peerie

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I was reading through some older posts about ranking programs, including an awesome thread from this spring where people actually wrote out their lists.

I wondered what people's experiences with their lists, and whether they got their first choice or how far down their lists they went when they matched where they are today.

I have had alot of interviews, and there is one more in January which I feel would be a good fit for me. I have some top favorites, including my absolute favorite. I had so many interviews that it began to freak me out and I had to start cancelling some. Still, this whole process is hard and I am anxious about whether any programs will actually rank me, etc. I know, it's just applicant flutters but still - I am nervous!

Thoughts, experiences from those who are now in residency? How many programs should you rank? I didn't like all the programs I went to, and right now only feel really comfortable ranking about 6 programs.
 

sophiejane

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The more programs you rank, the higher your odds of matching. There is some statistic floating around from prior years (someone with more patience and time can find this and post it!) that tells you what percentage matched with what number of interviews, and I think it gets very close to 99% after 10-12 interviews.

I think most people do 6-10 and most people match their top three. It's not a guarantee, nothing is, but I think you can get pretty good odds with 6-10 interviews, especially if there are no big red flags in your application (multiple attempts required to pass steps, multiple failures, missing LORs, academic misconduct, bailing on or getting fired from another program).

The cardinal rule has always been, at least for people with none of the above red flags who have had a good performance on interviews, is that if you don't want to end up there, don't rank them. AND, the absolute #1 rule:

RANK IN ORDER OF YOUR PREFERENCE, NOT WHERE YOU THINK YOU WILL GET IN!!

That way, even if you match your true #3, it is better than matching your #3 that you hate and just put it #3 because you thought you had better odds of matching there.

DO NOT try to "play" the match system...with the caveat below:

Example: you are an FMG with several attempts to pass step I, and a barely passing step 2, you graduated 5 years ago and have been doing research in a non-primary care field. Don't rank a programs #1-#5 that do not have current FMGs or has not had one in many years. Your odds are slim. (This is not an FMG slam, so please let's not argue about it here. It's the way our system is set up, whether fair or not, it just is).

I am telling you all this as a member of a selection committee, 'kay?

:)

Choose from your heart, but be sensible about it.

Best of luck!
 
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SLUser11

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The more programs you rank, the higher your odds of matching. There is some statistic floating around from prior years (someone with more patience and time can find this and post it!) that tells you what percentage matched with what number of interviews, and I think it gets very close to 99% after 10-12 interviews.
The NRMP publishes their yearly match statistics and it's extremely helpful as far as stats go. It shows that for most specialties, it is still a buyer's market for Allopathic US seniors.

If you look at the data, An Allopathic US senior has a near 100% chance of matching family medicine if they go on 4 or more interviews (assuming that they rank all 4). If you go on 3 or less interviews, you still would have a 95% match rate.

That same set of information shows that a US senior with a Step 1 score less than 180 has a 93% match rate. If you got 181-190, 98% match rate. It just gets better as you go up from there.
 

peerie

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This is awesome feedback, thank you!

I am definitely going to rank the top 6 programs that I liked best, but after that it starts to get a little dicey. There were some programs I definitely was really nervous about, and one I felt very alarmed by. But the rest were sort of in the middle so I guess I could add them to the list. According to the link above, most people who rank 6 programs will get a spot. Only 13 US seniors did not get any spot last year - and most of those ranked < 4 spots.

I was wondering how far down the list people on this board have tended to go in terms of matching? I have interviewed at about 14 places and wondered do I rank ten places, just to make absolutely sure? If you did that, how far from your top choices did you match to? Did anyone get their like, 7th choice? or more like their first or second?

I don't want to not match and so I guess I am nervous about how far down my list I might be accepted to. I thought my top choices liked me but the farther from the interviews the less confident I am feeling. Now I wish I hadn't canceled a couple of interviews. Such a nerve wracking process. :(
 
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sophiejane

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The NRMP publishes their yearly match statistics and it's extremely helpful as far as stats go. It shows that for most specialties, it is still a buyer's market for Allopathic US seniors.

If you look at the data, An Allopathic US senior has a near 100% chance of matching family medicine if they go on 4 or more interviews (assuming that they rank all 4). If you go on 3 or less interviews, you still would have a 95% match rate.

That same set of information shows that a US senior with a Step 1 score less than 180 has a 93% match rate. If you got 181-190, 98% match rate. It just gets better as you go up from there.
Thanks!
 

sophiejane

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I don't want to not match and so I guess I am nervous about how far down my list I might be accepted to. I thought my top choices liked me but the farther from the interviews the less confident I am feeling. Now I wish I hadn't canceled a couple of interviews. Such a nerve wracking process. :(
Everyone I know (a small "n" I know!) got into their first or second choice in FM,most at allopathic programs. And I'm a DO. Everyone in my class got their first choice except for one or two people.

Don't fret about not going to all your interviews. You are a US grad, you will likely get into one of your top 3. I'd certainly not rank the ones you were nervous about and especially the one you were "alarmed" by.

10-12 is a more than sufficient ROL for a US grad without major red flags, even if there were some dings on your application.
 
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