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At the risk of sounding insanely neurotic, I decided to post this here. I have sent thank yous and a "you're my #1 choice" and "i'm ranking you highly" emails to PD's after my interviews, and have yet to actually get a single response from any of them. Is this normal, or should I be expecting to receive a response? It's making me very nervous that no one has responded to anything.
 
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golftrippy

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At the risk of sounding insanely neurotic, I decided to post this here. I have sent thank yous and a "you're my #1 choice" and "i'm ranking you highly" emails to PD's after my interviews, and have yet to actually get a single response from any of them. Is this normal, or should I be expecting to receive a response? It's making me very nervous that no one has responded to anything.
To be honest, based on a meeting with our program director, applicants who send him a "you're my #1 choice" early in the season are: at best not taken seriously and at worst really hurting their application. The reason--in early November you definitely haven't interviewed at the majority of programs yet so you shouldn't have a real #1 choice...at this point they will think you are telling everyone that.
 

Doctor4Life1769

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At the risk of sounding insanely neurotic, I decided to post this here. I have sent thank yous and a "you're my #1 choice" and "i'm ranking you highly" emails to PD's after my interviews, and have yet to actually get a single response from any of them. Is this normal, or should I be expecting to receive a response? It's making me very nervous that no one has responded to anything.
You did that to all the programs you interviewed at?
No wonder PDs dont bother responding ...

I did it to one program, but I have a genuine reason for it (it's home for me, I rotated there, and I really enjoyed my time there, etc.). I've not told the other programs they're my #1 ... maybe I should play the same game :laugh:
 
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I only sent the "you're my favorite" letter to the program in my hometown, which is my number one choice. I'm not an idiot.

I stressed in my interview multiple times that I want to return to my hometown for residency, plus it's a highly respected program in the field to which I am applying. It is where I attended undergrad and where my family lives. I'm just frustrated that I never got any response from ANY program I sent a letter to, not just that one.
 

atsai3

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At the risk of sounding insanely neurotic, I decided to post this here. I have sent thank yous and a "you're my #1 choice" and "i'm ranking you highly" emails to PD's after my interviews, and have yet to actually get a single response from any of them. Is this normal, or should I be expecting to receive a response? It's making me very nervous that no one has responded to anything.
Searching the archives may be therapeutic.
Some thoughts on this here and here.

-AT.
 

Ludicolo

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At the risk of sounding insanely neurotic, I decided to post this here. I have sent thank yous and a "you're my #1 choice" and "i'm ranking you highly" emails to PD's after my interviews, and have yet to actually get a single response from any of them. Is this normal, or should I be expecting to receive a response? It's making me very nervous that no one has responded to anything.
Don’t expect programs to respond to thank you letters. It’s just not customary nor practical for programs to individually respond to the hundreds of thank you letters they receive. If a program likes you, they may reach out to you when it comes time to start submitting rank lists in January. Or maybe they won’t. Or maybe they reach out to everybody. Wouldn’t worry about it.

Additionally, programs hear that they’re someone’s #1 all the time. Candidates frequently hear that they’re “ranked to match”. Every year hopes get raised, and every year someone gets burned. Try not to succumb to the mind games. The match game is actually quite simple: Rank ‘em as you like ‘em.
 
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I wanted to echo all of the other comments, which I agree with 100%. I am a current chief who will be interviewing and ranking candidates this year. I am at a large program. Yes, it is true that the vast majority of programs will not respond to letters. We receive too many. Some of them may seek you out as time gets closer, but they may not. And, the comments from Ludicolo, which are very appropriate. Be very careful of telling programs they are their #1, unless they really are. We hear this all of the time. Focus on interviewing well and ranking highly programs you got good vibes from. This was you can make sure you match somewhere compatible with you. This is for all applicants: do NOT tell every program you go to they are your #1. The problem with this strategy is it can lead to a program--you may not want to be at--ranking you highly. This, of course, can lead to you spending several years in a bad situation. Just be yourself; don't focus on the replies of the program to letters/emails and rank the way you would like to. Best of luck to you.
 

notdeadyet

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Wholeheartedly agree with the comments about being genuine and not blowing smoke with residency programs.
This is for all applicants: do NOT tell every program you go to they are your #1. The problem with this strategy is it can lead to a program--you may not want to be at--ranking you highly. This, of course, can lead to you spending several years in a bad situation.
But this comment is a little misleading and perpetuates a myth about the Match. It doesn't matter how highly a program ranks an applicant if the applicant does not rank the program highly.

If Acme University ranks me #1 and Upstairs Medical ranks me #10, and I rank Acme #2 and Upstairs #1, I will always get matched at Upstairs if they have sufficient slots.

Just wanted to point this out. Folks who haven't read about how the Match works (and if you're an applicant and haven't, correct this prior to coming out with your match list) talk incorrectly about not wanting to "waste" their top choices at schools not likely to highly rate them. Always make your rank list based on your choices.
 
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mcl

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This is what I have experienced of the Match process since 1997:
  • No applicant has anything to gain by not telling a program they enjoyed their interview and would be happy to match there.
  • No program has anything to gain by not telling each applicant that they enjoyed meeting them and would be happy if the applicant matched there.
  • My response each time an applicant tells me we are their first choice is: "Isn't that nice." We tend to assume that applicants are just covering their bases and, with very rare exception, it won't affect your placement on the final rank list.
  • Not sending any type of follow up expression of interest might affect rank order placement as programs will interpret that as lack of interest.
If all applicants rank in programs in their order of preference (omiting programs where they know they will be unhappy), and all programs rank applicants in their order of preference, the Match will work out.
 
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ranmyaku

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I matched last year but this is what I did. I interviewed early at a program I was fairly certain would be my eventual first choice. I sent the requisite follow up email of why i thought I was a good match for the program, etc. Told them I would follow up with another email later in the season to update with any accomplishments and how I intended on ranking them. I emailed later after I finished my interviews, told them that I finished interviewing at all programs and had decided that they were my first choice after having interviewed at all programs. Updated anything new in my file. I matched there.
 

a winner is you

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Candidates frequently hear that they’re “ranked to match”. Every year hopes get raised, and every year someone gets burned. Try not to succumb to the mind games. The match game is actually quite simple: Rank ‘em as you like ‘em.
A few years back, the #1 student in the class was told by a top 5 program in a competitive specialty that he was ranked to match. On his rank list, he only ranked that 1 program even though he had interviewed at over 10. He didn't match and had to scramble, true story.
 
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MountainEM

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So...sorry as I know this has been asked before but since we are talking about telling a program that they are "number 1"...

I though that is was against match rules for an applicant to tell a program that they are number 1 and vice versa?!

thanks
 

babel

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http://www.nrmp.org/res_match/policies/map_main.html#comm

6.0 Restrictions on Persuasion

One of the purposes of the Matching Program is to allow both applicants and programs to make selection decisions on a uniform schedule and without coercion or undue or unwarranted pressure. Both applicants and programs may express their interest in each other; however, they shall not solicit verbal or written statements implying a commitment. Applicants shall at all times be free to keep confidential the names or identities of programs to which they have or may apply. In addition, it is a breach of the applicable Match Participation Agreement for:

(a) a program to request applicants to reveal ranking preferences; or

(b) an applicant or program to suggest or inform the other that placement on a rank order list is contingent upon submission of a verbal or written statement indicating ranking preferences; or

(c) a program to require applicants to reveal the names or identities of programs to which they have or may apply; or

(d) a program and an applicant in the Matching Program to make any verbal or written contract for appointment to a concurrent year residency or fellowship position prior to the release of the List of Unfilled Programs.

Only the final preferences of programs and applicants, as expressed on their final certified rank order lists, will determine the offering of positions and the placement of applicants through the Matching Program.

****
I think the underlined part is key - programs and applicants can say whatever they want about their preferences of their own free will (e.g. you're my #1 vs. you're ranked to match), but neither side can ask the other for their preferences or ask for/expect any commitment based on said preferences.
 

alwaysaangel

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So...sorry as I know this has been asked before but since we are talking about telling a program that they are "number 1"...

I though that is was against match rules for an applicant to tell a program that they are number 1 and vice versa?!

thanks
You can voluntarily tell. You can't ask
 

GuzzyRon

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Learned something new today. Thanks.


http://www.nrmp.org/res_match/policies/map_main.html#comm

6.0 Restrictions on Persuasion

One of the purposes of the Matching Program is to allow both applicants and programs to make selection decisions on a uniform schedule and without coercion or undue or unwarranted pressure. Both applicants and programs may express their interest in each other; however, they shall not solicit verbal or written statements implying a commitment. Applicants shall at all times be free to keep confidential the names or identities of programs to which they have or may apply. In addition, it is a breach of the applicable Match Participation Agreement for:

(a) a program to request applicants to reveal ranking preferences; or

(b) an applicant or program to suggest or inform the other that placement on a rank order list is contingent upon submission of a verbal or written statement indicating ranking preferences; or

(c) a program to require applicants to reveal the names or identities of programs to which they have or may apply; or

(d) a program and an applicant in the Matching Program to make any verbal or written contract for appointment to a concurrent year residency or fellowship position prior to the release of the List of Unfilled Programs.

Only the final preferences of programs and applicants, as expressed on their final certified rank order lists, will determine the offering of positions and the placement of applicants through the Matching Program.

****
I think the underlined part is key - programs and applicants can say whatever they want about their preferences of their own free will (e.g. you're my #1 vs. you're ranked to match), but neither side can ask the other for their preferences or ask for/expect any commitment based on said preferences.
 

peppy

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A few years back, the #1 student in the class was told by a top 5 program in a competitive specialty that he was ranked to match. On his rank list, he only ranked that 1 program even though he had interviewed at over 10. He didn't match and had to scramble, true story.
Yeah, I have heard of things like that happening. Painful! I don't know why people do that stuff. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by ranking every program that you find less objectionable than the idea of unemployed.
 

dopler4000

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A few years back, the #1 student in the class was told by a top 5 program in a competitive specialty that he was ranked to match. On his rank list, he only ranked that 1 program even though he had interviewed at over 10. He didn't match and had to scramble, true story.
How on earth did someone rank only one program?? 2nd, this guy was #1, not very bright at all.
 

Jwax

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A few years back, the #1 student in the class was told by a top 5 program in a competitive specialty that he was ranked to match. On his rank list, he only ranked that 1 program even though he had interviewed at over 10. He didn't match and had to scramble, true story.
Idiots deserve what they get. If I rank all 12 places I interview at, I will feel lousy but know I did everything I could (at this point) to match. If I interview at all 12 and don't rank most of them, I deserve to fail at the match.

The only flip side to this is a friend of mine going for EM (w/FM backup) only applied to ~7 or 8 places b/c her hubby is in the navy and she doesn't want to live on the opposite side of the country as him (as she currently does). For her, not matching and getting an MPh or something is better than ranking a program 1000 miles away from her hubby. Unless you have that kind of situation, you're dumb and deserve what you get if you don't rank most programs you interview at. /end rant
 

ProgCoordinator

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A few years back, the #1 student in the class was told by a top 5 program in a competitive specialty that he was ranked to match. On his rank list, he only ranked that 1 program even though he had interviewed at over 10. He didn't match and had to scramble, true story.
That stinks. Flip side....Candidate: I'm nothing if not honest, so I want to tell you that I will be ranking your program #1. We ranked him/her #1, as well. Not due to their statement. S/he matched elsewhere. True story.

Morals of our stories: Definitely rank more than one program. Be cautiously optimistic about all the ranking sentiments.

Rank according to your gut.

:luck:
 

juiceman311

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So I have a program that is my clear cut #1. I have expressed as much both during my interview and in a formal letter I sent to the PD/chair. I am pretty much done interviewing, and they know that, so the timing was right.

What do I say to my #2 and #3 programs? I really loved my 2 and 3, but they are not my #1, and I will not tell them they are my #1. But how do I play it in my thank you letter? Generic "I will rank you highly"? Seems weak, but I also will not lie. I know most PDs probably don't believe us anyways, but I've always been an honest person and don't intend on changing on account of this.
 

gutonc

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So I have a program that is my clear cut #1. I have expressed as much both during my interview and in a formal letter I sent to the PD/chair. I am pretty much done interviewing, and they know that, so the timing was right.

What do I say to my #2 and #3 programs? I really loved my 2 and 3, but they are not my #1, and I will not tell them they are my #1. But how do I play it in my thank you letter? Generic "I will rank you highly"? Seems weak, but I also will not lie. I know most PDs probably don't believe us anyways, but I've always been an honest person and don't intend on changing on account of this.
That's reasonable. So is doing nothing.
 
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I wanted to echo all of the other comments, which I agree with 100%. I am a current chief who will be interviewing and ranking candidates this year. I am at a large program. Yes, it is true that the vast majority of programs will not respond to letters. We receive too many. Some of them may seek you out as time gets closer, but they may not. And, the comments from Ludicolo, which are very appropriate. Be very careful of telling programs they are their #1, unless they really are. We hear this all of the time. Focus on interviewing well and ranking highly programs you got good vibes from. This was you can make sure you match somewhere compatible with you. This is for all applicants: do NOT tell every program you go to they are your #1. The problem with this strategy is it can lead to a program--you may not want to be at--ranking you highly. This, of course, can lead to you spending several years in a bad situation. Just be yourself; don't focus on the replies of the program to letters/emails and rank the way you would like to. Best of luck to you.
I haven't busted out the "You're my #1" yet, but I have told, and will continue to stay in touch with my top 3-4 programs which I have called and reitereated that I will be ranking them highly. I think its important to stay in touch with programs as the season progresses. March is a long time away with lots of faces from now till then, and just touching base from time to time probably is important.

Again, I'm like everyone else, and am offering advice as a novice, but I think in the end I'm going to stay true to my character. My #1 is chosen, but I'm being careful to use that phrase until I submit a rank list.
 
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Maybe true, but it's at a program I did an away at, and I was urged by every faculty and resident whom interviewed me to express to the PD that they are my #1 program...so, I did...

I got similar advice as well: did an away, loved it, was told by residents and associate PD to let the PD know they were my #1 program. Was even told to have my chair to call in for me, especially come match time.
 

rachmoninov3

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quick question: what about the emails/thank you cards that the programs send me?

I've finally finished my thank you notes which will be going out tomorrow. However, I've already heard from 4 people at 3 different programs with "really enjoyed meeting you, would love to have you as an intern next year, etc"
---is that common (for family med)? Or are these correspondences something above and beyond?
 

atsai3

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quick question: what about the emails/thank you cards that the programs send me?

I've finally finished my thank you notes which will be going out tomorrow. However, I've already heard from 4 people at 3 different programs with "really enjoyed meeting you, would love to have you as an intern next year, etc"
---is that common (for family med)? Or are these correspondences something above and beyond?
Just accept them as face value. They're not trying to influence your rank list, nor are they communicating that they have ranked you to match. All they are saying is that they would love to have you on the team come July.

-AT.
 

rachmoninov3

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Thanks for the reply AT. Good to know that this is all just part of the game:rolleyes:
 

Doctor4Life1769

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Just had an interview at my #1.

I think it went well. I reiterated with everyone I interviewed with it was my #1. How long after the interview should one send a thank-you email? The PD told me it was not necessary but that if I wished to send one a simple email was fine.

Thanks!
 

gutonc

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Just had an interview at my #1.

I think it went well. I reiterated with everyone I interviewed with it was my #1. How long after the interview should one send a thank-you email? The PD told me it was not necessary but that if I wished to send one a simple email was fine.

Thanks!
How do you know it was your #1 and not just your #1 so far? You don't. This is why this sort of communication (in person, via email or TY note) should be done at the end of your interview season. Who knows if the place you go next week won't blow that place away in your mind and become your new #1. Then you'll look like a jerk when you don't match there after you both pinky-swore you loved each other like no other.
 

Doctor4Life1769

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How do you know it was your #1 and not just your #1 so far? You don't. This is why this sort of communication (in person, via email or TY note) should be done at the end of your interview season. Who knows if the place you go next week won't blow that place away in your mind and become your new #1. Then you'll look like a jerk when you don't match there after you both pinky-swore you loved each other like no other.
I've spent multiple months at this program and have gotten to know the hospital, the program, residents and some of the faculty within the program. I've really enjoyed my time and I believe this is the place I belong for the next 4 years. Also, it is a perfect fit for my clinical and academic needs.
 

clement

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It's not a game. It's the interviewing process for residency.

-AT.
With all due respect, it sure seems like a game when programs tell a person, "We think you're an EEEXCELLENT candidate" and when applicants tell a program, "Actually, I think YOUUU'RE an excellent program," and then the whole love affair fizzles come ranking time.

It's just like dating.

Anyway, my reason for posting here was: Alright, so at this point in the--process--thank you letters/Emails will not be taken too seriously for the most part. No prob...Down the line, if you reiterate your interest again AND you dont' hear back....Is that bad-ish? And I'm only talking about programs that one really likes where they specifically said at the interview, "Let us know." No SDN yellow journalism involved.
 
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jackieMD2007

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quick question: what about the emails/thank you cards that the programs send me?

I've finally finished my thank you notes which will be going out tomorrow. However, I've already heard from 4 people at 3 different programs with "really enjoyed meeting you, would love to have you as an intern next year, etc"
---is that common (for family med)? Or are these correspondences something above and beyond?
I've been getting those too--some hand-written from residents, some emails from residents/program directors, some written letters.

I don't think it is a big deal. :luck:
 

QofQuimica

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At the med school admissions level, I know how much effort our admissions office puts into setting up each interview day for our applicants, and I appreciate that the residency programs interviewing me are doing the same, often with considerably fewer administrative staff and resident volunteers. The way I look at it is that sending thank you cards is a polite thing to do whenever someone does something for you. So if you're going to send cards, you should send them for the purpose of showing appreciation for the effort that went into making the interview happen, period. And when programs thank you for spending your time/money to come interview with them, same deal. Thank you notes are not a venue for playing silly games where you're trying to gauge how much they like you and vice versa. And obviously, they're not a very effective venue for that either, when you read all the posts by people who felt jilted come March. :hungover:
 

MedicineForLife 777

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Does anyone ever flat out write "You're my number 1 choice."? Or just state it in another way like "I will rank you very highly" etc?
 

atsai3

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With all due respect, it sure seems like a game when programs tell a person, "We think you're an EEEXCELLENT candidate" and when applicants tell a program, "Actually, I think YOUUU'RE an excellent program," and then the whole love affair fizzles come ranking time.
"We think you're an excellent candidate" does NOT mean "We are going to put you in the top 5 of our rank list". There are many exceptional candidates who interview at residency programs, often many more than can be accepted into the intern class. If a residency program director tells you "I think you would do well here", "I would love to have you here", "We hope we'll see you next here", etc. -- those statements are all consistent with her not ranking you in the top X of the rank list. Those statements could all be very true, just that she liked other candidates better.
Down the line, if you reiterate your interest again AND you dont' hear back....Is that bad-ish? And I'm only talking about programs that one really likes where they specifically said at the interview, "Let us know." No SDN yellow journalism involved.
If a program director tells you, "Let us know", it means "let us know". You shouldn't expect a response.

If a program director tells you "When it comes time to rank, let us know if you are ranking us #1, because only people who express interest in our program will get ranked to match. And once you let us know, we'll let you know". You should then expect a response.

-AT.
 
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Are we suppose to send thank you letters only to the PD or should we send thank you letters to the chair or any other faculty that interviewed us as well? I am in no way trying to effect my position on their rank list as that issue has been exhausted in this thread. I just don't know the etiquette for this situation and wanted to know what the majority of people are doing.
 

atsai3

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Are we suppose to send thank you letters only to the PD or should we send thank you letters to the chair or any other faculty that interviewed us as well? I am in no way trying to effect my position on their rank list as that issue has been exhausted in this thread. I just don't know the etiquette for this situation and wanted to know what the majority of people are doing.
Some answers to your question here, here, here, here, and here. You might even find more comments/advice if you search further back in time.

-AT.
 

chubbykid

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"We think you're an excellent candidate" does NOT mean "We are going to put you in the top 5 of our rank list". There are many exceptional candidates who interview at residency programs, often many more than can be accepted into the intern class. If a residency program director tells you "I think you would do well here", "I would love to have you here", "We hope we'll see you next here", etc. -- those statements are all consistent with her not ranking you in the top X of the rank list. Those statements could all be very true, just that she liked other candidates better.

If a program director tells you, "Let us know", it means "let us know". You shouldn't expect a response.

If a program director tells you "When it comes time to rank, let us know if you are ranking us #1, because only people who express interest in our program will get ranked to match. And once you let us know, we'll let you know". You should then expect a response.

-AT.
I have heard those statements at every interview I've been to. Does that mean I am screwed and not gonna be ranked highly in any program and not gonna match? :(
 

Doctor4Life1769

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I have heard those statements at every interview I've been to. Does that mean I am screwed and not gonna be ranked highly in any program and not gonna match? :(
Yikes. Same. ****
 

atsai3

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I have heard those statements at every interview I've been to. Does that mean I am screwed and not gonna be ranked highly in any program and not gonna match? :(
I didn't write that these statements are unfavorable, just that they are not necessarily favorable.

The primary reason an applicant is 'screwed' is if she has a low quality application. That much is clear.

-AT.
 

mcl

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I have heard those statements at every interview I've been to. Does that mean I am screwed and not gonna be ranked highly in any program and not gonna match? :(
It could just as easily mean that you'll be ranked highly by every program you've visited. Don't determine your rank list based on how you think a program will rank you--think about where you've visited, how well you've liked the faculty/residents/staff you've met, whether you could be happy in each location, and fill out your rank list accordingly. Decide that you can be reasonably happy and well trained at any of the places you rank, and don't take it personally if you don't get your first choice.
 
Sep 8, 2010
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How do you guys know you did well during an interview? It's one thing to "click" with the interviewer over something in common. I guess what I'm asking is, what makes a great interview, versus a mediocre one?
 
Jul 18, 2010
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How late is too late to send a card? Is a month after the interview too late?
 
Aug 7, 2010
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I didn't write that these statements are unfavorable, just that they are not necessarily favorable.

The primary reason an applicant is 'screwed' is if she has a low quality application. That much is clear.

-AT.

Did you mean low quality "interview?" I thought that if you received an interview it meant that the program felt you were academically qualified and on the same level as all the other applicants.
 

atsai3

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Did you mean low quality "interview?" I thought that if you received an interview it meant that the program felt you were academically qualified and on the same level as all the other applicants.
I meant low quality application.

A residency program would not invite you for an interview if it had no intention of ranking you. An interview, relative to not getting an interview, is a good thing and does indicate that you meet some sort of minimum threshold of quality. But that does not mean that all interviewees are on equal footing.

-AT.
 

notdeadyet

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I thought that if you received an interview it meant that the program felt you were academically qualified and on the same level as all the other applicants.
I wouldn't necessarily assume that. If you received an interview, it means you met the minimum of what they felt was necessary to qualify you for an interview. How much weight they place on the interview probably varies by specialty and program, but a top flight student with AOA, great pubs and killer letters with a B+ interview will probably beat out the average student with the A interview.
 
Sep 8, 2010
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I've been to several programs where I was not interviewed by the PD. In addition to sending thank you's to the interviewers, is it recommended to send one to the PD as well?

Thanks.