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!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!... and on to the 2018 Match...

The 2017 Match is just a couple months away.  This post is for those planning to apply for Emergency Medicine in the 2018 Match. 

Like everything else in EM, advanced planning is the key to success in the Match. This post is the updated guide to the resources on this blog.

Throughout the year various authors contribute "Posts" that appear in reverse chronological order on the landing page.  Standard blog set-up.  

Down the right hand side of the web-page you will find a "Featured Post", a topic that we want to keep at the top even as other posts come up.  


Below that is a collection of static "Pages". These cover a variety of topics pertinent to the different stages of your application and contain general advice.  These are updated periodically to reflect changes in the Application and Match process. 
The most frequently viewed are:



Below the "Pages" are the collection of "Labels" - all the Posts on the site sorted by topic.  The most useful are linked across the top of the web-page, just below the header. These can help you find more on a specific topic.

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The advice you find on this blog is not one-size-fits-all. We try to reflect the consensus opinions of the membership of Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine (CDEM) and the Council of Residency Directors (CORD)but we do not speak for them. Nor does their membership always agree. When something is controversial, we try to address that controversy. We believe we are a source of sound, balanced, and accurate advice on becoming an emergency physician in the United States. We also have no doubt that you will find different opinions elsewhere. 

To help you sort through all of the differing opinions you may find, you need the guidance of a local EM advisor, in addition to your Dean. You need someone who knows the EM application process and can help you navigate issues specific to students from your school and region. If you cannot find anyone, or you need advice from a different region you can find help from residents who just went through this process provided by the EMRA mentorship program

Adam Kellogg is an Associate Residency Director and a previous Emergency Medicine Clerkship Director.  He is the past-chair of the CORD EM Student Advising Task Force and a member of the SAEM Resident and Student Advisory Committee. He has written for EM Resident about Diagnosing the Match