Nov 4, 2014
56
16
So I've heard from more than one person of horror stories where program directors falsely tell applicants that they have been ranked to match or that they are being ranked really highly. One specific resident had to scramble because he didn't match after being told by a program director that he was ranked number 1 and when he contacted the program to ask what the heck happened, he was just told "things changed." Does this happen very often?
 

Bartelby

10+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2007
1,306
591
Status
Attending Physician
Telling an applicant their specific spot on the ranklist with it turning out to be a lie would be unusual. It does happen that an applicant is told something like "you are ranked highly," "we are very interested in your coming here," etc and they don't match. One interpretation of what such a statement means is that based on how far down the list the program goes historically the applicant would match most years; however, since things vary year to year certainly don't take such statements as a guarantee.
 

Doctor Bagel

so cheap and juicy
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2002
10,919
1,122
from the ministry of information
Status
Attending Physician
So I've heard from more than one person of horror stories where program directors falsely tell applicants that they have been ranked to match or that they are being ranked really highly. One specific resident had to scramble because he didn't match after being told by a program director that he was ranked number 1 and when he contacted the program to ask what the heck happened, he was just told "things changed." Does this happen very often?
I don't think many PDs lie or even try to mislead people. You might be ranked highly and still not match because people ranked more highly than you got the spots. Programs have historical data about how low they usually go on their rank order list, but there are no guarantees with that. Big thing to remember is to rank programs based on how much you like them rather than on how high you think the program will rank out.
 

WingedOx

Unofficial Froopyland Forum Mod.
Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2010
7,284
11,267
Let's call it a World Cup hiatus...
Status
Attending Physician
A PD telling someone where they stand on the rank order list is shady in general.
 

Doctor Bagel

so cheap and juicy
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2002
10,919
1,122
from the ministry of information
Status
Attending Physician
A PD telling someone where they stand on the rank order list is shady in general.
I interviewed at a pretty well regarded non-shady program that would tell you approximately where you were on the rank list. They were pretty open on interview day about this, which in a way made the whole thing more transparent. It seemed very non-sales pitchish. The PD at the program I matched at pretty much implied I was highly ranked after I told him I was ranking them number one. I didn't think that was shady either. I don't think the program's current PD would do that, but I still don't think it was that bad.
 

WingedOx

Unofficial Froopyland Forum Mod.
Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2010
7,284
11,267
Let's call it a World Cup hiatus...
Status
Attending Physician
Wait, they told you before actually completing the interview day with you?
 

whopper

Former jolly good fellow
15+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2004
6,946
1,742
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
During my last year of residency the new PD started developing favorites among the medstudents. It was real high-school drama and very unprofessional. She had one ranked very highly-#1 or close to it and that student promised the PD she ranked our program as #1. She got into Jefferson-clearly proving she didn't rank us as #1. The PD was furious and took it very personally.

I was aghast with this clear boundary violation and that my PD clearly couldn't see her own enmeshment with getting her favorites in as if they were BFFs. I also knew I really couldn't do anything about it. I could tell people could see what was going on and thought it was inappropriate by their facial expressions and body language, but like the Emperor's New Clothes, no one was going to publicly admit what was going on. I kept saying to myself, "James you're going to be out of this program in weeks, just remember that."

Reason why I didn't point the finger was because aside that I was clearly outranked, I was working on another issue that needed to be fixed that I thought was more severe. I was trying to expose an attending in my program that was only showing up to the unit about 15 minutes a day when he should've been there at least 4 hours. Turned out he was working at two places at once and not telling either place, coming to the inpatient unit only to sign notes and then leaving. I told the PD and she freaked out-not against him but me for even bringing it up. I felt I already was taking a major hit for the good of humanity and being crucified for it and if no goddamned attending in the program was going to open his mouth, geez WTF could I do being that my goose was already being cooked?

(BTW given that the department pretty much blew me off and marked me as a trouble maker I reported this to the GME who did their own investigation and verified eveything I said was true. At the end of the year they even figured out the other place he worked at getting documents he signed showing he was working two full time jobs at the same time during the same hours. All the while the PD kept pointing the finger at me as a liar until the proof was shown to her, after the entire ordeal she never apologized. She just acted as if it never happened and was really nice to me as if she never was throwing poisoned barbs against me behind my back).

She didn't lie when it came to the MATCH as far as I knew but it clearly was something she hadn't been able to emotionally master at that point in time. She was new and I understand that but I didn't expect her to have acted like this was some Fox high school drama.

Most PDs do it because they love teaching and molding the future. Even my PD that I knew had issues fit that category, but just like her, no one is without flaws. I think hers was that she wanted to be popular to a fault kind of like Micheal Scott from The Office, and thinking that if she were popular she wasn't doing anything wrong because how could you be wrong if you're loved? Problem was she picked who were to be the favorites and only wanted their love while blowing off the others as if they were to be shunned when all residents need to be seen objectively.

Others may have other faults such as wanting to be treated in a very entitled (to a fault) manner because they're the PD (I've seen that with a PD in another program).

In general I wouldn't think PDs would lie about things like the MATCH, but I also think a minority that does exist are doing shady things.
 
Last edited:

Doctor Bagel

so cheap and juicy
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2002
10,919
1,122
from the ministry of information
Status
Attending Physician
Wait, they told you before actually completing the interview day with you?
If you were asking about my comment, the program that said they would tell you where you were on the rank list would tell you after they had already completed the rank list. At interview day, they said we could contact them later in the season and ask where we were. I don't think they gave your exact spot, but they would give you an approximation.
 

WingedOx

Unofficial Froopyland Forum Mod.
Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2010
7,284
11,267
Let's call it a World Cup hiatus...
Status
Attending Physician
If you were asking about my comment, the program that said they would tell you where you were on the rank list would tell you after they had already completed the rank list. At interview day, they said we could contact them later in the season and ask where we were. I don't think they gave your exact spot, but they would give you an approximation.
Yeah, sorry I couldn't quote you, SDN was running slow because Ms. Ox was taking all my bandwidth watching the GOP debate... :confused:

I guess I don't really see the advantage to anyone by doing that. Admittedly I came from a program that would rank about 100 people and our "lowest" applicant ranged anywhere from the mid 30s to 90s depending on how we did in recruiting that year. The match will still be what it is when the computer spits it out. Applicants should rank where they want to go the most... and PDs should rank who they want the highest. Anything else is just manipulation and leads to false assumptions.
 

Doctor Bagel

so cheap and juicy
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2002
10,919
1,122
from the ministry of information
Status
Attending Physician
Yeah, sorry I couldn't quote you, SDN was running slow because Ms. Ox was taking all my bandwidth watching the GOP debate... :confused:

I guess I don't really see the advantage to anyone by doing that. Admittedly I came from a program that would rank about 100 people and our "lowest" applicant ranged anywhere from the mid 30s to 90s depending on how we did in recruiting that year. The match will still be what it is when the computer spits it out. Applicants should rank where they want to go the most... and PDs should rank who they want the highest. Anything else is just manipulation and leads to false assumptions.
With this program, I really felt like it was just a desire to be transparent to applicants. Again, super solid program with nothing but a good reputation on here and in the world. I'm not sure how many people utilized it -- I didn't -- but it was an offer they made.
 

WingedOx

Unofficial Froopyland Forum Mod.
Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2010
7,284
11,267
Let's call it a World Cup hiatus...
Status
Attending Physician
With this program, I really felt like it was just a desire to be transparent to applicants. Again, super solid program with nothing but a good reputation on here and in the world. I'm not sure how many people utilized it -- I didn't -- but it was an offer they made.
I don't doubt it's an established practice by good programs. I just think the negative consequences of doing so outweigh the positives.