If you are reflecting on your Residency Application Season so far and you’re dissatisfied with the results, it may be possible that your application supporting documents were not doing you justice.
While preparing for the Post-Match SOAP®, there are some aspects of your residency application that are worth revisiting to ensure your application is as strong as it can be. Two of the most important documents you can refresh, rewrite or replace are your Personal Statement and Letters of Recommendation.
Supporting Documents for the Post-Match SOAP: Letters of Recommendation
Of course, the first step is to review data from last year’s SOAP to get an idea of which medical specialties are more likely to have vacancies and which specialties probably won’t. This way, if you have the specialty specific documents already, you can just edit or revise them. Or, if you don’t have the documents, you can put them together.
For example, the medical specialties with the most vacancies in 2017:
- Preliminary General Surgery (486 positions)
- Family Medicine (141 positions)
- Internal Medicine (128 positions)
Be sure to carefully compare the documents you have in-hand to the specialties you are considering applying to in the Post-Match. It is especially important you start thinking about your Letters of Recommendation now because these can take time to ask new letter writers and for the writers to craft their letters.
Almost every specialty likes to see at least one specialty specific Letter of Recommendation. If you do not have a Letter of Recommendation in the specialties you have identified from the previous SOAP year’s data, you should be sure to secure at least one per specialty. This will give you a great advantage over those who come into the Post-Match unprepared for the contingencies.
Even if you already have Letters of Recommendation in your chosen specialties, it is most certainly worth the effort to refresh them. When it comes to Matching in the Post-Match, residency candidates cannot afford to leave any stones left unturned.
Addressing your Letters of Recommendation now will not only strengthen your overall application but also give you an edge over other residency applicants who are not as prepared.
(Content Updated: February 1, 2018)