What to do if You Postpone Graduating Due to Not Matching

What to do if You Postpone Graduating Due to Not Matching

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | Firm News

What to do if You Postpone Graduating Due to Not Matching

The residency match process is a pivotal moment for medical students, marking the move from academic studies to professional practice. However, for some, the outcome of not matching can lead them to postpone graduating from medical school. Our goal in this article is to provide next steps if this describes your current situation.

Not Matched but Still Graduating

First, not matching does NOT equate to not graduating. Every year, a small percentage of students do not match, even through SOAP (Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program), and yet they graduate from medical school with a doctor of medicine (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree. If the required course work is complete and you’re in good standing with the school, you can graduate. (Yes, you still have more training to complete, but you can receive your hard-earned medical degree.)

If you didn’t match, read this article on the next steps to take. While it’s difficult to accept, there are paths to becoming a practicing physician.

Reasons Why You May Choose to Postpone Graduating

If you didn’t match, there are a few reasons why you may choose to postpone graduating from medical school.

  1. To do research through your medical school. These research opportunities and subsequent published articles demonstrate to future residency programs how hard you’re willing to work. It also keeps you active in the world of medicine and keeps you connected to doctors and professors who may know about openings in residency programs.
  1. To apply as a senior student. Some believe – and it may be true for certain programs – that applying to match as a senior is more desirable than applying as a graduate student. As a graduate student, it’s evident that you didn’t enter residency right after medical school, possibly raising questions early in the match process.
  1. To retake key courses. Perhaps you didn’t perform well academically and, thus, not a sought-after residency candidate. Retaking courses is an option. But fair warning, if you’re hoping to raise your overall GPA, analyze the time and number of courses required to raise it significantly.

Steps to Take if You Choose to Postpone Graduating

Review Match Contract and Policies

This isn’t a pleasant topic, but it’s necessary to address before you decide to postpone graduating. You should ensure that not matching was a fair decision by programs. Start by carefully reading the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) contract and policies. And if you suspect errors or unfair treatment, get legal advice on how to effectively present your case to NRMP. (We can help you with this.)

Get Clear on Visa and Immigration Status

If you’re an international student, it’s imperative you understand your Visa status. You may consider consulting with an immigration attorney to understand your options and to remain in the country legally if you plan to graduate the next year.

Manage Financial Loans

This is critical too, as mismanagement of financial loans can affect you for decades. Be sure to understand your loans – when to start repaying, what requirements are there to receive the loans, etc. Also, if needed, explore options for deferment.

Learn about Licensing

Look into your state’s licensure requirements for practicing medicine without a residency. Some states offer temporary or restricted licenses that allow unmatched graduates to practice in specific settings.

Education Litigation Group is Here to Help Medical Students

We can’t take the courses for you or go through the match process, but we do know education law. If you suspect unfair treatment during match or from your medical school, contact us or call 1 (800) 580-9167. We’re here to help.