Happy Penguin

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The age old question-- how do you let the program know but not have them think you are just kissing ass?

I really like this one program I interviewed at today. And being one of the top programs in the country, i am sure they hear it very often when people tell them how much they love it. i wanted to tell the interviewer that i am rankng them as my #1 but didn't know how... what should i do now? i can't do a sub-i with them now either.

sigh.. i don't know how to play this game. need help!
 

(nicedream)

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Happy Penguin said:
The age old question-- how do you let the program know but not have them think you are just kissing ass?

I really like this one program I interviewed at today. And being one of the top programs in the country, i am sure they hear it very often when people tell them how much they love it. i wanted to tell the interviewer that i am rankng them as my #1 but didn't know how... what should i do now? i can't do a sub-i with them now either.

sigh.. i don't know how to play this game. need help!

"Thank You" letter?
 

mosche

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If you can afford it, call and ask if a second look is possible; then try to schedule the second look for early February. I also echo the "Thank you" letter post above. I would also send a more direct "Thank you" letter immediately after the second look, something like: "Having completed my interview season, I feel certain that your program is the best fit for me."

From everything that we've been told, words are cheap. Therefore, make your actions speak loudly.

Good luck.
 
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turtle md

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After I had completed all my interviews and was sure where I wanted to go, I just wrote the PD and told him that his program would be my #1 choice. No thrills, just straight up honesty. If they don't want you, there's nothing you can do, but if they do ... :thumbup:
 

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turtle said:
After I had completed all my interviews and was sure where I wanted to go, I just wrote the PD and told him that his program would be my #1 choice. No thrills, just straight up honesty. If they don't want you, there's nothing you can do, but if they do ... :thumbup:
Yes, this is good advice. I called the PD of my #1 program and told him I was ranking it #1. He didn't tell me if he was ranking my highly or not, but I matched there, so I guess I did the right thing. :)
 

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cytoborg

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turtle said:
After I had completed all my interviews and was sure where I wanted to go, I just wrote the PD and told him that his program would be my #1 choice. No thrills, just straight up honesty. If they don't want you, there's nothing you can do, but if they do ... :thumbup:
Yep, I did the same thing - called and told the PD I was ranking them #1. I am not into games, couldn't afford a "2nd look" and this seemed like the most straightforward approach. There is so much B.S. flung around during this process ("best fit," "extremely highly," "top choice" etc) that unless you actually come out and say #1, they are not going to take it seriously. The PD of my school's program also called, in case there had been any doubt. I also emailed a couple of the other members of the committee and one of the residents. Maybe it was overkill, but it was one of the top programs in the country and I'm sure a lot of other people were saying & doing the same things, so I was paranoid about really getting my point across. I guess it worked. ;)
 

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I thought it was against match rules for applicants or programs to talk rankings.
 

EM Junkie

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toofache32 said:
I thought it was against match rules for applicants or programs to talk rankings.
From www.nrmp.org:
"Both applicants and programs may express a high degree of interest in each other and try to influence future ranking decisions in their favor, but must not make statements implying a commitment. It is a material breach of this Agreement for a participant in the Matching Program to make any verbal or written contract for appointment to a concurrent year residency position prior to the Matching Program. In addition, although applicants or programs may volunteer how they plan to rank each other, it is a material breach of this Agreement to request such information."

:sleep:

Thus, you can volunteer this information, but not ask them how they will rank you.
 

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cytoborg said:
Yep, I did the same thing - called and told the PD I was ranking them #1. I am not into games, couldn't afford a "2nd look" and this seemed like the most straightforward approach. There is so much B.S. flung around during this process ("best fit," "extremely highly," "top choice" etc) that unless you actually come out and say #1, they are not going to take it seriously. The PD of my school's program also called, in case there had been any doubt. I also emailed a couple of the other members of the committee and one of the residents. Maybe it was overkill, but it was one of the top programs in the country and I'm sure a lot of other people were saying & doing the same things, so I was paranoid about really getting my point across. I guess it worked. ;)
I am just curious when did you contact the program you were ranking #1? And how did you go about asking your own school's PD to contact the other school? My school definitely KNOWS that I am not staying and the chairman has offered to contact the programs I want to be for me but I am not sure how to ask him to actually call them :) !!
 

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At my school, the faculty told us that they would make one call on our behalf to the program of our choice. If the program is truly your #1, you can ask someone from your program to call the PD of your desired program for you and relay your interest. Don't abuse this though; memories are long and people hold grudges in medicine. If you have someone else tell the program they are your #1, you'd better rank it #1.
 

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miko2005 said:
I am just curious when did you contact the program you were ranking #1? And how did you go about asking your own school's PD to contact the other school? My school definitely KNOWS that I am not staying and the chairman has offered to contact the programs I want to be for me but I am not sure how to ask him to actually call them :) !!
I contacted them near the end of January, after I had completed all my interviews. That way I was 100% sure I would not be changing my mind, yet there was still time to hopefully influence their ranklists, since the first of two major committee meetings was the last week of January (I believe).

If your chair has already volunteered to make "the call" for you, then you're lucky - no need to stress about how to bring it up - just ask! Rugtrousers is absolutely right - a scrupulous chair will only make 1 call, so be certain of your #1 before you ask. This is to avoid "playing" more than one program and the bad blood that ensues.
 
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Happy Penguin said:
The age old question-- how do you let the program know but not have them think you are just kissing ass?

I really like this one program I interviewed at today. And being one of the top programs in the country, i am sure they hear it very often when people tell them how much they love it. i wanted to tell the interviewer that i am rankng them as my #1 but didn't know how... what should i do now? i can't do a sub-i with them now either.

sigh.. i don't know how to play this game. need help!
Just be honest and upfront. I told my #1 program that after having completed all my interviews, I was very interested in the program. I listed several reasons why. Then I ended the letter by saying that "I believe that your program is the best fit for my training and career goals" or something to that effect. I never said, "you are #1" but I assume they got the point.
 

SergeGainsbourg

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Happy Penguin said:
The age old question-- how do you let the program know but not have them think you are just kissing ass?

I really like this one program I interviewed at today. And being one of the top programs in the country, i am sure they hear it very often when people tell them how much they love it. i wanted to tell the interviewer that i am rankng them as my #1 but didn't know how... what should i do now? i can't do a sub-i with them now either.

sigh.. i don't know how to play this game. need help!
Take a digital photo of you're rank order list screen page and email it to them. That should get the message accross. :laugh:
 

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cytoborg said:
I contacted them near the end of January, after I had completed all my interviews. That way I was 100% sure I would not be changing my mind, yet there was still time to hopefully influence their ranklists, since the first of two major committee meetings was the last week of January (I believe).
Since I have interviews through Feb 2nd, is that too late to wait to contact my #1 program to let them know that I want to dance with them?
 

SergeGainsbourg

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Happy Penguin said:
The age old question-- how do you let the program know but not have them think you are just kissing ass?

I really like this one program I interviewed at today. And being one of the top programs in the country, i am sure they hear it very often when people tell them how much they love it. i wanted to tell the interviewer that i am rankng them as my #1 but didn't know how... what should i do now? i can't do a sub-i with them now either.

sigh.. i don't know how to play this game. need help!

Oh, one quick question. How many "favorite programs" will you be letting know that they're you're #1 choice? :laugh:
 

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Two words: foam finger.

If that fails, thank you letters and contacting PD is a good backup plan.
 

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rugtrousers said:
At my school, the faculty told us that they would make one call on our behalf to the program of our choice. If the program is truly your #1, you can ask someone from your program to call the PD of your desired program for you and relay your interest. Don't abuse this though; memories are long and people hold grudges in medicine. If you have someone else tell the program they are your #1, you'd better rank it #1.
BUT suppose your second choice is your home institution - then what? They're gonnna rank you real low if they know they're not your top choice, right?
 

forncroj

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Happy Penguin said:
The age old question-- how do you let the program know but not have them think you are just kissing ass?

I really like this one program I interviewed at today. And being one of the top programs in the country, i am sure they hear it very often when people tell them how much they love it. i wanted to tell the interviewer that i am rankng them as my #1 but didn't know how... what should i do now? i can't do a sub-i with them now either.

sigh.. i don't know how to play this game. need help!
I think a simple expression of ongoing interest is plenty, perhaps inquiries about housing and other things that might be interpreted favorably. In the end, though, where I think you will rank my program is almost completely irrelevent to the selection process.
 

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what is the best way to tell the program you're interviewing that they're #1? is it even a good idea to tell them during the interview or should one wait until feb rolls around?
 

AngryTesticle

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JkGrocerz said:
what is the best way to tell the program you're interviewing that they're #1? is it even a good idea to tell them during the interview or should one wait until feb rolls around?
I actually did this and I was upfront and honest about it. My adviser and PhD adviser basically told me that my program was where physician-scientists should train. They highly encouraged me to go to this program.

When I was asked by two of my interviewers which programs I was most interested in, I basically told them where my advisers were pushing me.

Also, it depends on WHEN you tell the program in question that you will rank them #1 during your interview. If they are an interview early on in your schedule, it is likely that they will take your enthusiasm with a grain of salt. Why? Cuz you could visit several other programs and they know that you may change your mind.

On the other hand, if you interview at your #1 program near the end (like I did) and you tell them you are going to rank them #1 during your interview visit, this may have more legitimacy. However, that being said, verbal commitments aren't promises by any means. Both parties will have the tendency to take verbal commitments with a grain of salt.
 

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BUT suppose your second choice is your home institution - then what? They're gonnna rank you real low if they know they're not your top choice, right?
Not at all. They'll want you to be happy. I'm used to my best students going off. i just get someone else's best students.
 

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I'm curious about how many of you decided early-midway through the interviews that you had found your #1 program, then changed your mind. I've found what I think is my dream program and I want to tell them because I'm excited, but I'd feel real stupid if I ended up liking another program more. I know there's no real answer to this question, though, and I think I'll just have to hold in my enthusiasm until I'm done interviewing.
 

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rugtrousers said:
I'm curious about how many of you decided early-midway through the interviews that you had found your #1 program, then changed your mind. I've found what I think is my dream program and I want to tell them because I'm excited, but I'd feel real stupid if I ended up liking another program more. I know there's no real answer to this question, though, and I think I'll just have to hold in my enthusiasm until I'm done interviewing.
For me: when i get to a program in the morning of the interview, i tend to get very excited and think that it might be a good fit. but through out the day, i end up picking up little signs that i know will totally annoy me in the future. The reason why i thought this one particular program is my favorite cuz i just keep liking it more and more through out the day. (both the academics and the people who are there) When i walked out with other interviewees, the both of us felt the same way. It's just "clicks." I guess that's why i am panicking now cuz i don't think i showed enough enthusiasm in the begining of the day.

thanks for all the advice.. i am still procrastinating on writing a good thankyou note.
 

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What is a good way to tell them?

Email?

Hand written letter?

Phone call?

Tell the PD directly during your second look?

Anyone think that any of these should generally be avoided?
 

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all of the above :)
 
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