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solstice118

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Hey Y'all,

I'm sure this topic has been covered at some point (tried doing some searches but couldn't find anything specific). What steps should we be taking to tell programs that we will rank them highly? Are we even allowed to do that? Is it Kosher to send them emails etc above and beyond the thank you card to show interest? I'm just not sure of the proper etiquette without being annoying. What do people typically do?
 

Winged Scapula

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It is not "illegal" to tell a program that you will be ranking them highly or first.

Most people who are highly interested in a program, send a letter or call the program director, maybe do a "second look".

Probably more than 2 or 3 contacts with a program would be overkill.
 

ivan lewis

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I'd definitely agree with a second look. I don't think anything shows your interest in the program more, aside from doing an away. Also communicate with the residents in the program and let them know of your interest.
 
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surg

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Also, having an attending who likes you and that has a connection to that program or someone at that program call your #1 program to let them know can really help. Obviously that's not an option for everyone. Keep in mind, that you are asking someone else to put THEIR reputation on the line for you, so don't ask them if you aren't serious. If they call and say you are ranking them #1 and you don't match their despite them listing you high enough to match, it hurts both people's credibility and can hurt other students' chances down the line beyond your own!
 

geekgirl

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Kimberli Cox said:
It is not "illegal" to tell a program that you will be ranking them highly or first.
i thought you couldn't tell them you were ranking them first directly. can you really say that?
 

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geekgirl said:
i thought you couldn't tell them you were ranking them first directly. can you really say that?

You can tell them anything you want. You can tell every program you're ranking them #1, if you want. The truth comes out at match day. It is illegal for them to make a deal with you and tell them they'll rank you 1, etc. I don't put much stock into programs telling me they really want me. For all I know, they are telling every single person they interview that. It's all a game.
 

Winged Scapula

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geekgirl said:
i thought you couldn't tell them you were ranking them first directly. can you really say that?
YOu can tell them anything you want. PROGRAMS aren't allowed to tell YOU they will be ranking you first, but they can tell you they will rank you highly. As noted above, I heard the same thing during fellowship interviews - you never really know who's blowing smoke up your &^% and who really likes you.
 

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ivan lewis said:
I'd definitely agree with a second look. I don't think anything shows your interest in the program more, aside from doing an away. Also communicate with the residents in the program and let them know of your interest.
Besides, nothing gives you a better idea of a typical day than actually going and rounding and operating w/ a team for a day. You also get a very real assessment of the level of "scut".

It's all about finding where you best "fit".
 

PatrickBateman

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Roux-en-Y said:
Besides, nothing gives you a better idea of a typical day than actually going and rounding and operating w/ a team for a day. You also get a very real assessment of the level of "scut".

It's all about finding where you best "fit".
Remember though, that nothing give them a more indelible impression of YOU than having you round and operate with them for a day. Everything will be unfamiliar to you. One screw up or dumb statement and you could be hosed. This can work both ways. ;)
 

Pilot Doc

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Roux-en-Y said:
Besides, nothing gives you a better idea of a typical day than actually going and rounding and operating w/ a team for a day. You also get a very real assessment of the level of "scut".

It's all about finding where you best "fit".
I think second looks are bad ideas. As the above poster mentioned, it it much easier to appear foolish than to look great. The other issue, to draw a patient care analogy, is how will the experience change your "management." If you like the program, it remains your #1 choice and you've just wasted your time and money. If you don't like the program, you have extra information only about that program. Who's to say your #2 or #3 choice don't have hidden problems that are equivalent or worse. The easiest and cleanest solution is to simply interview everywhere, keep a level playing field and accept making an enormous decision with very limited information.
 

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Pilot Doc said:
I think second looks are bad ideas. As the above poster mentioned, it it much easier to appear foolish than to look great. The other issue, to draw a patient care analogy, is how will the experience change your "management." If you like the program, it remains your #1 choice and you've just wasted your time and money. If you don't like the program, you have extra information only about that program. Who's to say your #2 or #3 choice don't have hidden problems that are equivalent or worse. The easiest and cleanest solution is to simply interview everywhere, keep a level playing field and accept making an enormous decision with very limited information.
All valid points, PD. The one place where I'm planning to return for a second visit is one at which I interviewed very early - I loved the program, but it was so early in the game that I'm not confident I evaluated it as accurately as I could now. I want to make sure my initial impressions were well-founded. I know that some program directors encourage second looks because it "shows interest," but if you're convinced about a program, there's no need to make a trip back and learn what you already know - a letter of intent should serve the same purpose, IMO.
 

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ExtraCrispy said:
I loved the program, but it was so early in the game that I'm not confident I evaluated it as accurately as I could now. I want to make sure my initial impressions were well-founded.
Agreed. One of the few good reasons I've heard for a second look.
 

Smoke This

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Kimberli Cox said:
YOu can tell them anything you want. PROGRAMS aren't allowed to tell YOU they will be ranking you first, but they can tell you they will rank you highly.
Actually the match rules allow both programs and applicants to volunteer exactly how they intend to rank each other. The only thing programs aren't allowed to do is ask you how you're going to rank them, and vice versa.
 

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But am I allowed to ask how they will rank me, assuming its not a precocious question?
 

Ergo

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"Both applicants and programs may express a high degree of interest in each other and try to influence future ranking decisions in their favor, but must not make statements implying a commitment. It is a material breach of this Agreement for a participant in the Matching Program to make any verbal or written contract for appointment to a concurrent year residency position prior to the Matching Program. In addition, although applicants or programs may volunteer how they plan to rank each other, it is a material breach of this Agreement to request such information. Only the final preferences of programs and applicants, as reflected in their final certified rank order lists, will determine the offering of positions and the placement of applicants through the Matching Program. "
 

Orange Julius

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Ergo said:
But am I allowed to ask how they will rank me, assuming its not a precocious question?
It would be a dumb question anyway, due to the existence of a phenomenon called "lying". ;)
 

Winged Scapula

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Smoke This said:
Actually the match rules allow both programs and applicants to volunteer exactly how they intend to rank each other. The only thing programs aren't allowed to do is ask you how you're going to rank them, and vice versa.
You are correct - programs can tell an applicant they intend to rank them first but if it "implies a commitment" this would be against the rules of the match. I'm not sure how you can tell someone you'll rank them number 1 without it somehow implying commitment to do so unless you attach all sorts of exceptions.
 
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