2001-2002 Medical Student's Guide to Successful Residency
Matching A fantastic small and easy to read guide from Wards
to Rotations, Choosing a specialty, Interviews and the
Match! UCLA Annual pocket guide to the year-long residency
matching process. Covers speciality selections, planning
clinical years, the matching process, selecting programs
for application, interviewing, ranking, match day, and
tips for the international medical graduate.
lists are entered via the World Wide Web using the NRMP’s
Registration, Ranking, and Results (R3) System
Currently, applicants enter their rank lists
online via the NRMP website. Applicants should check with the
NRMP to confirm the date that the ranking function will open
and the deadline for entering rank lists. The process is relatively
straightforward. The applicant is able to change the list at
any time up until the deadline. Generally, applicants should
avoid making changes the day of the deadline, as the NRMP cannot
guarantee the availability of the web site. Also, applicants
should trust their instincts and avoid making last minute changes.
The NRMP will not create or in any way modify rank order lists
after the deadline, when the R3 System shuts down.
Note: the deadline is given in Eastern Standard Time.
should rank all programs they are willing to attend
There really is no reason to try to keep your
rank list smaller than the size of all programs you would consider
attending. The only programs not on your rank list should be
those you would absolutely NOT attend. The applicant does not
benefit from a short rank list. For example, if you receive
your first choice, it made no difference if you had only one
choice on your rank list or twenty programs on your rank list.
However, ranking fewer programs, thinking you have a sure spot
at a particular program, can be harmful. There are many stories
from students who went unmatched because they ranked too few
Visit the NRMP web site for information
about the impact or rank order list length.
programs in the order you want to attend them
Some applicants rank programs in the order that they
perceive are the most prestigious. If this is the order you wish
to attend the programs, then this is fine. However, do not rank
programs you do not want to attend because you do not think you
will match with that program. For example if you are really interested
in entering Community Hospital, do not rank Big Name University
first thinking you really do not have a chance to match there
and will end up at Community Hospital in the end. This may seem
obvious, but there are stories of unhappy students who are attending
programs they were never really interested in, but ranked them
thinking they would not match at that institution.
Other applicants rank the programs in the order they believe
they will be accepted. This method may ensure that an applicant
matches at the first program on their rank list, but does not
give the applicant what they really want. Remember to put your
list in the order YOU want them in. This will give you the best
chance of matching at the program you want the most.
to residents, faculty, and advisors
You want to make informed decisions when it comes
to making your rank list. Consider all the factors you feel
most important: location, work environment, setting, etc., and
then talk with people you trust to help formulate your decision.
The ranking process can be the most difficult part of the entire
application. Make use of the resources available to you. By
the house staff office of programs you are deciding between,
you can ask for additional names and contact information for
who may be able to assist in your decision.
are a valuable commodity
As said earlier, the process, from interview
to ranking, is similar to a major league baseball draft. Residency
programs may contact you to ask how their program fits into
your rank list. You may receive phone calls from residents,
faculty, or even the program director. Residency programs may
express their interest in having you attend their program
their "number one draft pick." Be honest with your contacts.
If they ask where you are ranking them, you may answer by
them that they are first on your list. You may tell them that
you have not decided and you are strongly considering their
program. If you are not comfortable discussing your rank list
with the programs, you should not feel obligated to do so.
Be aware that you need to formulate your list according to
your own desires. Do not feel pressured to rank a program
you may have had contact with a program. Remember that a program
may customarily call a huge number of applicants. Just because
a program tells an applicant that they will be ranked #1, there
is no binding agreement that the program must rank that applicant
first. The only binding agreement is made in the Match itself.
Agreeements before Match day are not allowed by the NRMP.
rank list is yours alone
This may be the most important piece of advice
for applicants. Remember that the rank list belongs to you.
As important as your family, friends, advisors, and classmates
are to you, the rank list belongs to the applicant. It will
be you that will have to live with the decision to train at
a residency program. You will be the one answering pages at
2 AM in a given hospital, working with residents in an institution,
and living in a particular region of the country. You must
the decisions. After you have entered your list, no one will
ever know the order in which you ranked the programs. Your
program director will never know whether you ranked their program
first or dead last.