flabs

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Hello-

I was curious if this were possible? If doing the couples match...after you both have gone through all the possibilities that land you both in the same institute, city, or region - can you then make a choice that places you both in different towns (thus assuring that you both at least land a residency in a place you liked - but unfortunately, placing you in different places).

I know this kinda defeats the purpose of "couples matching" but I think this would be a better alternative than one or both of you scrambling into someplace you didn't even interview at.
 

gutonc

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Hello-

I was curious if this were possible? If doing the couples match...after you both have gone through all the possibilities that land you both in the same institute, city, or region - can you then make a choice that places you both in different towns (thus assuring that you both at least land a residency in a place you liked - but unfortunately, placing you in different places).

I know this kinda defeats the purpose of "couples matching" but I think this would be a better alternative than one or both of you scrambling into someplace you didn't even interview at.
Yes...you can do this. Whether this is better or worse than one of you not matching at all is a decision every couple has to make for themselves.
 

joco7788

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Hello-

I was curious if this were possible? If doing the couples match...after you both have gone through all the possibilities that land you both in the same institute, city, or region - can you then make a choice that places you both in different towns (thus assuring that you both at least land a residency in a place you liked - but unfortunately, placing you in different places).

I know this kinda defeats the purpose of "couples matching" but I think this would be a better alternative than one or both of you scrambling into someplace you didn't even interview at.
Yes, at the bottom of your rank lists you can list programs individually. But a warning, couple's matching is very risky. I have two very good friends, who were both AOA and top of my school, couples match. Both failed to match into their specialty of choice. They did not rank individual programs, and ultimately had to scramble.

They were both applying for competitive specialties, and I'm quite sure that had something to do with it. So if a couple is trying for competitive specialties, then be careful! If one is not a competitive specialty (or both are not considered "competitive"), then I would assume it would be easier to couple's match.
 

aProgDirector

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But a warning, couple's matching is very risky. I have two very good friends, who were both AOA and top of my school, couples match. Both failed to match into their specialty of choice. They did not rank individual programs, and ultimately had to scramble.
If they had listed programs that were not geographically linked at the bottom of their list, their chances of matching would have been exactly the same as if they had matched separately. Hence, "couples matching" itself is not risky. "Couples matching and not listing all combinations" is risky.
 
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Guile

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If they had listed programs that were not geographically linked at the bottom of their list, their chances of matching would have been exactly the same as if they had matched separately. Hence, "couples matching" itself is not risky. "Couples matching and not listing all combinations" is risky.
Do you think that programs rank you lower when they hear your spouse is matching into a competitive specialty? I've heard that they ask at interviews if you're couples matching. This would lower your chances of matching at all if they push you down on their list because they feel that it's less likely you'll come there since your spouse has a harder time matching.
 

bravotwozero

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why would your spouse necessarily have a 'harder time matching'? If anything, couples match maybe be looked upon favorably, b/c you are more likely to come there, because your spouse wants to be there too. My uncle was once on a residency selection committee, and he told me that they had a couple apply to their IM program. One was a strong candidate, the other weak. The PD chose to accept the weak candidate along with the strong one, because she did not want to break up the couple.
 

quinsy

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couples matched into two competitive specialties.

You can rank the combinations any way you'd like, i.e.
1. NYC program #1 and NYC program #1
2. NYC program #1 and NYC program #2
3. NYC program #2 and NYC program #2
4. NYC program #2 and Boston program #1

I don't recommend doing rankings of programs that are far apart geographically though. We had to be 2 hours apart for internship (partner had a transitional program) and it was so sad to be long distance during internship, we worked so hard and barely saw one another.

We matched at his #2 choice, my #3 choice, but that was fine because we had compromised and my #3 choice was actually a program I loved.

We made sure to interview at like 18 programs and ranked almost all of them, just in case, but I think this was unnecessary caution.
 
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So selecting on ERAS that you are couples matching doesn't tie you to your partner?

Like say we have a lot of overlap on programs we would like to match but neither one of us want to risk not matching. Could we list say our top 5 in the same city and then fill out the rest of our list with individual rank preferences after that? That way we could have the chance of going to the same program if it works out, but still have the individual programs to fall back on right?
 
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gutonc

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So selecting on ERAS that you are couples matching doesn't tie you to your partner?

Like say, I'm in a newer relationship where we have a lot of overlap on programs we would like to match but neither one of us want to risk not matching. Could we list say our top 5 in the same city and then fill out the rest of our list with individual rank preferences after that? That way we could have the chance of going to the same program if it works out, but still have the individual programs to fall back on right?
If I understand the process correctly, yes you can do this, but it's complicated (and I'm too lazy to explain it...but it's do-able).

Why not just enter ROLs that are geographically similar? So you both rank all the programs in City X in your top 4, then the 3 programs in City Y followed by the 2 places in City Z and then the rest in different cities. Clearly a risk that you'll wind up in different places of course. But since you're going to break up near the end of you intern year anyway, no harm no foul.
 

Medikit

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Just wanted to make a general comment:

Make sure your programs know that you are couples matching and remind them during your interview and afterwards. It was surprising to me how many programs forgot that I was couples matching. I even received follow up letters from my top ranked residency programs asking me why I didn't choose them since I was "ranked to match" when the sole reason I didn't match was due to the couples match. This does seem to be more of a problem with larger programs who interview many applicants.
 

Raryn

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If I understand the process correctly, yes you can do this, but it's complicated (and I'm too lazy to explain it...but it's do-able).

Why not just enter ROLs that are geographically similar? So you both rank all the programs in City X in your top 4, then the 3 programs in City Y followed by the 2 places in City Z and then the rest in different cities. Clearly a risk that you'll wind up in different places of course. But since you're going to break up near the end of you intern year anyway, no harm no foul.
In general, this is an awful idea. Because what will inevitably happen is you'll match at your #4 in city X and he'll match in his #5 in city Y, while you might have actually preferred your #5 to your #4.

What you need to do is just rank all possible combinations when you put your rank list together. If you do this, there is absolutely, positively, ZERO difference in either of your individual chances to match, and you maximize your chance of staying together.

For example, if you have 10 interviews and your fiance has 10 interviews, there are 120 possible combinations you can rank. (10 matches+not matched*10 matches+not matched, minus the possibility you both don't match). So you rank the say, 20 combinations you're in the same city at the top, the next 80 combinations where you're not in the same city (in order of preference), and then the 20 combinations where one of you matches and the other one doesn't (which, if you ranked all possible combinations appropriately above that, will only come into play if that person wouldnt have matched regardless).

Don't do what gutonc suggested, because it has a very, very high chance of not ending as well as actually making an appropriate couples list would have.

(And the ERAS "couples match" field is absolutely separate from the NRMP couples match option. You can apply and say you were couples matching and then not actually rank together, you can apply and say you were couples matching and then attempt to couples match, or you can even not mention anything to the programs and attempt to couples match anyway. Any combination works)
 
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Jun 21, 2016
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In general, this is an awful idea. Because what will inevitably happen is you'll match at your #4 in city X and he'll match in his #5 in city Y, while you might have actually preferred your #5 to your #4.

What you need to do is just rank all possible combinations when you put your rank list together. If you do this, there is absolutely, positively, ZERO difference in either of your individual chances to match, and you maximize your chance of staying together.

For example, if you have 10 interviews and your fiance has 10 interviews, there are 120 possible combinations you can rank. (10 matches+not matched*10 matches+not matched, minus the possibility you both don't match). So you rank the say, 20 combinations you're in the same city at the top, the next 80 combinations where you're not in the same city (in order of preference), and then the 20 combinations where one of you matches and the other one doesn't (which, if you ranked all possible combinations appropriately above that, will only come into play if that person wouldnt have matched regardless).

Don't do what gutonc suggested, because it has a very, very high chance of not ending as well as actually making an appropriate couples list would have.

(And the ERAS "couples match" field is absolutely separate from the NRMP couples match option. You can apply and say you were couples matching and then not actually rank together, you can apply and say you were couples matching and then attempt to couples match, or you can even not mention anything to the programs and attempt to couples match anyway. Any combination works)
I know this is a slightly older post, but thank you for the detailed explanation. My question is so if I was to rank program X number 1 and program Y number 2 and she ranks program X number 1 and program Y number and 2, and program X really likes me and ranks me number 1 but doesn't like her, while program Y ranks us both number 1, and in this case I really really like program X, not too excited for program Y, then with couples match program X would reject both of us and we would both end up at program Y correct? So we'd be together but I would have to go to a program that's not as desirable, whereas if we applied separately then I could go to program X and she could go to program Y, which assuming they're in the same city would still allow us to live together? So the tradeoff being that yes we will match somewhere, but by doing couples match there's a higher risk of ending up at less desirable programs Obviously there are a lot of variables, but to put it simply.
 

Raryn

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I know this is a slightly older post, but thank you for the detailed explanation. My question is so if I was to rank program X number 1 and program Y number 2 and she ranks program X number 1 and program Y number and 2, and program X really likes me and ranks me number 1 but doesn't like her, while program Y ranks us both number 1, and in this case I really really like program X, not too excited for program Y, then with couples match program X would reject both of us and we would both end up at program Y correct? So we'd be together but I would have to go to a program that's not as desirable, whereas if we applied separately then I could go to program X and she could go to program Y, which assuming they're in the same city would still allow us to live together? So the tradeoff being that yes we will match somewhere, but by doing couples match there's a higher risk of ending up at less desirable programs Obviously there are a lot of variables, but to put it simply.
But if you preferred being at X and her at Y relative to you both being at Y, you could rank it that way.

For example, a complete rank list for those two programs (with XY for you ranked above YY) and the possibility of going unmatched is:

Rank
#1 XX
#2 XY
#3 YY
#4 YX
#5 X0
#6 Y0
#7 0X
#8 0Y

You have every possible permutation available, and you explicitly make the choice of how to rank them. Couples matching can mathematically never be a disadvantage unless you simply don't rank certain combinations.

Better to talk it out with your partner NOW to decide your priorities with regards to better programs vs being together. NOT couples matching is just ignoring it and gambling.

There will be multiple types of combinations, including you both close together at highly desired programs (obviously ranked highly), you both at undesired programs far apart (ranked at the bottom), you both at highly desired programs far apart, one or both of you at crappy programs close together, etc, etc. You need to sit down and decide on what your priorities are and then rank it based on your desires. There is no true correct answer for those intermediate categories. Some combinations (you both at crappy programs far apart for example) might even be ranked below the possibility of one of you not matching. But that should be your explicit choice.
 
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Jun 21, 2016
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But if you preferred being at X and her at Y relative to you both being at Y, you could rank it that way.

For example, a complete rank list for those two programs (with XY for you ranked above YY) and the possibility of going unmatched is:

Rank
#1 XX
#2 XY
#3 YY
#4 YX
#5 X0
#6 Y0
#7 0X
#8 0Y

You have every possible permutation available, and you explicitly make the choice of how to rank them. Couples matching can mathematically never be a disadvantage unless you simply don't rank certain combinations.

Better to talk it out with your partner NOW to decide your priorities with regards to better programs vs being together. NOT couples matching is just ignoring it and gambling.

There will be multiple types of combinations, including you both close together at highly desired programs (obviously ranked highly), you both at undesired programs far apart (ranked at the bottom), you both at highly desired programs far apart, one or both of you at crappy programs close together, etc, etc. You need to sit down and decide on what your priorities are and then rank it based on your desires. There is no true correct answer for those intermediate categories. Some combinations (you both at crappy programs far apart for example) might even be ranked below the possibility of one of you not matching. But that should be your explicit choice.
Ah OK I get it now. My understanding was that if we both ranked program X as 1 and program X didn't like one of us then that would exclude both of us from program X for any and all combinations including program X, but in your example option 2 would still be possible. That's where I was confused. Thank you for explaining that.
 

Raryn

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Ah OK I get it now. My understanding was that if we both ranked program X as 1 and program X didn't like one of us then that would exclude both of us from program X for any and all combinations including program X, but in your example option 2 would still be possible. That's where I was confused. Thank you for explaining that.
My pleasure. It is important to keep in mind that you are ranked separately by the programs, not as a unit. (If you tell the program you are couples matching they may rank you near each other as an active choice, but that's a conscious decision on their part)
 
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Hi guys, my partner and I plan to make a couples ROL but we have not and don't want to disclose it in ERAS application. Would it be a NRMP match violation?