May 15, 2012
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When writing a note to one's first choice program at the end of interview season, should it be just one and addressed to the PD? Or to the PD +/- PC +/- interviewers? I plan on making it handwritten.
 

Winged Scapula

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I'll assume that you know that these notes do not affect your position on a program's ROL. However, if you really wish to send one, or did not send a thank you after your interview and wish to confirm to them that they are your favorite, a short note to the PD or any faculty member that you connected with will suffice.

But honestly you're really just wasting your time unless there is some reason they would think they aren't your Number 1.
 

SouthernSurgeon

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But honestly you're really just wasting your time unless there is some reason they would think they aren't your Number 1.
But if you don't send your pre-interview LOI, call the PC weekly, send each interviewer a hand-written thank you note on your custom stationary, have a minimum of 3 faculty call the PD on your behalf, send your post-interview confirmatory LOI, and your end of season LOI, how can you ever get your top choice?????? :bang::bang::vomit:
 
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But if you don't send your pre-interview LOI, call the PC weekly, send each interviewer a hand-written thank you note on your custom stationary, have a minimum of 3 faculty call the PD on your behalf, send your post-interview confirmatory LOI, and your end of season LOI, how can you ever get your top choice?????? :bang::bang::vomit:
****, I only called once every other week...
 
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IM2GI

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When writing a note to one's first choice program at the end of interview season, should it be just one and addressed to the PD? Or to the PD +/- PC +/- interviewers? I plan on making it handwritten.
An email to the PD, succinct and to the point, if you feel you must. You know they got it, gives them a chance to hit reply, and be done with it. Hand written is a waste of everyones time. It will not impress him/her.

Do not lie, do not send more than one "you are my number one." Not only does it make you an ass but it is just unprofessional.

I have heard PDs say "You are ranked highly" only tells them they are not your number one, so use with caution.
 

Freezeout

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I have heard PDs say "You are ranked highly" only tells them they are not your number one, so use with caution.
But even if it means that, they could still be your 2. If they like you and they're your second choice you'd still have a reasonable chance of falling to them I'd think. Seems like it'd be nice for a program to know you like them and will rank them highly. I guess the real problem is highly is vague and could mean anything from top 5 to top 30 depending on the POV.
 

mcl

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I guess the real problem is highly is vague and could mean anything from top 5 to top 30 depending on the POV.
In my experience, it doesn't pay to get super invested in specific applicants such that I'm disappointed on Match Day if someone we especially liked ranked another program higher and ended up there. We meet a lot of candidates during the course of the season, and we like a lot of candidates--I imagine that it's the same for applicants. It's just not reasonable to expect either party to adjust their ROL every time a positive-sounding email is received.

I'm not against sending emails confirming interest to programs (whether it's one email to your top-ranked program, or "highly ranked" emails to everyone else) if it makes an applicant feel better about maximizing his/her chances of matching to a program higher on your ROL. But recognize that, in general, that's all it is. The final dotting of "i"s and crossing of "t"s so that at the end of the day you won't be wondering if there was something else you could have done.
 
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rkaz

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Out of my 13 interviews completed thus far, I only had 1 specific program (or maybe it was 2 now, I can't remember) tell me that they wanted to know post-interview if we really liked them. The one place I recall was a smaller community program, and the PC told me (paraphrase) "If it is your intention to match into our program and you really, REALLY want to be here, definitely let us know as we value that information." I'm not really sure why it matters so much to this one particular place, but at least that's what they told me.

On the other hand, I had another PD tell us that there was no need to send any sort of thank you email post-interview (unless we really wanted to) as it would make no difference at all in our ranking.
 
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Out of my 13 interviews completed thus far, I only had 1 specific program (or maybe it was 2 now, I can't remember) tell me that they wanted to know post-interview if we really liked them. The one place I recall was a smaller community program, and the PC told me (paraphrase) "If it is your intention to match into our program and you really, REALLY want to be here, definitely let us know as we value that information." I'm not really sure why it matters so much to this one particular place, but at least that's what they told me.
Isn't that a match violation to try and solicit this information form you?
 

rkaz

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Isn't that a match violation to try and solicit this information form you?
Good question. I don't know the answer. She didn't say that we needed to write them anything.... nor was she implying that one wouldn't be ranked if they didn't write. She just casually gave us the us the FYI that the program would take into extra consideration applicants who they knew really wanted to come there.
 

MadHopsMD

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Good question. I don't know the answer. She didn't say that we needed to write them anything.... nor was she implying that one wouldn't be ranked if they didn't write. She just casually gave us the us the FYI that the program would take into extra consideration applicants who they knew really wanted to come there.
I have gotten that at couple places too. And as a resident in my previous life, we use to ask this question a lot. I think that they know you will match, and that you are competitive at lots of places. Your 13 interviews show that you are. But they wanna know if you sincerely liked them.

For example, if you have no connections in the area it makes them wonder if you are really going to rank them high. If they knew that you would rank them high (1-5) they rather have you than say then if you ranked them last (#13). Residents who get their top picks are usually happier, work harder and overall more productive
 

mercaptovizadeh

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A few questions:

By when do these need to be sent? I was thinking late next week.

How do we word the "highly ranked" but not #1 emails so it doesn't read as "you're not quite my first choice"?

If there have been any favorable updates to our application (1st author basic science paper in press), do we include in this email or write a different email to the PC?
 

xtina0

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When programs respond to thank you notes and say they want to keep in touch… what does that mean exactly? do they just say that for the sake of formality?

I sent thank you notes to every program I applied to and I was going to send follow up notes to the programs in my top 5. I really don't feel like doing more than that, it's too much work. What is everyone else doing ???
 

IM2GI

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A few questions:

By when do these need to be sent? I was thinking late next week.

How do we word the "highly ranked" but not #1 emails so it doesn't read as "you're not quite my first choice"?

If there have been any favorable updates to our application (1st author basic science paper in press), do we include in this email or write a different email to the PC?
1. Send them now

2. There is no magical way to do this. Tell your number one, and only your number one, that they are first on your list. How ever many other programs you say "You were great, I will rank you highly" is up to you. My impression is that programs like to hear that they are number one, but otherwise are not really influenced by the emails. The exception may be if you otherwise have no connection to the area and you have a sincere, genuine interest in going there.

3. Updates such as publications/new scores can and should be sent to the PD as a succinct email. These guys/gals are getting several hundred emails a day. I suppose you could cc the PC as well, although I bet the PD just will forward it to the appropriate person to add to your file.
 

IM2GI

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When programs respond to thank you notes and say they want to keep in touch… what does that mean exactly? do they just say that for the sake of formality?

I sent thank you notes to every program I applied to and I was going to send follow up notes to the programs in my top 5. I really don't feel like doing more than that, it's too much work. What is everyone else doing ???
Formality typically. What else should they say? It is up there with "rank you highly" and other trail-talk. People are reluctant to say anything committal over email due to concerns over potential match violations. I had the most meaningful contact/feedback from programs via phonecalls.

I think hand-written notes are a waste of time for everyone involved. Email is perfectly acceptable. If it makes you feel better, sending your top 5 a succinct email expressing your interest is probably fine.