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How many interviews do I need?

Residency Match, ECFMG, ERAS, NRMP.
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How many interviews do I need?

Postby Julia IMG Residency » Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:17 pm

It depends... Usually 7 interviews are enough. As usual, your mileage may vary. 10 interviews should be safe. The better your profile matches the program, the fewer interviews you need. Application to Interview ratio therefore varies from 5:1 (best case) to 30:1 (below average case). Even though standard deviation for the ratios above is really high, you should try to estimate yours and then determine a number of programs to apply based on this estimate.

Your estimated ratio is 10:1. In order to secure 10 interviews you have to apply to 10*10 = 100 programs. In order to secure 5 interviews, you need to apply to 5*10 = 50 programs.

As with any probabilistic calculations there is no guarantee that you will get exact number you have estimated. But at least you get a solid estimate and won't be applying in the dark.

Unfortunately there is a "paradox" for the "below average" cases - they qualify for too few programs and quite often it is impossible to achieve the target number even after applying to all programs one qualifies for.

You can get a rough estimate of a number of programs you may qualify by using a Quick Search feature provided by IMG Residency. You need to enter your year of graduation, scores, and attempts and you will see how many programs per specialty you qualify for based on program requirements for the 2015 match season. Use this number along with your estimated ratio to get an idea of how many programs you should and can apply, and compare it with the number of programs you already applied.
Julia IMG Residency
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 10:58 am

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