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Do you believe the "promise"?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by Sabreman, Dec 17, 2001.

  1. Sabreman

    Sabreman Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 20, 2001
    OK, I know that nothing said during interviews is legally binding so I don't need to be reminded of that. However, if the program director gushes all over you and tells you that you are exactly what the program is looking for, that you are the strongest candidate there that interview day, and that he "assumes" that they will list you to match there, how much of a grain of salt should you take that with?

    I am a very trusting person, and this was at a top-notch "competitive" program, so I doubt he was a terribly deceitful person. I just don't know whether I should pack my bags yet or not. Has anyone had experience with this situation and been burned?
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  3. droliver

    droliver Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    May 1, 2001
    Do not put too much faith in some of these compliments. They may generally like you, but their priority is securing a full match at their program rather than servicing your best interest.
  4. In general, I would not fully trust what the program directors says. I do know people who were burned by what a program director promised. I think they tell you things you want to hear because the match is really in the applicant's favor. That being said, they probably were drooling over your credentials. You will likely get one of your top choices in the match.
  5. bugzee75

    bugzee75 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 30, 2001
    A residency advisor at my school said don't trust any promises unless you get them in writing. If you really like the program let the program director know especially if you rank them number one. They may then rank you in their top (however many spaces are available in the match). Otherwise, its all just one big lottery. :rolleyes:
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    I agree with the sentiments here. Although I wasn't in the same position, I had some friends who were also "promised" to be ranked number 1 and then didn't match to said program.

    Lots of things can happen between meeting you and ROL day - others on the committee can disagree, other candidates may seem more impressive after you leave, second thoughts or just sheer misleading comments by the PD.

    If its in writing then you can take the Promise seriously.
  7. surg

    surg 10+ Year Member

    Dec 16, 2001
    Do NOT _EVER_ put your faith in the feedback that you get at the interview when it comes to how the program is going to rank you. You generally interview with more than 1 person, and even if 1 person loves you, if the others don't, well, I'm sorry, you will not rank high.
    Unless they hand you a contract and inform you that your spot is secure, it holds no more strength than you telling them, "Yes, I'd love to live in the middle of nowhere where this program is!" You meant it when you said it, but once you thought about it, well....
    In summary, are program directors trying to deceive you? In general, no. Do they want to say nice things to you? yes. Therefore, don't stop interviewing or telling everyone you are certain to go to program X, unless you want to scramble on unmatch day. (This actually happened to a friend of mine matching in FP of all things. Got great feedback from one top-notch place, gave only half-hearted interviews after that, and ended up scrambling)
  8. I agree with surg and Kimberli- in general, I would not put a lot of faith in what the PD says. Often, if you carefully dissect the words, there is no committment between the lines- "legalese" or "Clintonspeak".

    That being said, some of the responses should be tempered by the field. In psychiatry or family practice for example, where many programs may not fill, the "promise" may be stronger than in a more competitive field. Still, don't pack your bags yet!

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