Jul 29, 2012
63
3
Status
Medical Student
During an interview at a FM program I was told that if I committed to their program then I would be guaranteed a spot. One of those "if you tell us we are your #1 then we will make sure to rank you high so you match here."

I heard this from a few programs I am interested in during interviews, and talking to the residents who matched these programs they told me that the PD offered them the same thing when they were interviewing there (so it looks like these PDs are strong on their word). After multiple interviews in multiple states and being torn between three programs, I have made up my mind on my #1 choice program. The question I had was how honest are you guys planning on being? (or for those who have matched: how honest were you guys with programs about ranking?) Once you commit do you cancel going to interviews/ recruitment dinners? Do you tell your non#1 programs how you plan on ranking them? I know these questions may be silly, it just seems like Family Med programs are really honest about how they feel about you matching and just wondering how much I should reciprocate?

Thanks.
 

Bacchus

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I was 100% honest and very, very careful (and vague) with my words at other programs. I straight up told the program directors at my #1, where I am now, that I had all intentions on ranking them #1. Whatever you do, don't play this game of telling multiple places they are your #1. Its in poor taste and could come back to bite you in your professional career (some people are weird with their grudges). Granted, FM is big enough you may be able to avoid some of these people, there is always the awkward chance of running into them in the future.

I still interviewed because my interview at my #1 was my first interview. I did not commit on the spot, I committed a month or so later after going to other programs. FWIW, don't burn bridges anywhere because even though most people in this field are genuine, I am sure there are people out there who promise and promise and then don't come through and you need other places to like you to rank you highly in case that happens. You don't want to commit to your #1, burn bridges at your next two favorites and then end up ranking lower down on your list. I haven't heard of this happening, but I'm sure it does, probably moreso in other specialties.

I was contacted by the PD of my #2 and I was honest with him that I did have concerns about a specific part of the curriculum but that I was still very interested in the program (because I was). I never mentioned the words "top choice," "number one" or something of the like because I felt it was untruthful and I knew I'd be in contact with these people in professional circles and didn't want the deceitful reputation following me. He still ranked me highly and I am glad for that in case my number one did play some game with me (although I knew they wouldn't).

Be vague, but honest (I know that sounds weird) and have a candid conversation. Save face at all programs and don't feel bad if you have to tell a program "I don't know." Some people literally change their rank list until the minutes before it is due.
 

organdonor

10+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2009
863
178
Midwest
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'm having a little trouble deciding between 1 and 2 which I've already interviewed at. I've got many interviews left but I doubt they will be able to compare. In both of my thank you emails I informed both they would be "at or near" the top of my list.
 
OP
prometheus09
Jul 29, 2012
63
3
Status
Medical Student
I'm having a little trouble deciding between 1 and 2 which I've already interviewed at. I've got many interviews left but I doubt they will be able to compare. In both of my thank you emails I informed both they would be "at or near" the top of my list.
Once you figure out between your top choices will you go back to your #1 program and let them know they are going to be your #1 ranked program?
 
OP
prometheus09
Jul 29, 2012
63
3
Status
Medical Student
I was 100% honest and very, very careful (and vague) with my words at other programs. I straight up told the program directors at my #1, where I am now, that I had all intentions on ranking them #1. Whatever you do, don't play this game of telling multiple places they are your #1. Its in poor taste and could come back to bite you in your professional career (some people are weird with their grudges). Granted, FM is big enough you may be able to avoid some of these people, there is always the awkward chance of running into them in the future.

I still interviewed because my interview at my #1 was my first interview. I did not commit on the spot, I committed a month or so later after going to other programs. FWIW, don't burn bridges anywhere because even though most people in this field are genuine, I am sure there are people out there who promise and promise and then don't come through and you need other places to like you to rank you highly in case that happens. You don't want to commit to your #1, burn bridges at your next two favorites and then end up ranking lower down on your list. I haven't heard of this happening, but I'm sure it does, probably moreso in other specialties.

I was contacted by the PD of my #2 and I was honest with him that I did have concerns about a specific part of the curriculum but that I was still very interested in the program (because I was). I never mentioned the words "top choice," "number one" or something of the like because I felt it was untruthful and I knew I'd be in contact with these people in professional circles and didn't want the deceitful reputation following me. He still ranked me highly and I am glad for that in case my number one did play some game with me (although I knew they wouldn't).

Be vague, but honest (I know that sounds weird) and have a candid conversation. Save face at all programs and don't feel bad if you have to tell a program "I don't know." Some people literally change their rank list until the minutes before it is due.

Wow, thanks for the awesome replay, Bacchus! I'm glad it worked out for you :) I'm so nervous with coming out to my #1 program, it feels so odd to commit. I definitely will not play the "you're my #1" to every program, that sounds so shady to do and I agree with you about burning bridges. Thank you for the advice!

It's also going to be hard being vague to my other top programs, especially since they all have been so kind! Gahhh, I hate playing this game. LOL. I haven't heard of other specialties outside of FM offering candidates spots like this.
 

551151

Guest
Jun 2, 2013
38
10
Status
MD/PhD Student
What if a PD does not express their interest in you as a candidate in a similar fashion as described above yet you want to rank this particular program number 1? Do you still commit in a thank you note after the interview?
 

smq123

John William Waterhouse
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Jan 9, 2006
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During an interview at a FM program I was told that if I committed to their program then I would be guaranteed a spot. One of those "if you tell us we are your #1 then we will make sure to rank you high so you match here."

I heard this from a few programs I am interested in during interviews, and talking to the residents who matched these programs they told me that the PD offered them the same thing when they were interviewing there (so it looks like these PDs are strong on their word). After multiple interviews in multiple states and being torn between three programs, I have made up my mind on my #1 choice program. The question I had was how honest are you guys planning on being? (or for those who have matched: how honest were you guys with programs about ranking?) Once you commit do you cancel going to interviews/ recruitment dinners? Do you tell your non#1 programs how you plan on ranking them? I know these questions may be silly, it just seems like Family Med programs are really honest about how they feel about you matching and just wondering how much I should reciprocate?

Thanks.
Are you in the MD match or the DO match? I thought this was an MD match violation.
 

organdonor

10+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2009
863
178
Midwest
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Once you figure out between your top choices will you go back to your #1 program and let them know they are going to be your #1 ranked program?
Probably not. I'm going to all the second look activities I can for these two programs and have yet to rotate with one of them on an elective (already spent a month with the other) so they should be able to gauge my interest pretty effectively!
 
OP
prometheus09
Jul 29, 2012
63
3
Status
Medical Student
Are you in the MD match or the DO match? I thought this was an MD match violation.
I'm going through the DO match. Uhm, from my understanding candidates and programs can offer info but they can't pressure you in disclosing. I am going to double check this week, I haven't contacted the program yet so I am going to make sure I don't mess this up. :bag:
 

organdonor

10+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2009
863
178
Midwest
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'm going through the DO match. Uhm, from my understanding candidates and programs can offer info but they can't pressure you in disclosing. I am going to double check this week, I haven't contacted the program yet so I am going to make sure I don't mess this up. :bag:
I also believe this is the case. Candidates can volunteer rank but you can't be asked to disclose rank or I think to what other programs you have applied. That said, at all of my interviews I've been asked where else I am applying lol. I usually give a broad range of "Midwest"
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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Jul 28, 2004
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I also believe this is the case. Candidates can volunteer rank but you can't be asked to disclose rank or I think to what other programs you have applied. That said, at all of my interviews I've been asked where else I am applying lol. I usually give a broad range of "Midwest"
You're not supposed to be asked, but when I was a resident I always did just out of curiousity. It never affected how I scored an applicant. It was more a thing like "Oh you interviewed at X, did you meet so-and-so or isn't their office well decorated" or something else basically meaningless.
 

smq123

John William Waterhouse
Staff member
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Jan 9, 2006
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I'm going through the DO match. Uhm, from my understanding candidates and programs can offer info but they can't pressure you in disclosing. I am going to double check this week, I haven't contacted the program yet so I am going to make sure I don't mess this up. :bag:
From what I had been told, trying to make deals like "If you commit to us, we will rank you #1" are a match violation, at least in the NRMP. I think it's sleazy no matter what.