Frequently Asked Questions About the Match
1) Suppose I match, but later I decide to seek a position
offered in another match, can I drop this match and continue with the other
Answer: No. certification of your rank list
indicates that you agree to withdraw from all competing matches.
2) Can I obtain a position without an interview?
Answer: Generally not, unless the program
director waived the interview requirement.
3) A program director seems to solicit a commitment before
the match. What should I tell him?
Answer: You may say anything you are comfortable
with. When you complete your confidential rank list, you must remember
that any statements you may have made do not constitute binding commitments.
You are free to change your preference at any time. By the same rule, program
directors are also free to change their preference after interviewing more
4) If I rank a program as #10 and another applicant rank
it as #1, who will get that program?
Answer: When two applicants compete for the
same program, the program’s list decides.
5) One program director tells me that he likes me very
much. Some better programs are noncommittal. Which program should I rank
Answer: By all means, list the more desirable
program first. Your request will first go to the program you ranked highest.
Skipping (or downgrading) the better program eliminates your chance of
being considered there, while it does not improve the chance that others
will accept you. There is no risk in listing high on your list programs
that you like well, but for which you may have little chance.
6) A program director told me that he would “rank
me high” does that mean a guaranteed position?
Answer: Certainly not. If you are #8 of 50
or 80 applicants, you are certainly “ranked high”. Yet, if
that program fills at #7, you are still out of luck. It is always wise
to list additional programs as a safeguard, as long as you would rather
go there than remain unmatched.
7) Can I withdraw from the position I accepted through
Answer: No. By submitting a rank list, both the applicants’ choices and the program directors choices make the match result a binding commitment. Withdrawal is possible only in exceptional circumstances and requires written approval from your program director. See the full list of match rules for additional information.
8) Can I end up being matched to a program I do not really
Answer: No. Your placement request will go
only to programs you have listed. If you do not like a program, you should
not list it. The Matching Program processes your rank list like a stockbroker
processing written orders from a client. In doing so, the stockbroker does
not question the client’s judgment and obviously cannot guarantee
that the client will be satisfied with the stock’s performance over
the next several years. Similarly, the Matching Program does not question
your judgments and cannot, in any way, guarantee that you or the program
director will remain satisfied with each other’s performance. Indeed,
in the years between your interview and the completion of your residency,
changes in their faculty, in funding, or even in accreditation. The Matching
Program promises you diligence processing your rank list, but neither it
nor its sponsoring organization can accept any responsibility whatsoever
for any such changes or for their consequences.