The match – a process that simultaneously inspires excitement and uncertainty in all senior medical students and young doctors applying for residency positions – can be a grueling and nerve-wracking experience.
One piece of advice given most is: stay organized.
The slew of interviews comes with the added pressure of necessary travel and lodging, along with the continual updating of questions.
Created by Cappella Mobile, the app is created for senior medical students and young doctors applying for the match. Made for the iOS platform, the developers hope to help the future interns make the difficult decision of where to start their career easier. To this end, they offer a limited version of the app for free which we review here.
But can the app really help us accomplish this decision?
The app’s home screen is simple and colorful. There is a countdown clock for the deadline for applicants to certify rank lists (Feb. 22 for those who need a refresher), a reminder of match events, and the options to add programs and interviews. The bottom of the screen presents tabs for match lists, timelines, my programs, and settings.
The settings tab helps to weigh the importance of various factors, which will help the app create an individual rank list based on your preferences of characteristics for programs ranging from: location, clinical vs. academic, lifestyle, prestige, and career path.
From the home screen the user can search through an exhaustive list of programs in every specialty (and some that I didn’t even know existed). There is an ability to further limit the search by state. Accessing a program’s details reveals some quick and helpful information ranging from program directors and coordinators, websites, and contact information.
The app’s utility is greatest in managing interviews. When granted an interview, entering it in the app can allow you sync the dates with the iPhone’s calendar (and for the socially adventurous, on Facebook too). To assist with rating the program, the user can add photos, audio, and written memos for future review and recollection.
The app helps to create an initial rank list based on the rankings of the programs. There is another “intuitive” ranking, but it is difficult to deduce how the app creates this during this limited trial.
The limited trial version allows for only 3 added programs. While you can still search and explore, to continue using the features, the unlimited version can be purchased for $2.99.
The app does have some flaws and limitations.
Most importantly, the fixed preferences for weighing programs does not properly address all issues and concerns applicants may have. Secondly, the criterion for creation of the “intuitive” rank list is quite unclear. There is also an oversight on an important part of interviews: travel. The app could be improved by the addition of a section for travel/lodging confirmations etc.
- Free for limited trial, unlimited access can be purchased in-app for $2.99
- Simple and convenient to use
- Quick program overview with information is a helpful addition
- Ability to save memos for later
- “One size fits all” approach to preferences not ideal
- Could be improved and more comprehensive for use
- An app with some good features that would be helpful as the season progresses, but by no means is a “must-have” for applicants.