For those of you involved in an NRMP matching process (radiology residency or fellowship), you only have a few more weeks to finalize the rank list. But, the most significant decision is to rank number one. Why? Well, you have around a fifty-fifty chance of getting that spot if you are thinking about putting it down on your rank list, better than any other place. So, how do you make sure that you are clicking the right program when you finalize it all? Well, to sure ensure your sanity and make sure you have the best likelihood of getting this spot, here are some things that you should not do with your number one ranked program.
Don’t Play Mind Games
It’s not worth thinking about whether or not the program wants you badly. That should play no part in the assessment to rank a position as number one. Only, and I mean only, should you list a program first if you want to go there. It would be best if you only took your assessment of the program into the equation. If the program selected you and you didn’t want the program, where does that leave you? In a matching spot that you don’t like, of course!
It is unethical to let a program know that you are going to be ranking a program first unless you mean it. Some programs will use this information to rank you higher if they liked you in the first place. (a residency will not change their rankings if they don’t!) Regardless, if for whatever reason, you decide on a different program than the program that you said was your first choice, and then match with another site, forever hold your peace! Radiology is a small world. And, the ramifications of doing this are myriad. Not to say the least, unbeknownst to you, programs may blackball you in the future if you decide you want a job with one of their faculty. You never know!
Don’t Get Too Invested In Your Number One Choice Before You Match There
There is one guarantee in life: that there is no guarantee! Just because you are confident that a program is going to choose you, don’t buy a condo next door. Until it is official, you never know. I know of several students that had bought all the T-shirts of the presumed institution that they will attend, only to find out that they had not matched at the program. Please. Wait until you have the residency has accepted you before telling your colleagues. You don’t want to look like a fool!
Don’t Psyche Yourself Out Of Your Number One Rank
Your number one choice selected you for an interview for a reason. Regardless of how you may feel now, you do have a chance of getting a spot at your first choice. That chance is probably better than you think!
Don’t Forget To Double Check You Number One Choice
Computers and people’s hands are finicky. You can easily click the wrong button and not realize what you have selected. Or, maybe you changed your mind about your first choice and forgot to choose the program on the match list. In either case, check and recheck that list multiple times before you click submit!
Ranking A Program Number One- Don’t Take It Lightly
The matching process is a headache. But, you’ve already made it through seven-eighths of the ordeal. Don’t screw it all up at the last minute. Make sure to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Ranking your first choice is a big deal. So be careful and remember: many applicants get their first pick!