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 experience.
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
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 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 Match 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.
The main areas you'll need to consider when building a budget for the Match are fees and application costs, travel, and personal expenses. Below is a breakdown of what goes into each of these categories and ideas for how to spend less.
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You’ll pay three primary fees as you apply to residency programs; in 2018, applying to and ranking 20 programs set students back approximately $400. While the costs in this area are rigid, there are ways to be mindful and save nonetheless.
1. Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) fees are updated each year. In 2018, it cost $99 to apply to up to 10 programs. The cost per application goes up after you reach 10 programs.
2. A National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) fee is paid when you register for the Match. This is separate than your ERAs fees because ERAs is an application interface, not a matching service.
3. United States Medical Licensing Examination and/or Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States transcript access is required for your application. This access comes with a fee. Transcripts are requested from the NBME, NBOME, or ECFMG. It is usually around $80 total for transcript access.
Here are the common travel expense related to interviewing:
1. Rental car or taxi
2. Gas mileage
3. Airline tickets
4. Baggage fees
6. Food during travel
1. Clothing for interviews
2. Family member travel, if traveling with a partner, and additional childcare during travel.
With increased travel and critical timelines comes unpredictability. It's wise to leave yourself a small cushion in your budget for instances where you might be delayed and need to spend more on food, or in case you decide to apply to additional programs than originally planned.