Deferoxamine

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Note: I'm not posting this to toot my own horn, as I don't know how common these practices are. Just looking for opinions, feedback, similar stories, etc.

So yeah, 2 program directors so far have sent me follow-up emails after receiving my thank you notes. Implied in these rather long follow-up emails are that I will be ranked towards the top of Santa's List, saying I would majorly thrive at their program, would fit in perfectly, and with all the "like white on rice" vibe going on, etc. Indeed, these are places I liked quite a bit when I visited, and I walked out from both places knowing I did well on the individual interviews.

So how common are these memos from the PD? Do they hand select their favorites and send them the follow up correspondence? Do they send them to the people they consider to be in their "top half"? Is it a nice gesture they do for everyone? Do all programs do this or only some? Should I assume I have a better shot at programs that do this for me vs. those who don't?

These are some of the many things I am wondering about regarding these exchanges, and I doubt I'm the only one here facing this. While nice, I'm just wondering whether this means I should be getting my hopes up or not. Answers/explanations to any of the above would be appreciated.
 
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peppy

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Should I assume I have a better shot at programs that do this for me vs. those who don't?
Simple answer here: No. Every year, there are stories of people getting all kinds of positive feedback from programs only to be hurt and surprised when they don't match at those programs. In contrast, there are programs which have a policy of not communicating much post-interview where you may very well be ranked highly without knowing it. Take ANYTHING that a program director tells you prior to match day with a huge grain of salt.
Every program wants as many of their applicants as possible to rank them #1 so they won't have to scramble. Some programs try to flatter applicants in hopes that it will influence the applicants' ranks, just like some applicants will tell multiple programs "You're my #1" in hopes the program will rank them higher. This is all part of the game.

I know of a program in my specialty that appears to have a habit of telling everyone they interview that they will be "highly ranked". When they told me that at my interview (and then followed it up with a phone call near rank time), I just smiled and said thanks, knowing that it didn't mean a thing. Don't let the flattery influence your ranking order or change your decision about how many interviews to go on.
 

Ludicolo

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So how common are these memos from the PD? Do they hand select their favorites and send them the follow up correspondence? Do they send them to the people they consider to be in their "top half"? Is it a nice gesture they do for everyone? Do all programs do this or only some? Should I assume I have a better shot at programs that do this for me vs. those who don't?
Somewhat. Sometimes. Possibly. Maybe. More than one. Assume nothing.

Some PDs are being polite. Some are being sincere. Some are playing the game. Some don’t respond for various reasons. There’s no way to know for sure.

Agree w/ peppy. Positive post-interview correspondence letters are nice, but they shouldn’t influence your ranking decision too much.
 
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Deferoxamine

Deferoxamine

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Figured this was likely a normal part of the process, even though the emails are quite personal and specific. But thanks for clarifying. Coincidentally, these are probably the 2 programs where I would say I "performed" the best at my visit thus far, thus why I started this thread.

Interested in hearing what other current applicants are getting back.
 

rachmoninov3

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I've received those emails/hand written thank yous from a couple of the places I interviewed at---one before I even got back home!

I feel the same way you do...hoping that these trinkets actually mean something, but from what I've gathered they mean exactly the same thing that the "thank yous" that you send to the programs mean. So for all practical purposes they don't mean a thing.

Last two interviews this week at top choices---and while these trinkets don't mean anything I'd be heart broken if I don't receive anything after the fact from them :xf:

Next up: THE WAIT...101 days left until match day!
 
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So I guess this becomes the theme song for the residency application process?

[YOUTUBE]VYanKTtpnPk[/YOUTUBE]

P.S. Apologies in advance for any nightmares you get from watching the video... the dude with short hair is creepy as all hell.
 

rachmoninov3

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creepy video...

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! I shouldn't be worried, I shouldn't be worried, but now that the interview with #1:luck: choice is over and we're facing 3+ months of waiting I AM worried. And no amount of "you're my #1 choice" thank you cards will help if I'm not in the top 3 of their rank list!

Just your usual SDN neuroticism:oops:
 

Doctor4Life1769

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creepy video...

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! I shouldn't be worried, I shouldn't be worried, but now that the interview with #1:luck: choice is over and we're facing 3+ months of waiting I AM worried. And no amount of "you're my #1 choice" thank you cards will help if I'm not in the top 3 of their rank list!

Just your usual SDN neuroticism:oops:
:laugh:
You're doing FP, I wouldn't worry about not getting your top 2 or 3 ... nonetheless your top slot ...
 

medschoolplease

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what are the thoughts on being invited back for a second look at the expense of the program? does that seem to carry any extra weight?

thanks
 

atsai3

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what are the thoughts on being invited back for a second look at the expense of the program? does that seem to carry any extra weight?

thanks
Depends on the program. In any case, it doesn't really matter. Go if you think you need another trip to decide where to rank it. Don't go if you've already made up your mind. No sense in wasting your time or the program's money.

-AT.
 

atsai3

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Do we have to reply to the "Love Letters" from the PDs? and what should I say on the reply? Thanks.
1. Thank you for the kind note

2. I had a wonderful time getting to know the other residents and faculty

3. I really liked [insert specific aspect of residency program here]

and either

3a. (if you liked the program enough to plan on ranking it highly, but will not or cannot at this time commit to ranking it #1) I would love to begin my training there next year

or

3b. (if you can at this time commit to ranking the program #1) I will be ranking your program #1 in February

-AT.
 

docbill

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1. Thank you for the kind note

2. I had a wonderful time getting to know the other residents and faculty

3. I really liked [insert specific aspect of residency program here]

and either

3a. (if you liked the program enough to plan on ranking it highly, but will not or cannot at this time commit to ranking it #1) I would love to begin my training there next year

or

3b. (if you can at this time commit to ranking the program #1) I will be ranking your program #1 in February

-AT.
How about:

4a. Who is this again? and where did you get my email?

4b. I did not like your program and thought you guys were fake. You residents seemed over worked and beaten everyday. So I will save you the trouble. DON'T RANK ME.
 

docbill

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So I guess this becomes the theme song for the residency application process?

[YOUTUBE]VYanKTtpnPk[/YOUTUBE]

P.S. Apologies in advance for any nightmares you get from watching the video... the dude with short hair is creepy as all hell.
This video is so fitting of residency application cycle. I was so optimistic about this process back in August... but once you start interviewing you realize what it is like. But both applicants and programs are on their best behavior. That is why it is best to rotate at where you want to go.
 

atsai3

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This video is so fitting of residency application cycle. I was so optimistic about this process back in August... but once you start interviewing you realize what it is like. But both applicants and programs are on their best behavior. That is why it is best to rotate at where you want to go.
Using the word "lies" to characterize the application/interviewing process may be a bit excessive. Think of your interviews as you would a date. On a first date, most people would attempt to be on their 'best' behavior. Nothing wrong with that-- it's just how things are.

-AT.