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Post-interview correspondence thread

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chitown82

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This might be useful to gauge who is corresponding post-interview and who is not.
 

ResidentMD

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Just wanted to know (from maybe past applicants or whoever volunteers info), how do you deal with someone who doesn't respond to a thank you card/note/email? Do you just let it be, or send another letter close to ROL time? Would it be sounding too desperate?

I know some programs have a policy of no communication with applicants post interviews, as was discussed on this forum a few months ago after that JAMA article.
 

Ariee

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Just wanted to know (from maybe past applicants or whoever volunteers info), how do you deal with someone who doesn't respond to a thank you card/note/email? Do you just let it be, or send another letter close to ROL time? Would it be sounding too desperate?

I know some programs have a policy of no communication with applicants post interviews, as was discussed on this forum a few months ago after that JAMA article.

Let it go RMD. Either they haven't had the time yet or they have a strict policy. In my books, it doesn't mean that they don't like you. It means they don't respond by virtue of ethics.

If you're super concerned, schedule a 2nd look so that you know you are communicating to the program how much you like them and want to be there, especially if it's your #1.

This is kinda chase folks, let the programs chase after you, not the other way around. Even if you are a sucky applicant, recruitment is recruitment. This is primary care medicine. You should be recruited hardcore...that's what the residents told me on the trail anyhow...tho- this does not mean one should be arrogant...just play it cool :)

I got a hand written note from the program director of one of the places that offered me a prematch tho as well as an email right after my IV.

A
 

zedx

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Duke- Day off letter from Interviewer, Hand Written card from PD
UAB- Email from Interviewer
 

ResidentMD

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Duke- Day off letter from Interviewer, Hand Written card from PD
UAB- Email from Interviewer

I think thats rather awesome that the PD of Duke would send a hand written card...given the fact the pedestal Duke is placed on. I think its really these top notch programs that seem to respect the candidates that interview with them! Thanks for starting this thread!
 

gutonc

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    Just wanted to know (from maybe past applicants or whoever volunteers info), how do you deal with someone who doesn't respond to a thank you card/note/email? Do you just let it be, or send another letter close to ROL time? Would it be sounding too desperate?

    I know some programs have a policy of no communication with applicants post interviews, as was discussed on this forum a few months ago after that JAMA article.

    And you'll never know which reason so there's no use obsessing over it. Send your thank you note. If you want to send a mash note to your #1 (and ONLY your #1, not your top 10) in early February, go for it. But don't be deluded into thinking that any contact you do/don't have with a program (other than a pre-match offer for eligible applicants) means ANYTHING with respect to your ability to match or not.
     

    ResidentMD

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    And you'll never know which reason so there's no use obsessing over it. Send your thank you note. If you want to send a mash note to your #1 (and ONLY your #1, not your top 10) in early February, go for it. But don't be deluded into thinking that any contact you do/don't have with a program (other than a pre-match offer for eligible applicants) means ANYTHING with respect to your ability to match or not.

    Wise words :). WIll have to agree. Thanks gutonc
     
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    And you'll never know which reason so there's no use obsessing over it. Send your thank you note. If you want to send a mash note to your #1 (and ONLY your #1, not your top 10) in early February, go for it. But don't be deluded into thinking that any contact you do/don't have with a program (other than a pre-match offer for eligible applicants) means ANYTHING with respect to your ability to match or not.

    :thumbup:
     

    Nattoyum

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    And you'll never know which reason so there's no use obsessing over it. Send your thank you note. If you want to send a mash note to your #1 (and ONLY your #1, not your top 10) in early February, go for it. But don't be deluded into thinking that any contact you do/don't have with a program (other than a pre-match offer for eligible applicants) means ANYTHING with respect to your ability to match or not.

    I'm assuming a "mash note" is a letter of intent to your #1. How often do applicants do this, what does one say in it, how do you let programs know that you are only writing ONE, and how do you not sound desperate??? Any ideas or experience??
     

    Bike on a Trek

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    I see no problem with you letting a program know you are their top choice. Programs are influenced by this, and they should be. The "perfect" match from a program's view would be for every person that matched to have also ranked them #1--why?, because they'd have happy houseofficers to start since everyone got their first choice. But, from an ethical standpoint, you should only tell this to one program. What you can't control is what a program tells you--whatever they tell you, don't believe it and submit your rank list based on the program you desire (not the program that seems to desire you the most).


    Suggest reading this:

    "Manipulation and the Match"
    JAMA. 2009;302(12):1266-1267
     

    mauvespice

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    I see no problem with you letting a program know you are their top choice. Programs are influenced by this, and they should be. The "perfect" match from a program's view would be for every person that matched to have also ranked them #1--why?, because they'd have happy houseofficers to start since everyone got their first choice. But, from an ethical standpoint, you should only tell this to one program. What you can't control is what a program tells you--whatever they tell you, don't believe it and submit your rank list based on the program you desire (not the program that seems to desire you the most).


    Suggest reading this:

    "Manipulation and the Match"
    JAMA. 2009;302(12):1266-1267

    Heard a very bizarre suggestion on the interview trail the other day...someone described a very odd way of ranking programs. Apparently, say you rank programs A,B,C in this order in your ROL and A and B dont want you, it might seem logical to assume that you may land up at C if they have ranked you high enough. But this person said that if there is another candidate that ranked C as their top choice, they would have a higher chance of matching at the program even if you are higher on the program C's list. What do you all think? Is there any truth to this?
     

    BlazerMed

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    Heard a very bizarre suggestion on the interview trail the other day...someone described a very odd way of ranking programs. Apparently, say you rank programs A,B,C in this order in your ROL and A and B dont want you, it might seem logical to assume that you may land up at C if they have ranked you high enough. But this person said that if there is another candidate that ranked C as their top choice, they would have a higher chance of matching at the program even if you are higher on the program C's list. What do you all think? Is there any truth to this?

    That goes against the information the NRMP puts out about how the match works.
     

    gutonc

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    Heard a very bizarre suggestion on the interview trail the other day...someone described a very odd way of ranking programs. Apparently, say you rank programs A,B,C in this order in your ROL and A and B dont want you, it might seem logical to assume that you may land up at C if they have ranked you high enough. But this person said that if there is another candidate that ranked C as their top choice, they would have a higher chance of matching at the program even if you are higher on the program C's list. What do you all think? Is there any truth to this?

    Nope...completely untrue and trying to game the system like this will ensure that you wind up somewhere you'd rather not be.
     

    chitown82

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    Duke: card from PD
    Mayo: e-mail from PD
    Northwestern: letter from PD
     

    SocJustice

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    Loved the program at BIDMC. Sent email to PD but no response, what have others received from the program as post-interview correspondence? Thanks!
     

    intmed3

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    I also got a letter from the PD at Northwestern.

    SocJustice, I think PDs vary as to whether or not they respond to thank you e-mails. I think most do, but some may well not. I don't think you can read much into this and what it means for your chances - I would expect the most indicative correspondence would be unsolicited (and there are plenty of stories on here to show that even an unsolicited "ranked to match" comment doesn't mean much)!
     

    ResidentMD

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    Duke: card from PD
    Mayo: e-mail from PD
    Northwestern: letter from PD

    Out of curiosity, when you say email/card/letter from the PD, are these after/in response to your thank you notes, or do they come even before that?
     

    intmed3

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    Out of curiosity, when you say email/card/letter from the PD, are these after/in response to your thank you notes, or do they come even before that?

    Northwestern's letter came before I had a chance to send my thank you note (actually put it in the mail the same day I got the letter).
     

    SocJustice

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    Thanks intmed3, appreciate your response. Agreed no response might not be indicative of their interest in me but if others have received responses post-interview it could be telling... I know I am attempting the impossible: to get a sense of what they think of me. This really feels like dating.
     

    Bike on a Trek

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    Thanks intmed3, appreciate your response. Agreed no response might not be indicative of their interest in me but if others have received responses post-interview it could be telling... I know I am attempting the impossible: to get a sense of what they think of me. This really feels like dating.

    Okay, but it's not "as bad" as dating if you have the least bit of narcissism. It's mostly what you think of them when it comes down to making your match list, unless adoration is required for you to get great clinical training. I understand that a place suggesting they are very high on you feels great and I understand a desire to know where you stand. I also understand that the best match is one where you both adore each other. But, their feelings should never override yours and the match process gives you that power. For many people, being this egocentric is not that easy.
     

    kublai

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    2 questions:

    anyone get anything from upenn post-interview?

    are michigan and northwestern sending everyone post-interview correspondence? anyone not receive anything?
     

    intmed3

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    Just thought I'd bump this thread as we're getting close to the time that people might start hearing from programs about being "ranked to match"

    On a somewhat related note, has anyone wrote a love letter to their number 1 program and what sort of response did you get? I got a generic "congrats on all your accomplishments..." Not even a vague "would love working with you next year." Anyone think there's any chance left I might match here? Obviously, I'll still rank them 1, but feeling a little down :(
     

    Aciphex

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    Just thought I'd bump this thread as we're getting close to the time that people might start hearing from programs about being "ranked to match"

    On a somewhat related note, has anyone wrote a love letter to their number 1 program and what sort of response did you get? I got a generic "congrats on all your accomplishments..." Not even a vague "would love working with you next year." Anyone think there's any chance left I might match here? Obviously, I'll still rank them 1, but feeling a little down :(

    Definitely think Duke has done the best job at post-interview correspondence. Thank you card, 2 personal emails, and a letter....
    Lucky for them I am simple minded and the brainwashing is taking effect
     
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    Aciphex

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    2 questions:

    anyone get anything from upenn post-interview?

    are michigan and northwestern sending everyone post-interview correspondence? anyone not receive anything?


    Email from Penn PD

    Thank you from mich (bland - hoped you liked the place) and northwestern (1/2 typed and 1/2 written personal)
     

    intmed3

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    Email from Penn PD

    Thank you from mich (bland - hoped you liked the place) and northwestern (1/2 typed and 1/2 written personal)

    Was the e-mail from the Penn PD unsolicited? I got a nice e-mail from the Penn PD in response to one I sent.

    And it seems that the Northwestern letter goes to most people but not everyone? not sure about this.
     

    indiamacbean

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    every year there is a thread like this. Every year, I say the same thing. The post interview correspondence should have NO bearing on where you rank a program. Put your rank list in order of where YOU would like to go not which programs have shown you the most love or where you think you have the highest chance of matching. I have good friends that matched at top programs with NO correspondence even though others had noted cards letters etc on here. Similarly I had friends in IM that were led to believe they were going to match at a certain program up to verbal commitments of rank to match and bam, bomb in the envelope on match day. If you are certain of your number one program let them know, otherwise just let it go and make your match list. tying to analyze who got what where and what it all means is just a waste of time. It is buying into a system of manipulation that does not benefit the applicant.
     

    intmed3

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    every year there is a thread like this. Every year, I say the same thing. The post interview correspondence should have NO bearing on where you rank a program. Put your rank list in order of where YOU would like to go not which programs have shown you the most love or where you think you have the highest chance of matching. I have good friends that matched at top programs with NO correspondence even though others had noted cards letters etc on here. Similarly I had friends in IM that were led to believe they were going to match at a certain program up to verbal commitments of rank to match and bam, bomb in the envelope on match day. If you are certain of your number one program let them know, otherwise just let it go and make your match list. tying to analyze who got what where and what it all means is just a waste of time. It is buying into a system of manipulation that does not benefit the applicant.

    I agree with you in that post-interview correspondence should not change where programs are ranked (for example, I didn't get a very encouraging response from my #1 program when I told them I was ranking them first, but I don't plan on changing that). That being said, I think we all can't help but be curious to know if and what people are hearing from programs.
     

    polarbare

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    yes, i understand the futility of all of this...but yes, i am still curious:

    has anyone heard anything uplifting (or anything at all) from the folks at MGH?
     

    Friendly

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    yes, i understand the futility of all of this...but yes, i am still curious:

    has anyone heard anything uplifting (or anything at all) from the folks at MGH?
    I promised to post this about MGH this year. I actually ranked them number 1 last year and received an unbelievable letter from them saying unbelievable things about how much they'd want me to join them. I received similar notes from other programs. I chose to listen to my conscience and I did not say anything back. Guess what? - I got the next institution on my list (also an amazing program where I am happy but worked insanely hard). I work with an ex-MGH resident in medicine (now a fellow). He told me the MGH IM program has had issues with this. They want no surprises, and they want to guess as much as possible who they will get so they 'put the feelers out'. One year, they burned a lot of people by calling WAY more people than they should have and there was an outrage from the unmatched mass. The next year, they called less people and ended up with some less desirable candidates. My year, they cut back on the phone calls and sent more letters. Bottom line: either kiss the ring and tell them what they want to hear (if your conscience will let you), or don't expect to match there if you get one of those letters and you ignore it. Ultimately, I matched at a place that does not play these games and so I assume they wanted me--in spite of what I would say. Good luck, folks!
     

    indiamacbean

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    Funny, MGH was one of the places I was referring to in my post above. grain of salt ladies and gentleman grain of salt...
     

    futureres

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    1) They interview WAY more applicants than some of their peer programs (i.e. in my mind the interview means less there because you still have a slimmer chance of matching there than peer institutions who interview fewer applicants for a similar number of slots) and 2) MGH has become notorious as BS artists...i.e. they WILL call you/email you and expect you to "kiss the ring" and proclaim them as your #1 choice. This won't reflect your being ranked to match. In essence, they evade the purpose of the match more than most programs, and they feel they can because they are MGH. Some other top places refuse to do this and may not communicate with you at all despite loving you as an applicant. It's one thing to express your mutual interest in each other--program and applicant. It's something else entirely to hold rejection over someone's head if he doesn't tell them what they want to hear. I've also had colleagues burned by them in the past over this issue on Match Day. If you want to go there, you absolutely should rank it #1 but be aware that they are deceiving, much more so than some of the other top programs.
     
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    jzx123

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    Duke: emails from all interviewers (3), letter from assoc PD, hand-written card from PD
    U.W.: hand-written card from PD
    Penn: vague email from assoc PD
     

    codeb1ue

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    Duke: emails from all interviewers (3), letter from assoc PD, hand-written card from PD
    U.W.: hand-written card from PD
    Penn: vague email from assoc PD

    Hey jzx. Just out of curiosity, was the card from UW personalized or more generic sounding.
     

    GoLytely

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    I didn't want to create a new thread for this, so I don't know whether I'll get any answers. Anyway...

    Do you guys realistically think that we're being googled, or is this likely more of my interview-season paranoia? I doubt this would affect applicants, but my life has been a nightmare since I found some defamatory (and quite untrue/exaggerated) material posted by someone who knew I was applying and thought it would be funny to destroy my life. He had "SEO" (search engine optimization) knowledge and even knew how to make this the first search result for my name. I've just had it taken down, but still....who knows for how long it was visible...

    I'm trying to convince myself it's unlikely that I've been searched by more than one or two of my programs, given that programs rank (presumably) a couple hundred people each year and aren't likely to type all of their names into a search engine with an entire CV and application sitting in front of them. However, if I were a PD I'd probably do it, if for no other reason than curiosity. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
     

    Phineus

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    I didn't want to create a new thread for this, so I don't know whether I'll get any answers. Anyway...

    Do you guys realistically think that we're being googled, or is this likely more of my interview-season paranoia? I doubt this would affect applicants, but my life has been a nightmare since I found some defamatory (and quite untrue/exaggerated) material posted by someone who knew I was applying and thought it would be funny to destroy my life. He had "SEO" (search engine optimization) knowledge and even knew how to make this the first search result for my name. I've just had it taken down, but still....who knows for how long it was visible...

    I'm trying to convince myself it's unlikely that I've been searched by more than one or two of my programs, given that programs rank (presumably) a couple hundred people each year and aren't likely to type all of their names into a search engine with an entire CV and application sitting in front of them. However, if I were a PD I'd probably do it, if for no other reason than curiosity. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    What's your full name, I can help you check on other google/bing servers...jk. As for PD googling names, I highly doubt that that happens all that often, except of course, if you are their #1 choice.
     

    NotAProgDirector

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    Duke: emails from all interviewers (3), letter from assoc PD, hand-written card from PD
    U.W.: hand-written card from PD
    Penn: vague email from assoc PD
    Just wondering if this type of activity changes people's minds about programs. I feel like there is a bit of an arms race going on here -- I didn't use to send emails/letters after interviews unless there was some additional piece of information I needed, or some information I thought the applicant might need. Then I saw all of these posts and started sending emails to everyone post interview. Now I see PD's sending hand written cards.... where does it end...?
     

    IM Substance P

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    Just wondering if this type of activity changes people's minds about programs. I feel like there is a bit of an arms race going on here -- I didn't use to send emails/letters after interviews unless there was some additional piece of information I needed, or some information I thought the applicant might need. Then I saw all of these posts and started sending emails to everyone post interview. Now I see PD's sending hand written cards.... where does it end...?

    I think the effect is very minor at best. I have three handwritten notes so far: two from more reputed programs and one from a solid but less reputed place.

    My reaction for each note was different. For the least reputed program, it smacked of desperation. For the largest program, it still felt impersonal. And for the program that seemed to have the most involved PD, it "reinforced" the notion that the PD was very involved.

    If I were a PD, I would prioritize my notes for the blue chip recruits.
     

    intmed3

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    Just wondering if this type of activity changes people's minds about programs. I feel like there is a bit of an arms race going on here -- I didn't use to send emails/letters after interviews unless there was some additional piece of information I needed, or some information I thought the applicant might need. Then I saw all of these posts and started sending emails to everyone post interview. Now I see PD's sending hand written cards.... where does it end...?

    Doesn't really affect where I rank programs, although it's nice to feel wanted! The only communication from a PD which changed my ranking was one in which I e-mailed the PD a thank you after my interview and the PD replied and CC'ed someone who would be a possible research mentor were I to match there. This moved the program up in my rank list (not because it made me feel wanted but because it made me confident in my ability to get involved in research that I found interesting).
     

    Aciphex

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    Just wondering if this type of activity changes people's minds about programs. I feel like there is a bit of an arms race going on here -- I didn't use to send emails/letters after interviews unless there was some additional piece of information I needed, or some information I thought the applicant might need. Then I saw all of these posts and started sending emails to everyone post interview. Now I see PD's sending hand written cards.... where does it end...?

    I think it is similiar to the answer you posted about applicants sending emails to PD s and the effect it has...

    The program that I have ranked 14/14 right now could send me whatever they want in the mail and it would not matter one bit. Yet the top of my list is very unsettled and it is human nature to want to go somewhere they feel wanted. So when an IM dept chair from a top school sends me an email of exactly how their program relates to my career I definitely stop and listen/read. If it was a generic thing that is easy to see through then it does not matter to me nearly as much.

    I think it can also work against a program. I am considering one program that is not quite as strong as some of the others on my list just because I really liked the program. Now I find out they are sending rank to match letters and I didn't get one so I have second thoughts of is it worth it then.

    Yes I know people on here say it should not matter, just rank the programs how you would want to go to them. Yet when you don't have a clear idea in your head what your rank list is then it can have an effect, at least on me. Especially when no school absolutely had me head over heels in love.

    Just my opinion
     

    FutureIMdoc80

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    Yes, they are deceiving and frankly underhanded. Last year I received a call from Dr. Calderwood, one of the panel directors or something about how I'd be a good fit and informing me that they called "people who would do exceptionally well here". I didn't end up matching there, which was surprising on match day. I matched at my #2 which I absolutely LOVE and in retrospect is a better fit. Bottom line: don't be caught up in their lies.
     

    tfom08

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    I see that quite a few people have gotten handwritten letters from every interviewer and the PD at Duke. This strikes me as something that must be a new policy there. Perhaps because from what I heard they had several spots go unmatched last year? It struck me as unusual that all 3 of the people I spoke to sent me a thank you card which didn't happen at any other institution.

    I agree with APD, though, it's a total arms race. It does make you feel better, but I have decided to totally ignore all of these correspondences for a few reasons. 1. Programs lie (or at least mislead) about how high you will be ranked. 2. It doesn't really matter if they "really want you" after you get there, because everyone is going to be equal post-match. Most of the attendings will have no idea who you are until you are on their service anyway. It's not like you are going to be the PD's favorite resident for 3 years because s/he told you that they would always love you in a ranked-to-match letter. 3. Just keep in mind that the match is about picking the residency that is best for you and your personal situation, and not about finding a PD that you think is going to be your best friend because they are so honored that you chose his or her program.
     

    EaglesPA

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    Yes, they are deceiving and frankly underhanded. Last year I received a call from Dr. Calderwood, one of the panel directors or something about how I'd be a good fit and informing me that they called "people who would do exceptionally well here". I didn't end up matching there, which was surprising on match day. I matched at my #2 which I absolutely LOVE and in retrospect is a better fit. Bottom line: don't be caught up in their lies.

    This is the second time in time in the last three matches this has happened. Also happened in 2007.
    I've heard it wasn't intentional. I believe what they did was that based on the previous year's match, if they for example had to go down to #100 on their rank list to fill a class of 60, then they called the first 100 people on their list. The problem then became that the following year they only had to go down to say #80 to fill their class - which means #80-100 would have gotten a call and yet not match.
    What they need to do is ONLY call people who are ranked 1-60 (assuming 60 is the class size).
     
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