The Rank List

The rank list—while often feared—should actually be viewed as your greatest ally. It is, perhaps, your only source of control in the application process. Based on a statistical analysis of thousands of rank lists (we have this really smart PhD guy who does our math problems) we discovered a few gems. Some of the stuff below is just plain common-sense, but take heed. It just might be the difference between Buffalo and the Bay Area.

• Rank ‘em how you see ‘em. Don’t play games. Just put your #1 at the top and follow suit with the rest. Don’t think you can hedge your bets. You’ll have your best chance of going where you want if you follow this simple rule.

• It’s OK to show your cards: If you really have a TOP GUN (join and check out our ‘Top Gun’ statistic to see the program with the most top-rankings in your subspecialty), it’s totally cool to let them know. It may even bump you up a spot (just don’t expect any favors). What’s illegal is some kind of mutual promise. “I’ll be your best friend if you rank me first,” is totally 3rd grade, anyway.

• If you’re ranking programs in multiple subspecialties, think long and hard about your rank order. The longer the list of contiguous programs in a subspecialty, the more likely you are to match in that subspecialty. Sounds simple, but lots of people try to intersperse their rankings with programs from their “second choice” subspecialty. Just remember, residency is spent in the hospital doing work in your subspecialty. We’d advise you to keep your list “top-heavy” with programs from your preferred subspecialty.

• Compare your list to 3,049 other 4th years’. Join (for free) to see our aggregated, anonymous program rankings in your subspecialty.

Website Thanks

Our site was built with major help from Michael Leung and El Diablo.

We'd also like to thank Ross Smith, who made our fancy new logo.

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