Friday, March 9, 2018

Match Day 2018 - Contingency Planning for the Unmatched

Match Day 2018 is friday, March 16.  That day is anxiety provoking for every student in the match as they find out where they are going to continue their training.  Even more stressful is monday the 12th, sometimes called "No-Match Day".  At 12 pm all programs and applicants find out if they matched or if they are going to have to scramble for a position in the SOAP.  Most applicants will get good new on monday and their worries will quickly shift from "if I match" to "where will I match?".  

This post is for applicants who get bad news on monday.  We will outline the big decision points and connect you with additional resources.

The first thing you need to do if you are notified that you did not match is to take a little time to grieve.  Even if you knew you were at risk to not match and this news is disappointing, but not a surprise, take a little time to wrap your head around it.  

Then you need to make a plan, or put into action the plan you already made.  

The big decision:  Do you still want to match into EM?

Using the SOAP process to get into EM, or finding a spot post-match, are not viable routes to get an EM training spot.  A very few lucky folks may make this happen but there are not enough spots for this to be something you plan for.  

The most commonly recommended path to pursue in setting up a re-application to EM next year is to get clinical training in a one year internship (surgical, medical, transitional, etc.).  Other options include matching to a categorical program (full course of training, like categorical IM or FP), extending medical school graduation to improve your application, or pursuing additional experience like a research project or masters degree after graduating on time.  Which option(s) is best for you depends on a variety of factors including why you did not match, how likely are you to be successful in reapplying, and which are available.  

Resources to help you make an informed decision:

If you know of additional quality resources for the unmatched applicant to EM please share them in comments below and we will incorporate them into future resources.  

Adam Kellogg is an Associate Residency Director, former Medical Student Clerkship Director, a past Chair of the CORD-EM Student Advising Task Force, and an author on far too many of the resources for re-applicants.  Seriously, if you have some other good resources, share them!

Friday, September 22, 2017

More New Programs and Updates

Continuing the EM Program updates:

New Combined Program:  Johns Hopkins Combined EM/Anesthesia Program:

Dr. Linda Regan:

The Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine is pleased to announce that we are accepting applications for our newly accredited combined EM-Anesthesiology program.  This 6-year combined program will allow for dual board certification in the highly complementary fields of EM and Anesthesiology.   We are hoping to find some interested and well-qualified applicants with a plan to start in July of 2018 with two trainees. 
Within ERAS, students should be able to find us by either entering our ACGME program number (7962300001) or by searching for the specialty of EM-Anesthesiology, as we are currently the only program listed.

More information about our new combined program, as well as details about the rotation outline, program leadership, and links to the categorical programs of both EM and Anesthesiology can be found here:
Additional questions can be directed to Linda Regan (program director) at or the program coordinator for this combined program, Christina Tarleton, at


New Program:  Cape Fear Valley Medical Center

Paul Kleinschmidt:

We are a new program that just started our first group of residents this year.   We were an AOA approved residency that had not taken students but went ahead and made the application for ACGME certification at the same time.   We received our initial certification in April and as such are dually accredited.   We are a four year program that takes 8 residents per year for a total of 32 at this point.
Here is a little more about our facility and program:

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center is the flagship hospital of the Cape Fear Valley Health System, that serves as the major medical system for southeastern North Carolina, and includes six hospitals. The main 110 bed emergency department is the busiest in the state of North Carolina, and easily in the top twenty nationally with over 140,000 visits per year. Our department handles over 2400 medical codes and 800 traumas a year by EMS arrival alone, along with a 30% admission rate in a high acuity population. We are a certified trauma, stroke, stemi, and sepsis center. There is also a co-located pediatric ED serving over 30,000 patients per year. In 2017 we accepted our first class of emergency medicine residents with the eventual goal of 32 residents over a four year program.  We have the volume and resources to keep residents in house for all four years with the exception of toxicology.   Being a four year program we offer some ability to make our last year unique with additional focus on ED administration and other focused interests for the residents, in anticipation of career paths or fellowships.  In addition, while we take both MD’s and DO’s, we will have an osteopathic tract and certification, even training MD’s to a standard of osteopathic principles and practices.



New Program: Sunrise Consortium Emergency Medicine Program in Las Vegas

Michael P. Allswede:

I am the PD of the new accredited Sunrise Consortium Emergency Medicine Program in Las Vegas, ACGME: 1103100190.  

The Sunrise Consortium Program in Emergency Medicine is a 36 month program in emergency medicine located in Las Vegas.  The program is combined between the MountainView Hospital, an 80,000 visit acute care community hospital and the Sunrise Hospital, a Level II Trauma Center and 105,000 adult and 55,000 pediatric emergency department.  At 240,000 patient visits per year, the Sunrise consortium is among the most robust clinical education experiences in emergency medicine.  The modular active learning curriculum for emergency medicine (MALCEM), is a literature based, active learning educational experience in which the resident is provided over 300 landmark and cutting edge articles to discuss and engage in a simulation environment.  The combination of astute understanding of the literature and a robust clinical experience is designed to develop superior emergency physicians."


New Program:  Reading Hospital Emergency Residency Program in Reading, PA

Kristen M. Sandel:

The Reading Hospital Emergency Medicine Residency Program was recently accredited in April 2017 by the ACGME as a 3-year residency program.  We are currently accepting applications via ERAS for 8 residents in our inaugural class and will be participating in the NRMP match.  Reading Hospital is located in Reading, PA and our Emergency Department (ED) was recently recognized as one of the ten busiest single-site Emergency Departments in the United States.  With over 120 beds in our ED and limited other learners, we are proud to offer incoming residents the opportunity to care for a great variety and volume of patients while providing residents with an abundance of procedural experience.  

Please feel free to contact us for details concerning our program or visit our website. 


UPDATE - October 23, 2017:

AOA to ACGME: Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in San Bernadino, CA

Tom Minahan: 

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (San Bernardino County Hospital) in California, is an AOA EM program that has now received ACGME Initial Accreditation.



Monday, September 18, 2017

New Program Alert and a Change in Format

We are going to start highlighting major changes to the landscape of Emergency Medicine residency programs.  This post contains two program updates.

New Program:

Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Atlanta, GA

Edward Stettner, Program Director:
"...the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital has received our initial accreditation and that we will be accepting applications through ERAS for our first class of 12 residents to begin July 1, 2018.

The emergency department at Kennestone is the busiest in Georgia, and last year ranked as the fifth busiest nationally. We are a Level 2 trauma center, anAmerican College of Cardiology Accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, and an American Heart Association Joint Commission
Certified Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center. We are a multi-specialty tertiary care receiving facility and the hub of the Wellstar Health System. We currently have residency programs in Internal Medicine, OB-GYN, and Transitional Year, and will be looking to add additional programs in the next 3-5 years.

For residents looking to get in on the ground floor of a program with tremendous educational opportunity, this is an ideal fit. Wellstar has made a commitment to the growth of Graduate Medical Education and I am very excited about the future of medical education at Kennestone. me with any questions about the program. Our website is being updated as we speak, but contact other information is available:"


Format Change:

St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center at New York Medical College in Paterson, NJ

Anthony Catapano, Clerkship Director:
"I’d like to announce that St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center (Paterson, NJ) at New York Medical College has received approval from the ACGME to transition from a four year program to a three year program!  This change will be reflected in the current application cycle and match."


Each year more EM programs open and a few make changes to their format.  We will feature those updates here as they are announced.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

SVI Update - What do these scores mean?!?

This is just a quick post regarding the Standardized Video Interview (SVI) that all students applying to EM were required to participate in.  In June I wrote about the SVI to give applicants some perspective on how the EM Program Directors saw this project.  

With the release of SVI scores to the applicants a discussion has sprung up among the Program Directors about its utility this year and in the future.  This started with concerns over poor correlation between the impression an advisor had of an applicant and the score they received.

From this discussion the general consensus is that Program Directors are NOT using the SVI score to make significant decisions.  They are evaluating how well it correlates with their impressions of their advisees, and later, of the applicants they interview.  

This should be reassuring to all those worried that the SVI has thrown a monkey-wrench into their application plans.  

Programs get your applications tomorrow.  Submit everything that is in your control (PS, ERAS application, board score release) and assign letters to your programs.  Then do your best to have a great weekend.  You have worked hard, take a couple days off (if you can).  
Adam Kellogg is an Associate Residency Director, former Clerkship Director, past-Chair of the CORD Student Advising Task Force, and incredibly grateful he didn't have to submit a video of himself answering "interview questions" to all the EM programs he applied to.  And not just because that would have used up a lot of VHS tapes.  

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Standardized Video Interview - What Applicants Need to Know

The CORD Student Advising Task Force just published an explanation of the new mandatory AAMC Standardized Video Interview (SVI) “pilot”.  If this is the first you have heard of this, we urge you to read the CORD EM blog summary and the related materials from the AAMC (links are included on the CORD blog).  In this post we are going to attempt to address what this requirement means for students in the 2018 NRMP match.  

“Do I have to do this?”

Yes.  Anyone applying to Emergency Medicine is going to be prompted to sign up and and create these videos.  If the AAMC is happy with the results, this may get expanded to applicants applying to all specialties in future years.  There is no cost to applicants to complete this and some programs may consider your application incomplete if they do not have results.  And we are not going to know which programs that will be.  If you want to do EM, do the video interviews.  

“What are programs going to do with this information?”

Programs will receive your score on the video interview and have the option to view the actual videos.  What programs do with this information is up to them.  This is the first year programs will receive SVI data, so program directors do not know how well this score will correlate with other information like SLOE’s, the MSPE, and most importantly: the impression made during the interview day.  

There are a few realistic options for what programs will do with the SVI:

Option A:  The program looks at the SVI and uses it to help them differentiate between two candidates who are otherwise very similar, offering an interview to the student with the better SVI performance.

Option B: The program does not use the SVI information to determine who to interview but subsequently compares SVI data to their own impression from the interview. This would help them know if they are going to use the SVI data in the future.

Option C: The program makes no use of the SVI information as it is unclear if this will continue to be available in subsequent years and they don’t want to spend time on something that will not be available in the future.

What are program directors actually going to do?

Application review is a time-consuming process that requires trained faculty to do it well.  Each program has a finite amount of application review resources to throw at this task.  Programs do not know if the SVI scores represent information that is important to them and they do not have time to personally review the actual videos (18 minutes x 1000+ applicants!!).  

Program directors will be offered training on how to understand the SVI data in August.  At that point they will decide how they are going to use this information this year.  Each program already has a system in place for application review and they are unlikely to incorporate the SVI data into that system until they know if it provides useful information.  There may very well be a few early adopters among the program directors, but not enough that students should change anything about their application plans based on this.

Students applying for EM in the 2018 match should complete the SVI, there is no upside to not doing it.  However, you should not be worried that your “performance” will hurt your chances at getting an interview.

For more information on the  the SVI take a look at this ALiEM EM Match Advice video.  This is a panel discussion with a representative from the AAMC.  

Adam Kellogg is an Associate Residency Director, former Clerkship Director, and previous Chair of the CORD-EM Student Advising Task Force. The opinions in this blog post are his and do not represent those of CORD-EM or of his employer.

Monday, March 13, 2017

"No Match" Day

Today applicants in the NRMP match find out if they successfully matched to a program. Unfortunately not every applicant with their sights set on Emergency Medicine received good news today. This post is to direct you towards help on what to do next:

For those without a match the SOAP process started at 11 am today and goes until Thursday, March 16th at 11 am.  

These two posts will guide you through the process of deciding what you should do now and planning your re-application:
The advice contained in the above posts will help you decide how best to spend the next year and what you should be considering when evaluating your options. 

Best of luck.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Rank List Resources

For students in the 2017 ACGME match your certified Rank List is due at 9 am on February 22.  There are lots of great resources to help you figure out how to put this together.  In this post we are going to connect you with a couple of those:

The EM Advisor comprehensive guide to creating your “perfect” Rank List.  This was updated last year by Tony Zhang, an Emergency Medicine Resident and member of the CORD Student Advising Task Force. Written by someone who recently went through this process and with recommendations supported by data and expert opinion of a group committed to increasing transparency in the match process and the quality of advising. A version of this guide is part of the CORD SATF Applying Guide to Emergency Medicine.

EMRA just published something with a similar goal: Creating the Perfect Rank Order List: Real Advice from Current EM Residents.  They used a different format to develop their recommendations, sending a survey to residents training in Emergency Medicine and drawing themes from those responses.  They do a nice job showing the variety of different viewpoints and approaches that can be taken in creating a Rank List. Definitely worth a read.

Creating your Rank List is your final anxiety-inducing task of your year long application process.  Once you get this done you can sit back and relax.

Best of luck!