I don't have to worry about this yet as I am only a third year, but I when I rank programs I will have to take my boyfriend into consideration, as he is also in my class. We were planning on applying to programs in several big cities. I emailed the woman in charge of externships/residency applications at my school, asking if there is a strategy to this, and she nonchalantly responded to apply to programs in the same areas. Keyword being areas. Now I'm reading more about the match (MD programs, that is) and the websites I'm finding are making it sound like if you match a program, you HAVE to go to it and cannot go to any other program that you ranked even if they ranked you. For example, Let's say we both put our #1 choice as 2 programs in Chicago. If we both get ranked by our #1 choices, that's great. But let's say I DON'T get ranked by my 1st choice, only my 2nd choice, and it's in Miami. Now I have to go Miami and he goes to Chicago? There's no way that he can choose a program that ranked him from Miami? If this is true, I feel very misled by this woman and it is hard for me to contain my anger. I guess my question is, is it a binding agreement to go to the program that you are matched to? Is my only option here to apply to just ONE city to be on the safe side?