contact to and from programs

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by ms2009, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. ms2009

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    a few questions-

    1- how common is it for people to notify their top choice by email or phone call? is it worthwhile? won't most programs have already made their rank lists by now?

    2- are there any programs that if you send a letter to them, they may not respond (i.e. if i send a letter and dont hear back, does that mean anything?)

    3- have heard of people being contacted by program directors and/or other committee members in the past after interviews about being ranked "extremely high" or "to match" or with any other indication that they are particularly interested? is this common or uncommon in ophthalmology? it seems to happen a great deal in other specialties from what i have heard
     
  2. Wolverine98

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    It's not uncommon for people to do this, but it's a waste of time. As you noted, most programs have already made their list. As is the case for you, it's in the program's best interest to rank people in the order they want them, so there's no reason to change the list based on someone saying they want to be there.
    Lastly, just about every program director has been lied to about this at some point or another, and are inclined to take it with a grain of salt (and it's something that could come back to bite you in the you-know-where down the road if you are one of the people who lies about it).

    I wouldn't take that to mean anything, especially at this time of year. PDs and coordinators also often take time off at this time of year. Also, unless you specifically ask something that requires a response, then I wouldn't worry about it.

    I don't think it happens as much in ophtho as it does in some other specialties. Even if it does, I would take what you're told with a big grain of salt. Some programs will try to get everyone to rank them highly, so they can say that only went down to spot 10 or 12 or whatever on their list.

    I had multiple classmates apply to the same program (non-ophtho) when I was in med school. The program called them all and told them they would be ranked at the top of the list. Most of them talked to each other, and they realized that it was a 3 person per-year program, and 5 of them had been told they'd be ranked at the top (one of them wanted to go there, but matched somewhere else).

    I know that our program will not make unsolicited contact with people individually. Back when I was interviewing, one of the first things that Lichter (Kellogg) told everyone on the interview day was that they absolutely would not initiate any contact with people after the interview day (I'm assuming he still does that, but I don't know for sure).

    Just remember, the algorithm is in your favor. Rank the programs in the order you like them. There's no reason to change your list if the program you were going to put at #10 says they're going to put you #1. If they're telling the truth, that just means you don't have to worry about falling below #10 on your list.
     
  3. minterr

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    what about having a faculty member/letter write make a phone call to your first choice or top choices on your behalf?
     
  4. Wolverine98

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    It probably won't hurt, but I wouldn't expect it to really make a difference. The one chance would be if the person who is calling knows the PD they're calling very well (i.e., old friends, residency classmates, etc). Of course, then you run the risk of the person calling being too honest; who are they going to take better care of, their old friend, or a medical student they've known for a month or two?
     
  5. alleyesonme

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    If this is the case, uh oh. I sent thank you letters to all the programs where I interviewed. I have not heard anything back. We will see on January 15th....
     
  6. MacularStar

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    I think it is against the match rules for them to contact you directly after your interview. The PD at Casey mentioned multiple times that applicants should not view their lack of communication negatively and that they were simply following the rules. Hope this helps.
     
  7. Wolverine98

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    The programs are not supposed to initiate contact, but if you contact them with a specific question/request, they're allowed to respond.
     
  8. minterr

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    I have heard that wilmer has called people to let them know they are ranked in their top 7 in the past.

    has anyone heard of them calling people this year?
     
  9. BTS

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    I mentioned this in an earlier post, but this is inaccurate. Check the SF match website if you disagree (under match rules).
     
  10. Wolverine98

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    You'd better read that a little more carefully.

    This is not what program directors have been told. The match rules you mentioned only mentions what can be said during an interview. It says absolutely nothing about contacting someone after the interview process is completed, which, as I mentioned above, is not allowed (again, at least according to what SFMatch tells the programs).
     
  11. MacularStar

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    According the rules below it appears that both parties can simply inform the other of their rank position, but it makes sense that the PD's are given more detail than is listed on the website. As far as rules go for such an important process... they seem fairly sparce.

    Match Rules

    Applicants and Programs who participate in the match are bound by the following rules:
    Appointments
    The participating programs agree not to make any appointments prior to the match. Positions that remain vacant after the match may be filled by direct negotiation between program directors and applicants. These positions may be listed on the Vacancy Information System.

    Confidential Ranking Lists
    All ranking lists are confidential. The matching program will not reveal how any applicant ranked any program, nor how any program ranked any applicant.


    Statements of Intent
    If made, such statements must be unilateral, voluntary, and unconditional. Neither party may ask the other for a commitment. A statement like: "I will rank you first if you rank me first" is against the matching rules. A statement like: "You are among the best programs/applicants I have seen so far; I appreciate meeting you regardless of how you will rank me" is permitted.


    Binding Commitment
    By signing your rank list you formally commit yourself to accept a position in any one of the programs you have listed. Both parties are bound by the results of the match. However, your actual entry into the training program (and your continuation in it) is contingent upon your satisfactory completion of the usual prerequisite training, any special requirements the program may have stated explicitly for all applicants, and satisfactory performance during your training.

    Violations
    Observed violations of the matching rules must be reported to the Match Director, who will forward information to the sponsoring organization.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  12. Wolverine98

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    Yes, I'm aware of that statement, which still doesn't say anything about contacting places afterwards. Many people make these statements on the day of interview, and this is what's being referred to in that statement. It's also more relevant to the type of comments that are allowed, not the method of communication.
     
  13. MacularStar

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    This is true...the rules regarding post interview communication between program and applicants do appear to be vague or rather, non-existent. It is hard to know what the etiquette is as a medical student. Oh well... its almost over now!! (for this year).:xf:
     
  14. Wolverine98

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    No, they're not vague. Check the AUPO website (the sponsoring organization of the Match):
    http://www.aupo.org/about/files/match_rules.pdf

    "Residency programs are not to initiate
    contact with applicants after the interview
    until the match has been completed. This
    policy has been promulgated in the
    ophthalmology matching program directory
    in order that candidates will know if this
    policy is violated by programs."
     
  15. MacularStar

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    I am sorry if my comments rubbed you the wrong way Wolverine. I am just surprised that there is not more description on the SFM website. I can't speak for everyone, but I think this is the resource most applicants use for gaining match info. As for me... I have not heard from any programs since interviews.

    Thanks for the link. I enjoyed reading about the history of the OMP from the main page. Does anyone know why the other programs left SF match ie. ENT, Neurosurg?
     
  16. Wolverine98

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    Don't worry, you didn't rub me the wrong way. I had the stuff in some of the written paperwork I have, but I hadn't gotten around to finding it online. SFM basically just has a link to the AUPO website. I think they then rely on you going to look at it (yeah, that's what we all want to do).
     
  17. Wolverine98

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    Just a hunch, but I'm betting they realized that NRMP is a much better program for themselves and the candidates, and they had no financial incentive to stay with SFM.
     
  18. MacularStar

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    How is it better for the candidates? Did ENT and Neurosurg previously have to match separately through NRMP for their intern year too (not sure, but I think they have one match now)? It is nice to match early with SF, but it sure would be nice not to have to match separately for intern year, esp since it involves more $$ and a whole diff distrib system :oops:.
     
  19. minterr

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    just a guess, but its probably because a few years ago sfmatch screwed up the urology match. a candidate had ranked a program #1 and the program had ranked the candidate #1, but she didn't match there. similarly, another candidate was initially matched to a harvard urology program and then they had to rerun the match and she ended up unmatched. it was a nightmare for them all.

    this experience was probably just the large bundle of straw that broke the camel's back. we've all experience minor and major frustrations with sfmatch's somewhat antiquated system (printable pdf vs online fill out and submission is just one example), and luckily for the other specialites, their national professional organizations don't own the match. they were free to switch to NMRP/ERAS!
     
  20. Wolverine98

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    As minterr mentioned, NRMP doesn't seem to have the mistakes that SFmatch has had.
    NRMP also has the advantage of giving a true couples match either within one specialty or in multiple specialties.
    I thought that the ERAS/NRMP application process was a lot more simple; sfmatch really hasn't caught up to the 21st century distribution systems. They're better than when I applied, but still have a way to go.
    Also as noted, you don't have to spend the extra money to go through the process for the intern year.
     

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