Medical student resources

The Match List and Choosing a Residency

You've done the interviews (or are travelling to them now), spending your allotted 15 minutes trying to fill in an attending on your CV. The CV they haven't had time to read.

You've toured the hospitals. Yes, it has an ICU. Oh look, hospital beds! And there is an ED, too. They also use pulse-ox machines?

And now, it's time to make out your Residency Match list.

Step 1 How? The NRMP offers worksheets and tips for Creating a Rank Order List, and it is quite helpful.

Step 2 But how is the NRMP going to match me to a residency program? Again easy to answer. They publish their algorithm in this PDF: How the Algorithm Works and a page that explains about Creating a Rank Order List. They are pretty clear that you should rank your first choice first, even if it's a "reach" program.

Step 3 Where should I rank these programs? Now that is up to you, but StudentDoc conducted a recent poll to find out what people consider important. Here's what the 288 students said in response to the poll question: When ranking residency programs, what's the most important factor for you?

rank order match list

There was no single factor that was chosen by more than half of the responders, but 41% listed the "reputation of program" as the most important factor in ranking a program. The next most frequently cited factor was the location of the program (30%).

Other factors that get a lot of attention, like call schedule or research opportunities, are rarely the most important factor, with call schedule being chosen only 8% of the time and research opportunities chosen only 6% of the time.

Other Resources

Hospital rankings give an idea of support staff, ancillary services and general quality of the processes in the hospital.

See how competitive your USMLE scores and GPA for different medical specialities.

The residency scramble: it's not the end of the world.


How competitive am I for residency?

Will you be AOA?:Yes
No
Have you done research?:Yes
No
Do you have publications?:Yes
No
Are you a US senior in med school?:Yes
No