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"We like you!" Phone calls and Emails from Residency Directors

AndSheWas

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Hey!
So, I have gotten a few phone calls and emails from some programs, essentially saying "we like you! We are going to rank you well!". Unfortunately, I haven't gotten any of those from my top programs.
I was wondering, in everyone else's experience - are there programs that tend to send those out? Are there programs that do not? What programs have you heard from so far?
Should I be worried that I haven't heard from my top 5?
I apologize for my type-A anxiety kicking into high gear.
 

sanluis

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It certainly feels great to get these calls or emails :naughty:

However, I would definitely go with your own preferences as you don't have anything to lose with this approach. Some programs will not let you know where you are on their list, even if you are their numero uno. Don't rank a program number one if you feel it should not be there. Don't let these vague love-emails/calls influence you...
 

F0nzie

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I don't think it has anything to do with your performance or the competitiveness of the institution. Thank you notes, reply emails, follow up letters, etc. whether initiated by you or the institution for interviews or other work demonstrates good people skills + appreciation whether there is genuine interest or not. Regardless, if you can stand working in the environment and meets your needs in other areas go for it even if you didn't receive the correspondence you were expecting.
 
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BS81

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Hey!
So, I have gotten a few phone calls and emails from some programs, essentially saying "we like you! We are going to rank you well!". Unfortunately, I haven't gotten any of those from my top programs.
I was wondering, in everyone else's experience - are there programs that tend to send those out? Are there programs that do not? What programs have you heard from so far?
Should I be worried that I haven't heard from my top 5?
I apologize for my type-A anxiety kicking into high gear.

How about you start us off?
 

peppy

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These phone calls/letters/emails really don't mean anything (positive or negative). Some places are silent to everyone and some places send encouraging feedback to everyone they interview. Maryland has a reputation for being the latter. In fact, I could be wrong, but I suspect they tell everyone they interview "you will be ranked highly" because I haven't heard of anyone interviewing there who wasn't told that.
Bottom line: thank them if they do show interest, but still rank programs according to how you liked them and not according to how much you think they like you.
 

quirks

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I interviewed at U Maryland and didn't even get a response to my Thank You email (which has happened with a few schools so no hard feelings).... Therefore, no, they're not contacting everyone.

I've only had contact initiated by one school so far, except it's a tiny program so I'd rather not say on the forum, but I will happily tell you in PM if you're curious.

And things do change over time. I've seen in old posts that University of Washington used to be very open about exactly how you're ranked, but the Child Psych Program Director there told me that the PD has decided to stop doing that now.
 
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MedYEP

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What is the proper way to handle "we will rank you highly" calls or emails from programs when you are not planning on ranking the program in the top 3 yourself?
 

shan564

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I've gotten three semi-generic letters, an invitation to a conference where the fee would be waived (plus a notecard with that), an invitation to a dinner before ROL are due (not sure if I am going to go), several generic emails and several friendly/positive emails.

I have not heard any of the "ranked highly" sort of lines, which I wouldn't believe anyway.

Most of the contact has been from programs I'd consider lower-tier. However, some has been from programs at the top of my list. I really do think it is PD/program dependent.

My experience is very similar to yours. Nobody has said anything more firm than "you were well-receive" or "you'd be a great fit here" in writing.



MedYEP said:
What is the proper way to handle "we will rank you highly" calls or emails from programs when you are not planning on ranking the program in the top 3 yourself?
Considering that the phrase "we will rank you highly" is practically meaningless (and borderline deceptive), I don't think you have to specifically respond to that statement. Something like "Thanks, I also thought I'd fit well there" would probably be good enough.
 

AndSheWas

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bump! Have people heard stuff from Harvard Longwood, Northwestern or Brown in particular? Other places? If people want to DM me I'd be happy to post all anonymously and keep a list going (like in previous years).
 

DDG88

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Hi All-

Im not a med student but my husband is. I wanted to ask if anyone knows whether Columbia typically contacts students they are interested in? So far he's received calls/emails from Mt Sinai, NYU, and Harvard (Cambridge), but no Columbia, which is his first choice. If anyone could shed some light that would be great, I'm nervous for him!

And good luck to you all!! :D
 

member2721

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Hi All-

Im not a med student but my husband is. I wanted to ask if anyone knows whether Columbia typically contacts students they are interested in? So far he's received calls/emails from Mt Sinai, NYU, and Harvard (Cambridge), but no Columbia, which is his first choice. If anyone could shed some light that would be great, I'm nervous for him!

And good luck to you all!! :D


Columbia calls every applicant within a week or two, according to what the PD said on interview day. I received a call in that timeframe.

Did he receive an email or call from NYU?
 

DDG88

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Columbia calls every applicant within a week or two, according to what the PD said on interview day. I received a call in that timeframe.

Did he receive an email or call from NYU?

Hmm I'm pretty sure it was an email from NYU.

Thanks for the info! Im more curious as to whether or not Columbia calls/emails applicants they are particularly interested in and plan on ranking, rather than all interviewees.
 

member2721

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Hmm I'm pretty sure it was an email from NYU.

Thanks for the info! Im more curious as to whether or not Columbia calls/emails applicants they are particularly interested in and plan on ranking, rather than all interviewees.

He could try emailing the PD to re-express interest, especially if he plans to rank them first. Something like 30% of programs/applicants report being influenced by such post-interview correspondence.
 

MiddleRoad

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Hmm I'm pretty sure it was an email from NYU.

Thanks for the info! Im more curious as to whether or not Columbia calls/emails applicants they are particularly interested in and plan on ranking, rather than all interviewees.

They do. There's the initial f/u call within 2 weeks of interview. Then after interviews are over there's the recruiting call/s from the PD and/or APD.
 
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member2721

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Interesting article on post-interview communications:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22914523


Programs, too, appear to respond to postinterview communication, as 36% of family practice program directors stated that hearing they will be ranked "high" or "No. 1" improves an applicant's ranking.

Carek PJ, Anderson KD, Blue AV, Mavis BE. Recruitment behavior and program directors: how ethical are their perspectives about the Match process? Fam Med. 2000;32(4):258-260
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10782372


However, DO NOT LIE to programs is something I have heard multiple times from recent grads and PDs. It is a small world in psychiatry. I think sincerity and honesty goes a long way- I have had good responses from PDs even after I told them they were in my top X or just a simple email that I think I will be a good fit for X reason.
 
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vistaril

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the most important thing an AMG *always* needs to be aware of in the psych residency game is that it is up to the programs to impress you. Not for you to impress them.

In most cases. Obviously someone with two step failures, a couple ethical issues,etc should probably turn on the charm a bit and attempt to explain things.

But for most amg candidates, just go in with a 'why should I pick your program' angle....because you hold all the cards. And that includes at most 'name' programs.
 

notdeadyet

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the most important thing an AMG *always* needs to be aware of in the psych residency game is that it is up to the programs to impress you. Not for you to impress them.
Going in with that attitude on your sleeve will limit your options dramatically.
But for most amg candidates, just go in with a 'why should I pick your program' angle....because you hold all the cards. And that includes at most 'name' programs.
Quite possibly the worst career advice I've ever heard. Literally.

Even if you literally hold all the cards (and you don't), portraying an attitude other than graciousness and humility will only hurt your ranking everywhere you apply.

Vistaril, dude, you really need to come with a warning label...
 
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shan564

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I was surprised to see that 23% would do such a thing...I didn't and wouldn't

I agree that it's a silly thing to do, but I'm not surprised that a lot of people do it. Based on conversations I've had with people about their rank lists, I'm often baffled by how many of them say things like "yeah, that program wasn't my favorite, but I'm ranking them higher because I have a better chance of getting in there"...
 

member2721

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I think it has a implicit way of changing your thinking process and thus ranking.

For example, for my top 3 ranks I only heard that I am ranked to match for two. For the one I dont' have a guarantee, I initially thought wow this is competitive maybe its awesome I really want it. But as a result of not knowing whether it will rank me to match, I have also spent a lot more time researching it and have (I think unconsciously) come up with rationalizing reasons for why that program is thus not a good fit for me and thus will be okay if I dont' end up there. Self-protective rationalizing. As a result of all this thinking, that program I am not guaranteed a spot for may be going down a rung or two on my list.
 

zappeuse

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one PD told me that back when there were prematches, if someone declined a prematch offer, he did not rank this applicant later. because he wants to have people who want to be there and not just end up there. i think when sending these emails, PDs are also monitoring for your reaction [i guess you are supposed to reply..]
 

Superpsych

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I think it has a implicit way of changing your thinking process and thus ranking.

For example, for my top 3 ranks I only heard that I am ranked to match for two. For the one I dont' have a guarantee, I initially thought wow this is competitive maybe its awesome I really want it. But as a result of not knowing whether it will rank me to match, I have also spent a lot more time researching it and have (I think unconsciously) come up with rationalizing reasons for why that program is thus not a good fit for me and thus will be okay if I dont' end up there. Self-protective rationalizing. As a result of all this thinking, that program I am not guaranteed a spot for may be going down a rung or two on my list.

I understand your process here but it will not harm you in anyway to list in the order you want to match

it will if you could have matched to your #1 but lowered them just because they are too busy to contact you after interviewing
 

billypilgrim37

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I understand your process here but it will not harm you in anyway to list in the order you want to match

It will if you could have matched to your #1 but lowered them just because they are too busy to contact you after interviewing

The whole point is that this change in feelings is really pretty unconscious, even if you're suspicious about your own motivations. New information is bound to change your feelings, and when so much of this decision is based on your gut, it's hard to know why your gut feels a certain way. Maybe it's because something about program X seems like less of a good fit over time, but maybe it's because they didn't send you a letter about being ranked to match, and maybe it's not. We're complicated critters.

It's pretty much like watching the Bachelor. The Bachelor is pretty influenced by how much he thinks the girls are in to him as well. There's no way Sean would be so into Tierra (the borderline with the dent in her head) if he didn't get the feeling from day one that she was drilling her eyes into his, um, brain. He just let Selma go because he figured out she was way too narcissistic to ever like him as much as he likes himself (even though most guys would probably say she was a standard deviation above most of the others in hotness).


*cue comment from Vistaril about something "manly.*

Don't worry, V, I only watch The Bachelor with an assault rifle across my lap while eating raw buffalo meat that I caught with my bare hands in the alley behind the strip club.


We're not rational beings, but as psychiatrists we're a little bit more navel gazing and tend to think about this stuff more than others. Of course no one should CONSCIOUSLY make a change in your ROL based on post-interview feedback, but unless you're Mr Spock, it's awfully hard to assess your true motivations around your decisions.
 

notdeadyet

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We're not rational beings, but as psychiatrists we're a little bit more navel gazing and tend to think about this stuff more than others. Of course no one should CONSCIOUSLY make a change in your ROL based on post-interview feedback, but unless you're Mr Spock, it's awfully hard to assess your true motivations around your decisions.
That's fair. I'm confident that post-interview conversations didn't affect the results of my ranking of my top 3 choices (I can say this because there wasn't any), but the high touch tactics of one of my lower ranked choices may have bumped it up a notch or two. It's hard not to feel endeared to a place that takes the time and effort to reach out in what is otherwise a fairly one way love affair for most of us.
 

ConfettiMD

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Is it took late to send out "you're my #1" letters?
I keep going back and forth between my top 3 and haven't wanted to send anything if I'm not 100% sure about it. I figure I'd be happy at any of them so I'll just let the match play out naturally.... Although someone at one of those programs told me I should say something if I want to go there.
 

member2721

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Is it took late to send out "you're my #1" letters?
I keep going back and forth between my top 3 and haven't wanted to send anything if I'm not 100% sure about it. I figure I'd be happy at any of them so I'll just let the match play out naturally.... Although someone at one of those programs told me I should say something if I want to go there.

You can tell them they are in your top 3, especially that latter program.

But I be never really understood why programs say you should say something if you want to go there m
 

notdeadyet

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You can tell them they are in your top 3, especially that latter program.
Bad advice. Telling a program anything other than "you're my #1" tells them "you're not my #1." That's why this isn't a game worth playing.

- Send a thank you note after you interview, stating your excitement about the program and your appreciation of their time
- Optionally send a "you're my #1" letter.

Anything other than that is wasted breath or counterproductive...
 

OldPsychDoc

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.... i think when sending these emails, PDs are also monitoring for your reaction [i guess you are supposed to reply..]

Oh God no. I don't have time to "monitor for reactions" that are likely inherently untrustworthy anyway...every PD I've ever known assumes that even the floweriest "I love you forever #1" note from an applicant is at best subject to the whims of change at the last minute.

When we run the list next week, we will not be factoring the quality of post-interview correspondence into our ranking preferences. I honestly don't have the time between now and then to go through all the emails (that I have read and saved, BTW, in case you're worried about that :)) and inventory who may or may not have said "thank you for interviewing me". Really--we loved meeting you. Almost ALL of you would be great (or we wouldn't have interviewed you in the first place!). But save the Valentines for your true loves--because we aren't moving you up or down based on that.
 

vistaril

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in general, I agree with a lot of the comments that it really just doesn't matter either way. Programs are going to rank candidates on their preference, just as candidates are going to do with programs.

That said, I have heard of some community programs and low to mid tier university programs who would prefer to hear from certain candidates that they really wouldnt mind going there. Again, these programs typically have lots of IMGS and subpar candidates....there are some out there who(for reasons that make no sense) may not rank a decent amg candidate just because they think there isn't a chance in hell they will end up there, and thus they will have to drop on their wish list(I don't see why they have to release this anyways). There is another line of thinking that such decent amg candidates wouldn't be happy at a community program or low to mid-tier university program and so would just put out crappy effort/performance...I don't neccessarily buy this.

The only example I have of this is a friend from med schoool who was a decent but not exactly derm worthy candidate....230 step, good american allopathic med school, solid grades and clinicals, not aoa but top thirdish of class...but yeah an excellent psych candidate of course. decided to interview at one program(which wasn't the kind of program that gets such people) just because it was 10 minutes from his parents house and he wanted a reason to visit home.....and pretty much why not? He knew there was no chance he would even rank the place, but it's something to do I guess and as he put it 'I can see what the other side is like'. The interviews go fine and everything, but he told me the PD told him "look if you tell us you want to come here you can obviously come here. If not we won't rank you to match".....I don't think that's very common, but it obviously does happen.
 

psychattending

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In my >15 years doing this (as a APD and a PD) I have never seen a case where a lack of a letter or a luke warm email hurt somebody's ranking. We are all pressed for time. For us knowing who really wants to come to our program helps us focus our attention on the critical part of our list (where is the last ranked person going to be) so that we can make sure that we get the applicants in the order that we want them. For example if it appears that I will likely be going down to the #30 spot on my list in order to fill my program, I do not want to be spending time deciding if a person is really number 10 or #11. Instead I want to be spending my time studying the applications of #28, 29, 30, 31, and 32 to make sure I get the order correct.
 
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