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Unmatched - What Are My Master's Options


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I'm an unmatched OB applicant. I think I will do a Master's and reapply next year. What are some Master's degree options that I can start looking into ie MPH, MSc (but in what??) etc? There are so many that it's hard to know where to start and I feel overwhelmed.

 

Anyone know what residents (especially in OB) tend to get for Master's?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

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I'm an unmatched OB applicant. I think I will do a Master's and reapply next year. What are some Master's degree options that I can start looking into ie MPH, MSc (but in what??) etc? There are so many that it's hard to know where to start and I feel overwhelmed.

 

Anyone know what residents (especially in OB) tend to get for Master's?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

 

Wait to see what's in the 2nd round.  Look to see if your school offers electives post graduation. I would probably request an appointment with student affairs and maybe a discussion with OB Program Director

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Ditto Freedom, I would wait to see what is available in second iteration. Are you dead set on only doing OBGYN? Perhaps you can consider taking a year off to do electives and research, and then reapplying next year. I'm not sure how much value a Masters degree would add to, especially since it's all about letters and face time with the programs you're interested in.

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Yes I am dead set on doing OB. I will apply for second round but there is only one spot so I am not very hopeful. Next year what will make me a more competitive candidate?

 

I already have research and electives at all the schools I wanted so going unmatched was a huge shock and devastation. There are no discernible weaknesses about my application according to respectable sources.

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I would try the US as well next year. Go to the NRMP website and prepare an app to their specifications. If you do this, also try to find out what OB programs are ok in the USA, since many programs down there are community-based, meaning they are run by private groups who recruit residents as affordable night labor.

 

Canadian programs stigmatize the unmatched. Though it is not impossible to get in here, you'd have that working against you. Try to cover all your bases.

 

Try not to let this define you. Lots of strong students go unmatched for no reason other than bad luck. It's probably tempting to blame yourself for it, or to try to find out what's "wrong" with you, but such thoughts are counterproductive.

 

Good luck.

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Canadian programs stigmatize the unmatched. 

 

I would disagree with that.  What matters is what people do with their extra year and how they persevered.  I know quite a few people that went through an extra of electives, matched into optho, ortho, gen surg, etc the following year.

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I would disagree with that.  What matters is what people do with their extra year and how they preservered.  I know quite a few people that went through an extra of electives, matched into optho, ortho, gen surg, etc the following year.

 

I think the statistics show a lower chance the second time around. It certainly isn't impossible but it would be wise to prepare for the worst.

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Yes I am dead set on doing OB. I will apply for second round but there is only one spot so I am not very hopeful. Next year what will make me a more competitive candidate?

 

I already have research and electives at all the schools I wanted so going unmatched was a huge shock and devastation. There are no discernible weaknesses about my application according to respectable sources.

 

I would talk to the Obgyn PD at your school, and see what suggestions he/she can offer to you. Maybe you just missed the mark by a few spots.

 

I know of two people who didn't match to Obgyn last year but matched this year after re-applying. I'm not sure what they did to improve their application, but it worked out for them in the end and now they're in the specialty of choice.

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I would try the US as well next year. Go to the NRMP website and prepare an app to their specifications. If you do this, also try to find out what OB programs are ok in the USA, since many programs down there are community-based, meaning they are run by private groups who recruit residents as affordable night labor.

 

Canadian programs stigmatize the unmatched. Though it is not impossible to get in here, you'd have that working against you. Try to cover all your bases.

 

Try not to let this define you. Lots of strong students go unmatched for no reason other than bad luck. It's probably tempting to blame yourself for it, or to try to find out what's "wrong" with you, but such thoughts are counterproductive.

 

Good luck.

OP would have to write the US board exams in order to pursue that route... 

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Sorry to hear OP. That being said, perhaps you should look at some of the other programs offered in the second round (FM, other specialties, etc...)? I know you have your heart set on Obs, but I would consider expanding your horizon's a bit....for instance, if you can get into family somewhere in the second round - I would definitely go for it (remember, you can essentially make your entire FM career into an obs dedicated practice if you want). You could also look at switching into an obs program once a resident (although would likely be easier if you matched to a 5 year program instead of a 2 for funding reasons). 

 

Sorry about the crappy news...

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I would disagree with that.  What matters is what people do with their extra year and how they persevered.  I know quite a few people that went through an extra of electives, matched into optho, ortho, gen surg, etc the following year.

 

it is very program specific.

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OP would have to write the US board exams in order to pursue that route... 

 

true, but they would have the year to do it. Any it is a bad situation but there are often ways to pull out of it.

 

Have to be careful about matching to something you don't like. The horror stories I know about residents that settled or backed up to field they don't like fill me with a form of dread. 

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true, but they would have the year to do it. Any it is a bad situation but there are often ways to pull out of it.

 

Have to be careful about matching to something you don't like. The horror stories I know about residents that settled or backed up to field they don't like fill me with a form of dread. 

 

EDIT: I missed the point haha, about doing 2 gap years is in order. (! year for the masters and then 1 year for application interviews etc).  In that case, then yes, lots of time for Step 1 prep.

 

At least that way, they can re-apply to CaRMS and NRMP in parrallel- and if CaRMS doesn't work out for a 2nd time, they could potentially go to the US.

Lots to think about - sorry to hear that OP.

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Ok I think I need to adress a few points there...

I was unmatched last year in ortho, did a master in Sherbrooke this year and I just matched in University of Manitoba for ortho. 

I also have a friend who went unmatched last year in cardiac surgery, did the same as me and matched to McGill this year.

 

It's possible.

 

Wait to see what's in the 2nd round.  Look to see if your school offers electives post graduation. I would probably request an appointment with student affairs and maybe a discussion with OB Program Director

 

No, start early. Already be looking for a masters program and apply to 2nd round at the same time. It's way easier to drop an embryonary master project than to find one at the last minute.

How to find one? Look on the websites of the OBGYN residency that interest you. Find the research director and email him. Tell him the truth: you did not match, you are really motivated and you want to get some experience in research by doing a masters in order to reapply through carms next year. If they are interested in your application, they will tell you which master program is good for the projects they have in OBGYN.

 

 

Canadian programs stigmatize the unmatched.

 

No they don't. Just be honest about it in the interviews next year so it doesn't look like you are trying to hide it.

This year I've been invited to many places I was not invited the year before because of my research experience. I also upgraded my personal letter, CV and got some other references, so this might be a counfounder thought.

I've had a PD tell me they did not care if you did not match last year as they already had some ex-unmatched in their program and they were some of the best residents they ever had.

 

So, what do you have to do:

1. Talk to the right people. I'm sure the are people in your school that can help you with the rest of the process.

2. Start trying to find a master. Go to each residency program's website, find the research director for that speciality and email him.

3. Revisit your CV and personal letter, try to make it more attractive. Apply throught second round for unmatched spots.

4. If still unmatched, continue with your master.

5. Work hard. REALLY HARD. Show them that you are the best master student they ever had.

6. Hang out with the staff and residents in that program. Show you are interested. Do some shadowing. Get some new reference letters from influencial people.

7. Reaply throught carms.

8. Rock the interviews has you've had so much practice the last time.

9. Match.

10. Open a bottle of wine.

 

PS: I'm just done with step 10...

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Sorry to hear that sadsack. Having gone through this last year I know how it feels. It honestly does feel like the end of the world but it's NOT. Things work out. It's particularly harder when you dont expect it at all. But it is definetely not a reflection of who you are and don't let it get you down. CaRMS is a bit of a crapshoot so even good applicants sometimes go unmatched unfortunately. Keep your head high.

 

I went unmatched last year after applying to only Obs. I interviewed at 9 schools last year and ranked all of them. I thought my application was strong so ofcourse going unmatched was a huge shock. It was definitely one of the hardest thing I have had to go through professionally but it worked out in the end. I took a year to do electives, build contacts, get better reference letters and reapplied this year. I matched to Obs in my home program this year and I could not be happier. Another one of my classmates applying to Obs who also went unmatched last year matched to Obs at her top choice this year. So don't be discoursged.

Few points about reapplying:

1. Get feedback from your home PD to see what specific area of your application was weak. This helps you to focus your attention on strengthening that part of your applciation. For my it was one of my reference letters, so knowing that really helped me.

2. If you see yourself in anything else then apply in second round. Second round is a bit of a shitshow since its anyone's game at that point. I did apply to multiple programs in 2nd round last year but didn't match. In retrospect it was a blessing for me because it gave me a chance at Obs/Gyne this year. Some people say just get into any program that will take you and think about transferring out but I think this is much harder to do.

3. Personally and for Obs I think doing more electives probably helps your application more than a masters. Both me and my classmate did this. Our school had the opportunity to do be enrolled in a MD enrichment year after graduating which allowed us to do electives as a medical student. I think for Obs much of it is Letters and contacts and I think doing electives is better option than research.

4. In my experience and everyone I spoke to that went through a similar process most programs Atleast in Obs do not fault you for going unmatched and reapplying. Everyone I spoke to and at all my interviews they actually saw this as my passion and commitment to the specialty as long as you are honest about it and can show how you have grown from this personally and professionally.

5. Finally I think you also need a backup plan when you reapply. Mine was family medicine this year. I did some family electives last year and got good letters so that I also had a solid back up. I can understand that your heart is set on Obs, I felt the exact same way last year but in the past year I really did start to see myself being happy in family as well. So this is something you have to think about as well.

 

Hope all of this helps and don't let people discourage you particularly those that have had no first hand experience with any of this. Things do work out and the most important thing is to not feel defeated and to persevere. If you want to talk more I am more than happy to chat privately, just send me a pm.

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3. Personally and for Obs I think doing more electives probably helps your application more than a masters. Both me and my classmate did this. Our school had the opportunity to do be enrolled in a MD enrichment year after graduating which allowed us to do electives as a medical student. I think for Obs much of it is Letters and contacts and I think doing electives is better option than research.

4. In my experience and everyone I spoke to that went through a similar process most programs Atleast in Obs do not fault you for going unmatched and reapplying. Everyone I spoke to and at all my interviews they actually saw this as my passion and commitment to the specialty as long as you are honest about it and can show how you have grown from this personally and professionally.

 

3. I had no idea this was possible. I should have gone that path, might have been more fun ;)

4. This is how I felt too.

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