2021 Match off to rough start

ERAS is open for all applicants to enter tokens and begin completing 2021 Match applications. Unprecedented changes to the application process have caused increased anxiety for many applicants, especially IMGs. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused international travel restrictions, the halting of observerships, and rotations, proposed video interviews replacing in-person visits, government changes in access to visas, a temporary halting in USMLE testing and a temporary change in the certification process.

More students are graduating this year than ever before because of the increase in medical school class sizes and new medical schools across the county, with an unmatched number of new residency positions.

The key to managing anxiety is to get your information from the source, not speculative groups on social media, which may be interpreting the information wrong. Social media groups are good for emotional support from people who are going thru the same stressors, but not always good for accurate data.

The organizations that support your interests will advocate for the applicants during this difficult time. For example, the ECFMG immediately began working to identify alternative pathways to resolve the issue of the temporary suspension of USMLE Step 2 CS. The ECFMG identified 5 pathways for international medical graduates to obtain certification for the 2021 Match. The ECFMG has provided detailed explanations for each pathway These pathways only apply to the 2021 Match.

When you hear of new changes, and you will, give the organizations some time to organize and provide solutions for the issues. Their goals are to make the process fair and manageable. They are just as surprised by some of these changes too.