Over the past week, subscribers to the Sheriff of Sodium YouTube channel have been treated to a sprawling and expansive six-part video series on the Match – including the long-awaited Part 6, which tackles the on the question of whether we’d be better off without a match.
Did you miss out? Don’t worry – links to all the videos are here.
Part 1: Why do we have a Match?
Why is getting a residency job so different than getting most any other job? Here, I cover the history of residency training and the events the led to the proposal for the first match.
Part 2: The battle for the algorithm
Using a central clearinghouse to pair up applicants and programs is a great idea in theory. But in practice, it’s not so easy. How do you make optimal pairings when participants’ desires conflict? This is the story of the first matching algorithm – and how medical students successfully fought for a better one.
Part 3: On marriages and matching
In 1979, a medical student realized that the NRMP’s algorithm prioritized the preferences of programs over those of students. This is the story of his decades-long battle to change to a student-optimal algorithm.
Part 4: Unraveling and going all in
Matching markets have a weakness – if too many deals are struck outside the market, the matching process unravels. This is the story of how – and why – the NRMP addressed this vulnerability in their market.
Part 5: The lawsuit
In 2002, a group of resident physicians filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., alleging a broad conspiracy among medicine’s governing bodies to keep resident salaries low and work hours high. The Match was on trial.
Part 6: Would we be better off without a Match?
In the final episode, it’s time to take on the big question: do we need a Match? Would we be better off without one?