Money and the Match
There’s a lot at stake during residency interview season. You’ve picked your specialty, but you don’t know where you’ll be training yet. The challenges of saving money at this crucial point in your career can add to the stress of the process.
The Match process may not be as expensive as medical school, but the costs to find a residency program are still considerable. Students regularly spend between $1,000 to $7,500 interviewing for residency(students-residents.aamc.org).
There are several expenses that contribute to the cost of the Match process. The most expensive are interviews. This includes travel, application fees, and personal costs (such as purchasing professional clothing). Some costs are more manageable than others. A sample budget worksheet(2 page DOCX) shows the major areas to account for when planning how to use your money during the Match process.
Learning to manage your spending and costs during the Match process can help you approach graduation feeling confident navigating everything that follows. If you move for residency, you’ll want to break down the costs of relocating and identify where you can save. Practicing financial skills as you head toward the next phase of training becomes increasingly important. Soon you’ll have your first paycheck as a physician and some major financial decisions to make.
Tips for Saving Money During Residency Interviews
- Carefully think about which schools you send applications. Don’t overapply and spend money to send information to programs you wouldn’t want to interview, if invited.
- If you choose to get a credit card that gives travel rewards, make sure you can pay off your balance. You could end up spending more on interest of unpaid balances than the plane tickets themselves. It may be cheaper to choose flights based on ticket cost alone instead of relying on a loyalty program for one airline.
- Ask residency programs who invite you to interview if they offer lodging accommodations to interviewees.
- Schedule interviews at residency programs near each other back to back, so you only travel to a certain location once, or book a multi-stop trip.
- Find out through communities, such as a campus Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) if other students are interviewing at the same city or program and travel there together.
- Know the cancellation costs for airlines, and keep these in mind when booking flights, especially if you know you will be flying often.
Updated for 2018: Strolling Through the Match
This practical resource from the AAFP is a must-read for students interested in a career in family medicine. Get your copy now for updated information on navigating the Match process, access to helpful timelines, and tips on applying to and ranking programs.