Making Your Rank List 2020

Happy February! As fourth year medical students hurdle towards graduation, most are wrapping up interviews and are building their residency rank lists. The rank list refers to the list of programs that students have interviewed with and are interested in completing training at. The rank list is submitted to the National Residency Match Program (NRMP) at the end of February annually!

As the last day to finalize the list is towards the end of this month (February), we wanted to share some knowledge on how best to make rank list Keep these things in mind as you move towards submitting that list:

    Stratify programs based on a few key priorities; it’s a good idea to identify a few characteristics to make it easy to rank the programs. This may include location, opportunities for a significant other, research exposure, hands on experiences or number of residents among other things. Picking what is key for you can make it easier to place programs on your list.

    Get perspective from others; talk to family, friends, classmates and residents at your home program. This can help alleviate concerns and help shed light on factors that may be more important than you previously realized.

    Do not rank programs based on where you think you will be ranked; the match is designed to help applicants. Do not change your list based on program communications or other insinuations.

    Don’t change your list at the last minute; it’s common to feel anxious as this process comes to a close. Close your eyes and breathe; you’ve worked super hard to get to this point and changing the list on a whim can create more havoc than good.

Remember this is YOUR decision; rank the places that you believe that you will be happiest at and will afford you the opportunity to thrive as a resident. If you cannot stand a place you interviewed at, don’t rank them (of course understanding the risk of not matching; I didn’t rank a program the first time around and went unmatched). Ultimately identify those places that you can flourish at; that is critical!

Dr. Aiyer is a Chief Foot & Ankle surgeon and Assistant Professor at the University of Miami/ Miller School of Medicine. For more information you can follow Dr. Amiethab Aiyer @orthomentor or listen to his Mentorship Podcast for students, The Orthomentor Mindset.

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