to acknowledge in part in your posts. Knowing the people in my class who did not match, I can honestly say that it could have been anyone going unmatched this year. While there will always be some students with 'red flags' who go unmatched and you may be able to attribute reasons to it, that was not the norm at my school this year by any means. I count myself very lucky to have matched to one of my top choices, and I feel that I could certainly have been in a different position had it not been for luck and subjective variables. The CaRMS process is incredibly subjective and I think that dismissing luck in it is absurd.

As much as CaRMS is flawed, it is currently the best thing we have out there, and it is here to stay, at least for the near future. The best thing we can do to help future students improve their match chances is not to change this flawed system (not realistic to implement changes in the short run), but to tell them not to be complacent (i.e. back up). of those who went unmatched, >90% did not back up because they were too complacent. My experience tells me that as long you apply widely (across the country) and broadly (backing up with less competitive specialties) in your first attempt at CaRMS, you are very likely to match. No one is dismissing luck, but if you apply widely and broadly, you can minimize the chances of going unmatched due to uncontrollable factors like luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, elr said:

I am not one to frequently post in the forums (I am more of a lurker), but this conversation is one that I feel pretty passionate about. 

This thread seems to have started as a supportive thread for students who have gone unmatched, whether it was through one or both iterations. I think that it is very important to have such to show support to our colleagues and friends. That being said, the way that this conversation has derailed is upsetting to see. It is easy to talk about matching and CaRMS academically and comfortably from the position of one who matched. I think that this has lead to some in the forum forgetting that we are talking to our colleagues who, very understandably, may be more emotionally invested in the topic. The reality is that when ~3000 CMGs apply through CaRMS and ~150 don't match in first iteration (https://www.carms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Table_1_Summary_of_Match_Results_English.pdf), the problem is obviously going to be multifactorial. Sure, some individuals won't match because they had a bad reference or poor interviews, but some non-negligible percentage of unmatched applicants had excellent references, a fair number of decent interviews, and fair prospects. Yet, these outlier candidates are branded as 'not good enough' or 'flawed' in what amounts to an information vacuum. That's a ridiculous assault on logic and you should consider rethinking your position on this subject. We shouldn't make unmatched applicants in a heartbreaking situation feel worse because we think we understand an incredibly complex process better than they do. 

Hamham, you attribute your matching to your first choice to luck? But someone stating that, for a lot of unmatched applicants, it comes down to luck is deluding themselves? I am having trouble with your logic here. You seem to think that you are somehow helping by pointing out to amichel that they are unmatched for a reason. But I fail to see how you talking to one student about their experience going unmatched and implying that they are an unlikeable person is helpful. I agree with amichel that the anonymity of the forums can lead to hurtfulness. You state that you sympathize with people who have gone unmatched, yet you go on to try to enlighten them that other people are "better" than they are. This attitude contributes to the idea out there that doctors have a 'god complex.' I am sure you worked hard to get to where you are, but the fact that things worked out for you and you were fortunate enough to match to your first choice in no way makes you better than those who did not match. You mention that your posts here are in an attempt to help future applicants - with that in mind, you may want to consider a more appropriate context for your help. I don't follow your logic in posting in a thread in which many already unmatched applicants are discussing their experiences to pretend that that helps future applicants. 

If you think for a minute that unmatched individuals don't do some serious self-scrutinization, you are deluded. Knowing unmatched applicants personally, I can assure you that the first question they ask is "what is wrong with me?." This is a system that stigmatizes and penalizes people for going unmatched and then goes on to refuse to provide feedback as to the reasons why, and I have a fairly obvious problem with that. If you would seriously like to 'help' people not go unmatched, I think a more realistic approach is to have an open and honest dialogue about the issues that occur in the system, rather than placing all of the blame on people who are going through one of the worst experiences of their professional life. 

CaRMS is a flawed process, and most people I have spoken to about it seem to feel that way. It is the process that we currently have and must work with, but it is certainly flawed and there is a large component of luck to it, which you seem to acknowledge in part in your posts. Knowing the people in my class who did not match, I can honestly say that it could have been anyone going unmatched this year. While there will always be some students with 'red flags' who go unmatched and you may be able to attribute reasons to it, that was not the norm at my school this year by any means. I count myself very lucky to have matched to one of my top choices, and I feel that I could certainly have been in a different position had it not been for luck and subjective variables. The CaRMS process is incredibly subjective and I think that dismissing luck in it is absurd.

Saskgrad001 - really? Trolling through someones post history and posting it as if their concerned posts MID INVITES somehow means that they got what they deserved when they went unmatched? You somehow convinced yourself that behaviour bolstered the idea that you have any sympathy for those who didn't match? 

I have so much more I would love to say on the topic, but I am at a bit of a loss in articulating how disturbing I find it that a thread that was intended to support those going through an awful process has been turned into a personal inquisition into one individual who had the BAD LUCK of being in that position. 

I whole heartedly agree with you that there are problems at the system level (i.e. lack of transparency and an unwarranted stigma of the unmatched) that need to be corrected. My only point is to lay the blame COMPLETELY on the system, like we are put through a random lottery, is disingenuous. 

You state "but some non-negligible percentage of unmatched applicants had excellent references, a fair number of decent interviews, and fair prospects”. How do you know that? With the lack of transparency in the system, how can we state, without a doubt, that there were no red flags in someone’s application or reference letters, thus making them less competitive as compared to their fellow applicants. 

Now, I am not arguing that some of the unmatched are not good applicants. I am simply stating the obvious, that the reason that some people don’t match is a combination of bad luck, poor strategy, and inferior application to their competitors. Putting the entire fault on the SYSTEM is misguided.  

Additionally, attention to detail does not seem to be your strength; amichel’s previous post states that: "I'm starting to freak out as all the interviews for my specialty are out now”. To me, that implies that all the interview invites were sent out (for their specialty), and not "MID INVITES" as you stated, and they only obtained the X number of interviews that they mention in their post. Are you really saying that I’m trolling and highlighting their concern for MID-invites?? Also, I definitely wasn't trying to troll but the fact that 3 out of the 4 places amichel did an elective at did not offer them an interview, is a bad sign and suggests that something in their application is not as strong as they thought, even though that may be uncomfortable to think about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a problem with the whole concept of backing up.

I went into pathology, which is admittedly very easy to get into, so I didn't back up. But I didn't really like anything else and customized my CV towards path so I wasn't worried about it. 

But I asked myself, if I were to have applied to something more competitive, would I have backed up? Probably not.

Your only choices for backing up are really the lab fields, FM and psych. IM is no longer a feasible backup.

The other fields that are fairly easy to get into like FM, psych, and certainly path, aren't liked by everyone. I, for one, was miserable on both FM and psych and could not envision a career in either. Backing up with them would be a potential endpoint in frustration and burnout, probably as bad for me emotionally as not matching at all. I'm sure a lot of people who don't back up have a similar argument.

Consider that an applicant is far more pragmatic than I and decides to back up with something fairly easy to match into, but despises it the same. That person will have to lie in an interview about how they are interested in said field. I would have a problem boldly lying about that, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Consider the CVs of people interested in something competitive vs not. The former will be far more impressive on paper. On balance, were they to lie well enough in the interview/statement to convince the easy-to-enter program to let them in, they'd be taking a spot they don't even want from someone who does want it, solely to prevent themselves going unmatched. Are we encouraging applicants to lie about interest in less desirable programs solely so they don't go unmatched? 

Consider that an uncompetitive program sees an competitive applicant with all of their electives and research in something competitive. They might opt to not even interview them. This is what happened to Robert Chu. Surely that program does not want to be used as a funding source, only for their resident to either leave with the money, or stay but be miserable the entire time. I'm in pathology and I've seen both outcomes. It's pretty common in my field. But you can never tell who's lying and who isn't.

The final issue I have with the match is that it only happens once. If all applicants to a field were excellent, but one was 1% less than all the others, that person would be hooped. In most other fields in the world, you can prove your worth and come back. Carms doesn't afford that opportunity, and I find that somewhat illogical and anticompetitive. It isn't the best thing we have out there either. The rotating internship system was better.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Cain said:

The final issue I have with the match is that it only happens once. If all applicants to a field were excellent, but one was 1% less than all the others, that person would be hooped. In most other fields in the world, you can prove your worth and come back. Carms doesn't afford that opportunity, and I find that somewhat illogical and anticompetitive. It isn't the best thing we have out there either. The rotating internship system was better.

This is the crux of the problem with CaRMS and postgraduate training generally. Unlike, say, nursing, and most other professions, medicine is fairly inflexible. It's fairly common for residents to question their choices. Some switch to something else, some try and can't, and some learn to stick with what they got. That's not to say that everyone can or should get what they want just because they want it. The point is that choosing a type of medicine career should not come as an often irrevocable "match" long before any student has actually made any decisions as a physician (and it's a big leap into PGY1). 

As for the "unmatched", CaRMS results are more about the choices applicants make than any intrinsic factors about their performance. Sometimes it's a particularly competitive year in a particular location. Many people go unmatched because they were overly restrictive in the applications, applying only to a limited number of programs. For some this works out, but I always advise against it when talking to students. It just never makes sense. Others applied to a (very) competitive specialty and didn't back up or the backup plan failed. Most of the time it's a combination of factors - and sometimes it is about someone having a "difficult" personality who also doesn't apply broadly. Thinking about people that didn't get ranked (or interviewed!) at my program (well, I guess it's done now!), most of them still matched because they applied broadly enough. 

So CaRMS isn't necessarily luck, but it is definitely about choices first and foremost. It's really the minority of unmatched applicants that are legitimately "not good fits" with most if any program. Most of the sketchbags in my class ended up somewhere; it just was somewhere weird undoubtedly way down their rank list. And I know people that failed multiple rotations that still eventually matched to something good. 

It's not a fair system, and maybe it can't be, but the inflexibility in training is a major problem. I used to think that CBD might help with this, but I fear it will simply further entrench our drift to specialist-technicians at the expense of generalism (and even when specialists have strong generalist basic training). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, this has turned... ugly.

There are a number of factors behind why unmatched candidates go unmatched, some which are modifiable by the candidates themselves, some which are not. The information we have available makes it nearly impossible to determine which features are most influential for unmatched candidates as a group, let alone for individuals within that group - including publicized cases like that of Robert Chu. That alone is a significant problem, as those with the power to change the overall residency matching situation lack a clear path to do so, while students enter a system full of uncertainty. For candidates who go unmatched, the path forward is even more muddled, exacerbating an already harrowing time.

Addressing this issue requires looking at multiple angles and the many actors with influence over the residency matching system. This includes medical schools, residency programs, governmental policy-makers, the CaRMS system, and yes, the candidates themselves - both those who matched and those who didn't. This is a discussion that is very much worth having, and exploring in-depth while touching on as many facets as possible. There are numerous options which I believe have promise and are worth bring forth.

Yet this thread does not appear to be the place to do so, at least not in its current state. Civility - from both sides - appears to be sorely lacking. Scorn and umbrage can only crush productive discussion.

For now, I want to reiterate to anyone reading this that while supports in medicine are frequently lacking, they are not absent either. Faculty, administration, friends, family, colleagues - there's always someone to reach out to. The matching process is stressful, on both sides of match day. If you've gone unmatched this year, matched but dislike the result, or even if you're still working towards your first match day in the coming years... if your'e struggling, feeling lost, confused, or worried, please draw on what supports are available. If I can be of any help in this impersonal, online world, please send me a PM. I don't have all the answers, not even close, but I'm a decent sounding board and I like talking through these sorts of things. Point is that there are options. This thread was started by someone who simply wanted to reach out to those in a tough situation and offer their help - hopefully we can get it back to that original intent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, saskgrad001 said:

I whole heartedly agree with you that there are problems at the system level (i.e. lack of transparency and an unwarranted stigma of the unmatched) that need to be corrected. My only point is to lay the blame COMPLETELY on the system, like we are put through a random lottery, is disingenuous. 

You state "but some non-negligible percentage of unmatched applicants had excellent references, a fair number of decent interviews, and fair prospects”. How do you know that? With the lack of transparency in the system, how can we state, without a doubt, that there were no red flags in someone’s application or reference letters, thus making them less competitive as compared to their fellow applicants. 

Now, I am not arguing that some of the unmatched are not good applicants. I am simply stating the obvious, that the reason that some people don’t match is a combination of bad luck, poor strategy, and inferior application to their competitors. Putting the entire fault on the SYSTEM is misguided.  

Additionally, attention to detail does not seem to be your strength; amichel’s previous post states that: "I'm starting to freak out as all the interviews for my specialty are out now”. To me, that implies that all the interview invites were sent out (for their specialty), and not "MID INVITES" as you stated, and they only obtained the X number of interviews that they mention in their post. Are you really saying that I’m trolling and highlighting their concern for MID-invites?? Also, I definitely wasn't trying to troll but the fact that 3 out of the 4 places amichel did an elective at did not offer them an interview, is a bad sign and suggests that something in their application is not as strong as they thought, even though that may be uncomfortable to think about.

1. In my previous post, I stated quite clearly that some proportion of the ~150 unmatched applicants after R-1 go unmatched for what amounts to 'applicant-level' issues (i.e. red flags). In fact, I was clear that you cannot place the entire set of causal factors on the system (that would be absurd); however, your initial post and subsequent ones are a pretty blatant, deliberately contrarian assault on unmatched applicants for not admitting that other applicants were simply (by dint of going unmatched) more competitive than they were. This line of reasoning fails to adequately underscore the CONSIDERABLE subjectivity involved in the CaRMS process, in a thread for which the only charitable interpretation of intention was support and assistance to people in an awful situation. You offered neither and should (frankly, need to) learn what compassion looks like before you comment in these kinds of threads.

2. How do I know that a non-negligible percentage of students had to have had better than average applications and still go unmatched? This is a very simple statistical question. When operating with 10s/100s of variables (e.g. references/interview numbers/interview quality/sleep deprivation/luck/etc.) and a total of ~150 unmatched applicants, it should be readily apparent that these individuals can be more-or-less normally distributed. As such, some applicants fall 1-3 standard deviations above the mean (as in the case of matched applicants falling below the mean) and are by definition unfortunate outliers. Additionally, because CaRMS is a needlessly clandestine operation, no one knows where they fall in this distribution or what complex set of factors led to their specific outcome. As stated previously, it should be clear that when you have an information vacuum (as we do with CaRMS), it's counterproductive to speculate on the precise nature of someone else's application. Perhaps, they had a red flag in their application or a set of bad interviews or perhaps the best explanation for their particular experience is that they were unlucky and the system is truly flawed.

You also seem to have some super-rational powers of deduction because you have somehow ruled out 'pure luck' and 'bias' in every particular application. I mean, how many studies on motivated reasoning, subjectivity, and bias need to come out before you realize that a system based on the subjective analysis of 10s or 100s of individual applicants is going to fail a bunch of them in a number of unique ways. There is a reason that orchestras have auditions behind a closed curtain and judges parole 60% more prisoners after lunch than before and you're going to deliberately underemphasize the human factor? Now, in these 150 cases, do you know the relative distribution of factors for each case? For instance, in the case of unmatched applicant #116, was it 20% bad luck, 40% a poor application, and 40% an inferior application to their counterparts or was it 80/10/10? That's the whole point of an information vacuum. You have NO IDEA which set of factors or their relative significance in any particular case; as such, it is insensitive to enter a thread like this one and tell people to acknowledge their failings and rethink their approach under the pretense of helping current or future applicants.

3. If you are going accuse someone of inattention to detail, please at least verify basic dates/facts. This is just painfully poor reasoning on your part. First, if you read amichel's earlier post in this thread (i.e. not from several months ago), she even responds to you and indicates that she 'freaked out a bit early on' and presumably, jumped the gun regarding to the total number of interviews that she eventually went on to receive. Like amichel, I also had a number of interviews trickle in after most of my specialty's interviews went out. 

I can only imagine that you responded to amichel because you were motivated to 'prove' them wrong, helping them see that other candidates were clearly better than they were, and thereby, you would win the argument (a truly admirable endeavour in this sort of thread). The reality is, you essentially accused the poster of lying about their total number of invites (by digging through their post history) rather than simply asking if the number from their original post changed after they initially posted it (since more recently, they state a higher number)? You have conducted yourself in a maximally uncharitable manner in this thread and are simply trying to confirm your previous beliefs about unmatched applicants. After all of this, if you're still too stubborn to see why your conduct (in this instance) is misguided and frankly rude, it's hard to imagine how a continued dialogue could be productive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2017-06-29 at 6:14 PM, #YOLO said:

do you find ur self working more at work to make up for income $ 

Absolutely not, as a GP there is a limit to how much you can make. Further, I incorporated and I use income deferral, so there really isn't a point to me working beyond a certain number of hours due to how the tax rate is. Also, I live a very modest lifestyle (by choice) by Western standards, so I don't need much money to begin with.

What I have found, is that TIME, is much more valuable than money in my situation, for instance I don't work holidays, I don't feel it's worth it etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...