We just couples matched into our number 1 choice residency programs and are so excited! We learned a lot along the way and wanted to share our insight with future med students.
Time Line Overview
Pre-June of application year: Pick a specialty, make the final decision to couples match (if you haven’t already), research locations and programs you are most interested in, set up away rotations / sub-I’s (VSAS is the website for most applications).
June – July: finish boards, set up 4th year schedule
Aug – Sept: submit applications, practice potential interview questions (google around for common questions in your specialty), attend any early interviews.
Oct – Jan: schedule interviews accordingly, attend interviews, check your email often!!!, call programs you really like but haven’t heard back from yet, attend any audition rotations during this time.
Feb: Breath, sleep, relax, submit rank list (remember the paired choices generator tip below), write a letter of intent*.
March: MATCH DAY, plan to celebrate and relax.
*Letter of intent: We meant to get back to this in the video. “Letter of Intent” is a term often used during the application process to describe writing a letter to the program director of your top program informing them that you intend to rank them as your top choice. They are legally not allowed to tell you they will do the same. They are however, allowed to receive news from you that you will rank them highly. Here is an awesome article explaining this in detail with time frames and examples. https://mededits.com/residency-letter…
Here are the links mentioned in the video:
http://www.nrmp.org/couples-match-vid… Videos at this link explain in detail the way the couples match algorithm works. It should help you better understand that in choosing to couples matching you won’t stop each other from matching, but you may change which program you are matched to based on how you rank.
http://www.nrmp.org/couples-in-the-ma… This link describes some of the specific rules and policies about couples matching. It does note that you do have the choice to withdrawal from couples match and match on your own after you submit your residency applications.
https://natmatch.com/aoairp/applcoupl… This is the link that helped us the most through this process. We recommend sitting down and reading it together in detail. It is written for Osteopathic Students, but applies to anybody couples matching. We only applied through the ACGME match (MD matching service) and it applied to us in many ways. The best part of this link is the downloadable PAIRED CHOICES GENERATOR. It can be found under part 2, if you click on the blue “View instructions and Example” link it will expand the article to a list of steps. Under step 2, you will see a bolded “Paired Choices Generator Tool” link. Click that and it should allow you to download it for free.
Again, couples matching was a big decision for us and this video was created to help make things easier for others. The advice given was purely what we learned from our experience and may not apply to your situation. Please feel free to post any leftover questions below and we’ll answer to the best of our knowledge. Good luck! Couples match is totally doable.