What do you do if do not match? Well, you can certainly take a year off and then reapply. If you are not matched you might consider building your resume during the extra year with research, volunteering, or pursuing an additional degree such as an MPH or MBA. You should also consider a non-clinical job or non-clinical career.
There are many non-clinical opportunities for medical school graduates who have not matched. These include consulting, finance, research, industry, writing, entrepreneurism, non-profits, education and others. SEAK’s Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians conference is a great place to explore your options. Non-Clinical Careers features successful physicians in numerous fields, as well as mentoring, and the opportunity to meet with recruiters and employers.
In terms of money, going non-clinical is often going to mean more money not less, both in the short and long terms. Entry level non-clinical jobs for MDs are generally going to pay far in excess of residency and the work required will be far less demanding. Over the long-term, non-clinical jobs often pay more than clinical medicine – where the talents and education of physicians is usually undercompensated.
If you are not matched, consider a non-clinical career path as an option. You may like what you find.