Editor’s note: For some reason the NRMP thinks that people are going to confuse our review of this app as somehow being affiliated with their organization. We want to make clear that we are not affiliated with the app developer (as is clearly noted in our “about” page and our COI page), and as is obvious for most, and that we are certainly not affiliated with the NRMP. 

Purpose of the App Review:

1) What kind of information does the Scrambl app provide about residency programs?
2) Does the app provide a listing of unfilled positions during match week?
3) With the new SOAP system used to fill open spots during match week, does this app really even help anymore?

Introduction:

This year, 40,335 individuals applied for medical training programs through the NRMP®. Only 25,463 individuals successfully matched into a residency position. Medicine has always been a competitive field, but as medical education funding cuts persist and more foreign and American physicians apply, the harder it becomes to find training positions.

The 14,872 people who did not match into a program were allowed to enter the SOAP® (Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program). This has replaced the scramble. The goal is to still get one of the approximately 1,000 unfilled positions.

The SOAP® now allows applicants to use their original ERAS application from regular application/interview season to apply to programs with unfilled spots on ERAS. The programs have phone interviews with candidates and the programs also rank candidates (just like they did for the regular match). In the scramble, applicants would have to fax or email a copy of their application to each program, making it a tedious process.

Scrambl is an iOS app that tries to help those who are in the SOAP® by aggregating general data about programs. This app only includes information about Internal Medicine programs.

User Interface:

The app opens with a list of all of the states.

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When a user chooses a state, a list of all of the internal medicine programs will populate.

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When you advance to a specific program, the program information is listed. Some of the information that the app includes is: the ERAS number of the program, the program director’s info, the program coordinator’s info, a link to the website, and the size of the program.

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The iTunes app store’s description of this app says it will include board scores. I was not able to find many entries of programs with board scores included. Of those that include board score numbers, there are no citations.

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Additionally, nowhere in the description does it mention that this app is only for internal medicine. It might have been an oversight on the developer’s part, but that is a very important piece of information for prospective buyers of this app.

Price:

  • $1.99

Likes:

  • Easily puts helpful information about internal medicine residency programs in one place
  • Includes up-to-date information for all of the programs
  • All of the links I tried from the app worked

Dislikes:

  • Though it does not say it anywhere on the app description, this app only includes internal medicine programs
  • With the way the SOAP® (which has replaced the scramble) works, this app is almost obsolete
  • In the description of this app in the iTunes app store, it says the app includes average board scores (which is hard information to track down, making this feature very useful) but I did not find very many entries with board scores included
  • The description of the app in the app store does not specify that this app is only for internal medicine residency programs. A user would have to actually purchase the app to figure that out (or read this review).

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app:

  • Medical students
  • All others applying to internal medicine residency programs

Conclusion:

  • Scrambl is an app that compiles information about internal medicine residency programs. The app is designed so that a user who is scrambling to gain acceptance into an unfilled residency spot can easily find information about a program quickly. The app could also be helpful to any applicants applying to an internal medicine residency (during the regular application season).
  • Though the app description in the iTunes app store mentions there are helpful pieces of info in the app (like board scores), I was not able to find many entries with that information.
  • This app cannot access the list of  unfilled positions during match week. That is only available online on ERAS (online residency application) for the individuals who must SOAP®.
  • The new SOAP® program makes this app almost obsolete. Applicants must access a program’s ERAS information page to apply (for the SOAP® or during the regular application process). The ERAS information page includes almost all of the information included on this app plus much, much more. This app is not available for the Android platform.

iTunes Link

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • No

 

Rating:
Overall: 1.75/5 Stars
User Interface:  2/5 Stars. The app is very plain, but is simple to use and understand. The app is not searchable, though it has a lot of information included.
Multimedia Coverage: 1/5 Stars. The app does not have any multimedia coverage.
Price: 2/5 Stars. The app costs $1.99. The app overpromises and under-delivers. The information found on this app rehashes information that is much more conveniently found on ERAS, which applicants must access to apply to a program. It would be an extra step to use this app when gather info about programs.
Real World Applicability: 2/5 Stars. During application season, internal medicine residency applicants can get some use out of this. But as aforementioned, it would be an extra step to use this app to get info on a residency program.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad (compatible), iPod Touch (3rd generation and later)
Requires: iOS 5.0 or later