BOSTON, MA – With an increasing number of medical school seniors applying for The Match each year, residency programs have admittedly been looking for a better way to sift through the applications. New data from Massachusetts, where programs last year received more than 40,000 residency applications, suggests that the dating app Tinder may be just what they were looking for.
Dr. Patel-Gupta-Rao, Chairman of Emergency Medicine (EM) at Tufts University, explains the New England revolution. “The old process of reading fabricated standardized personal statements, impersonal letters of recommendation copied from an online open source and going through USMLE scores was just too time consuming. Medical students think we are able to understand the STEP scores, but the truth is, who can figure out why anyone would make a scale with no upper and lower limit with a passing score of 192? Certainly not an EM physician. We started adopting Tinder for our selection process, and we aren’t going back.”
He adds, ”With Tinder, everything is made easier. We set a radius, put a couple of photos of nice residents having fun or posing with microscopes in scrubs, and start looking. If we see a resident that we like, we swipe left. If he or she swipes left, done! We’ve replaced the ‘Congratulations, you have matched’ with an instantaneous ‘It’s a match.’ The interview by text message can start right there.”
Medical coordinator Carolyn Davis fully agrees, adding, “We’re done with interview dates. The pizza and sandwich places we catered from are mad, but we’re saving money. Also, before I could never get the chief residents to review the applications in time. Now, I see that they can do about 50 a day during noon conference time alone. It’s wonderful!”
“The change has been beneficial for both sides,” says fourth-year medical student Rosa Huntington. “It’s so cool. We don’t have to ask for letters of recommendation or phone calls. The LORs have all been replaced by the things you have in common on Tinder. We add our attendings on Facebook, and they instantly pop up as ‘mutual friends’ on Tinder. The more you have, the better you match.”
Google searches of “What not to text on the first interview?” and “What emojis are appropriate?” have become increasingly popular. Fourth-year medical student John Freeman adds, “What a huge relief it was when I learned I could use =) on my interview! It made me much less anxious seeing that friendly yellow smile. So far I think I am doing very well on the interview trail. I hope I never get to see the angry red face emoji,” added another student.
But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Dr. Zugarberg is afraid that small programs will not be able to compete with major hospitals. “Just last week, I heard that UCLA closed a deal with a hot shot Hollywood studio to get some killer profile shots. The Mayo Clinic had photos of residents in suits hanging out of helicopters on their profile. There’s no way we can match that.”
Gomerblog tried to reach representatives of Tinder but was unsuccessful. An official press release from the company notes their plans to expand to fellowship and job applications starting in 2018.