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Crafting the Perfect CV

To help you set goals, identify weaknesses, and formulate strategies for improvement, we are excited to offer curriculum vitae coaching sessions. These sessions are specifically tailored towards first, second, and third year medical students in order to develop strategies for achieving a competitive residency application. The earlier you are in your medical school education, the more time you have to craft the perfect CV.

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In these sessions, you will meet with one of our team members who will have already extensively reviewed your CV. You will first have a conversation to clarify what your goals are for the remainder of your time in medical school, residency, and as a future physician. Next, your coach will share with you what they have identified as strengths and weaknesses on your CV based on that discussion. Finally, the two of you will work together to set manageable goals to mitigate the weaknesses on your application and bolster your strengths.

Why is this important?

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a serious conversation like this early in medical school. Too many of my friends and colleagues discovered deficiencies in their CV late into their third year of medical school or early in their fourth year of medical school. If they would have had these discussions earlier, they would have had ample time to improve their application. While many of them still matched, they matched at programs further down on their rank list than they desired. Others did not match, entered the SOAP process, or were forced to take research years and reapply for residency.

Objectives

The objectives of these sessions include:

  • Discussing your career goals
  • Critical review of your curriculum vitae
  • Identifying weaknesses on your CV
  • Acknowledging and continuing your strengths
  • Developing strategies for improvement to reach your goals

Before your coaching session, be sure to prepare by reading through our advice on compiling a curriculum vitae. If you don’t have a CV yet (even as a first or second year medical student), now is the time to start working on it.

Curriculum Vitae Coaching Session

This is a one-time non-refundable curriculum vitae coaching session for medical students. The session includes a 20 minute discussion with one of our team members. In this session, you will discuss goals, identify weaknesses, learn your strengths, and gain actionable strategies for improvement. Upon purchase, please complete the questionnaire below so that we can pair you with the most appropriate member of our team.

$29.99

To provide you with the best CV coaching experience, please complete this questionnaire.

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Interested in creating your edge? Check out these great resources.

Strategy
  • Set personal goals
  • Assess your strengths
  • Mitigate your weaknesses
  • Find your edge
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“Make a decision today, to achieve your goals.”

Dr. Carter J. Boyd, Founder, Med Student Edge
Vision

To help every medical student achieve the success he or she desires.

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Personal Statement Editing

ERAS applications are due right around the corner. One of the most difficult pieces of the application is the personal statement. Your personal statement should tell a narrative that convinces programs to invite you for an interview.

Struggling getting started? Have an outline, but need some inspiration for fitting it together? Need edits on a completed draft? Have a finalized product, but want to get input from an unbiased opinion?

For all these scenarios, we provide an individualized and thorough review of the content, grammar, and flow of your personal statement. Your reviewer will have the opportunity to discuss the edits and recommendations with you so that you can maximize your benefit. Gain the advantage of an outside, unbiased perspective. Get honest feedback and advice so that you can have your best personal statement for your residency applications.

Personal Statement and CV Review

This is a one-time non-refundable purchase to have your personal statement reviewed, edited, and get feedback with one of our team members. Email carterjosephboyd@gmail.com your personal statement and a screenshot of your receipt of payment.

$39.99

Click here for more resources for applying to residency.

What To Do With the Months Before Medical School

Congratulations! You have been accepted into medical school and will soon begin the next phase of your journey towards becoming a physician. The transition period between your previous job / schoolwork and medical school is full of excitement and anxiety. Here, I will discuss my thoughts on the best way to spend this time.

The transition period into medical school looks different for each student. Some enter medical school directly from undergraduate education, while others come from graduate level education or entirely separate professional careers. Some were accepted many months prior to the start of school; others were accepted mere days prior. Each path is unique to the individual, and there is no single best way to spend your transition time. I do acknowledge that differing levels of privilege will allow some people more luxury and freedom during this period. However, I believe the main themes of this time should be to reward yourself and enjoy your time, tie up loose-ends of life to minimize chaos, financially prepare, and meet your new classmates.

Taken from Pixabay.com

Reward Yourself, Have Fun

You have worked tirelessly to earn acceptance into medical school and earn the title of physician-to-be. Be proud of yourself. This is a major accomplishment that warrants celebration. Take some time for yourself as life allows. You want to try and refresh yourself prior to the start of school. This is the time to do the things you typically defer. Take a vacation, visit friends, pick up a new hobby or rekindle an old one, buy that splurge item you’ve been eyeballing, go to a concert, or simply embrace a couch potato lifestyle for the first time in years. Whatever fits your bill, just make sure you do something special for yourself during this time. You deserve it.

Settle In, Tidy Up Loose Ends

Most people will be moving prior to medical school. Some are moving down the street to a new apartment in their hometown, while others are moving cross-country away from family and friends. Whichever you are, do your best to tidy up your new living situation before school starts. Moving is chaotic. Not only is it a logistical nightmare, but medical students are trying to do it on a tight budget which only adds to the complexity. Give yourself time to get everything settled in and unpacked. Get your utilities straightened out. Explore your neighborhood. Have your go-to grocery store, gas station, coffee shop, public transportation means, pharmacy, gym, primary care provider, etc. all picked out. The beginning of medical school can be a tough learning curve; figuring these things out beforehand will minimize unnecessary distractions.

Financial Planning

Medical school is expensive. Living life is expensive. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to educate yourself on your personal financial situation. Tight budgets and debt (student loans in particular) are an incredible stressor. If you haven’t already, take the time to create a personalized budget, organize all of your financial accounts/debts/assets, and learn as much about medical student loan borrowing and repayment as possible. Too many people learn the hard way that they have budgeted poorly and missed opportunities to save/reduce cost. This includes me. I did a poor job of researching my medical student loan options. Four years later I realized my poor preparation would cost me significantly. Some of the best learning resources include people who have gone through the process before, your medical school’s student loan office, a financial planner, various books/websites/podcasts (White Coat Investor by Jim Dahle, Medical Student Loans: A Comprehensive Guide by Ben White, Nerdwallet, Studentaid.gov, etc.). Whatever your personal financial situation is, you need to reassess and reorganize prior to starting medical school to maximize your long-term financial health

Make New Friends

Most medical schools will have a week or two of orientation prior to classes starting. This time is usually packed with social events. These are designed for the incoming class to mingle and spark the beginnings of important friendships. These friends will be with you for the next four years. You will lean on each other during stressful study periods and emotionally challenging clinical experiences. Utilize this time, and go to as many of these social functions as you can to begin building some of the best friendships you will ever have.

Conclusion

Your acceptance to medical school is a phenomenal accomplishment. Set yourself up for success before your first year starts by rewarding and refreshing yourself, settling into your new living situation, financially preparing, and capitalizing on orientation socials to meet your new classmates and friends. 

Self-Directed Learning

Image taken from Pixabay

Self-directed learning is an imperative skill for everyone in the field of medicine. It is so important that I was asked about my personal approach to self-directed learning during a residency interview. One of my 2021 resolutions is to improve this skill. There is so much to know in medicine; no one will ever know it all. That leaves us in a constant pursuit of further knowledge. Because the science behind everything we do in medicine is constantly evolving, lifelong learning and improvement is part of our job. The most successful individuals in medicine, and in all professions, have developed effective ways to maintain self-directed learning. Here I will outline some useful tips for self-directed learning. Different situations call for different methods; figure out what maximizes your gain and retention.

Frequency

Short periods of learning are more effective and sustainable. This is a lifelong process. Don’t try to learn every detail in short dives into complicated literature. You’ll hate reading at home and always feel inadequate. Instead, aim to read five to ten minutes per day on one topic. Get a better understanding of it. You’ll digest more, retain larger proportions, and have much more day-to-day endurance. I have found this heightens my curiosity rather than burning me out.

List of Things to Learn

I think everyone ought to keep a running list of things they need to read about, whether it is something familiar you need a refresher on or an entirely foreign concept to you. I keep this list in the Notes app of my phone so I can quickly add to it after rounds or any time one of these topics comes up. This list is always growing, and I will never cover it all. Keeping this list reminds me that there is so much left to learn. I find that many topics arise over and over. This is an indicator of a topic I need to address sooner rather than later.

List of Things I Learned

I also keep a running list of things I learn each day. This list is generally comprised of clinical pearls or short bullet point summaries of my own reading. By typing it out, I get an extra rep with the knowledge to cement it in my brain (you’ll be amazed at how much you forget as your career in medicine goes on). The list allows me to reference the info later, and it reminds me of how much learning I am doing every day. Even days that feel monotonous and full of busy work, there is always some new piece of info that I have picked up. I don’t let the typing take more than a minute of my time. It isn’t meant to be exhaustive, just enough to make my learning more effective.

Quick Reading

As your reading list grows, you’ll want to start chipping away. Where do you start? What do you read? There are endless resources and, as it always seems in medicine, it can be easy to overwhelm yourself. Find a handful of go-to resources to always begin with. For most people, UpToDate, Medscape, and similar review databases are the obvious first choice. It is always easy to consult Google and peak through top hits to find something reputable. PubMed, filtered for resources higher up in the evidence-based medicine pyramid, is a good place to look for reviews and guidelines. Cochrane library is great. Certain textbooks serve as great review resources (Harrison’s Principals of Internal Medicine and the AAP’s Red Book, for example). Again, there are endless options. Explore until you find a few that are accessible, user-friendly, and digestible.

Podcasts

Podcasting is a growing medium for entertainment, education, and information sharing. The world of medical education has warmly embraced the realm of podcasts. There are numerous highly educational and learner friendly medical podcasts out there. Podcasts are great because they offer learning in a more organic, conversational way. They might take the format of case presentation, formal lecture, stream-of-consciousness teaching, clinical reasoning, etc. Podcasting offers a platform that is particularly helpful for those who are audio learners.  They also allow you to learn efficiently while doing other things, like commuting, walking, exercising, or folding laundry. Browse your favorite podcast app and listen to a few episodes to find the ones you like the most.

Ask About Resources

It is always good practice to ask colleagues, attendings, and mentors about the best resources for various topics. You’ll find some educational gems you wouldn’t have found otherwise, and you’ll send the message of genuine interest in further learning.

Learning is a never-ending inevitability in medicine. Do yourself, and your patients, a favor by finding your personal method of self-directed learning. Have your list of growing topics, use your go-to resources, keep it tolerable with small but frequent portions, and watch yourself grow as a physician.

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Mentoring Up: General Principles

This is our second installment on a mini-series on “Mentoring Up”. For a general overview on developing relationships with mentors, see part 1. Here we will take a deep dive into the specifics of taking control of your mentor relationships.

Why do I need to ‘mentor up’?

Once you’ve found a mentor, they are invested in helping you grow but it’s important to remember that you’re now part of a collaborative venture that is challenging to develop and sustain! But don’t worry, because this is where understanding the general principles behind “mentoring up” will help you and your mentors achieve your respective goals. The short of it is that as a mentee you have to take ownership of the mentor-mentee relationship by developing clear goals and actively following through and engaging with a mentor. This idea was adapted from a Gabrro and Kotter paper in Harvard Bussiness Review from 1980 called “Managing your Boss”, but it’s a helpful framework. Managing up makes it easier for mentors to help a mentee, and it makes the relationship more satisfying and more successful for both parties because the mentor can target assistance and the mentee gets what he or she needs.

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1. Prepare in Advance

  • A mentee must express his or her needs in a direct manner and take responsibility for setting and sticking to a goal schedule.
  • Clearly describe the guidance you’re seeking.
    • Is it to help you decide on a specialty? To help you navigate success on the wards?
    • Share expectations for mentoring relationship and discuss for what/who will drive the content for meetings (ie. collaborative, student-driven, or mentor driven)

2. Feedback

  • The ultimate goal is to enable you to identify and achieve academic and professional outcomes after the training period. It’s the responsibility of both mentor and mentee to identify and articulate goals and strive towards them together.
  • Is there anything you can act on? For example, let’s say you meet with a mentor to discuss how to improve your presentation. Instead of asking “do you have any feedback” be specific.
    • Ask “I’ve been working to improve the description of the impact of the results rather than just showing the data. How did I do today? Is there anything I can do to improve?”

3. Schedule

  • Make plans for future meetings/interactions
  • Discuss preferred modes of communications (i.e. text, email, phone calls, calendar invites)

4. Follow-Through

  • Set goals and expectations
  • Send an agenda and a thank you note
  • Follow up with any action items in a timely manner

The principle that links these four recommendations is creating and maintaining effective communication.

Checklist

Here is a checklist that I’ve used to organize myself. Below I have an outline of other important principles that are important to consider when establishing a mentor relationship.

Getting ready

  • Clarify your values
  • Identify your work style and habits
  • Assess your own knowledge and skill gaps

Finding a mentor . . . or two

  • Meet with people you know
  • Get recommendations
  • Ask people you meet with who else they recommend
  • Be persistent
  • Find multiple mentors, both junior and senior people

Things to look for in a mentor

  • Availability and accessibility
  • Provides opportunities and encourages mentee to take risks
  • Helps mentee develop own agenda
  • Has prior mentoring experience

The first meeting

  • Tell your mentor how he or she has already helped you
  • Share your background, values, and needs
  • Send a thank you note after the meeting

Cultivating the mentor–mentee relationship

  • Agree on structure and objectives of relationship
  • Plan and set the meeting agendas
  • Ask questions
  • Actively listen
  • Follow through on assigned tasks
  • Ask for feedback
  • Manage up
  • Set goals and expectations
  • Be responsible and flexible
  • Direct the flow of information
  • Follow a regular meeting schedule with agenda

Separation

  • Talk about when the relationship should end
  • Talk with your mentor about next steps
  • Talk about future mentors

Mentor relationships are incredibly important. It helps you as a student learn about a field, develop a strong educational colleague, and builds rapport for when you need letters of recommendation down the line. Start cultivating mentor relationships today.

Check out more of our resources on finding a mentor.

My Approach to Making a Rank List

Congratulations! You have finished (or almost finished) the grueling interview season. Now it’s time to make your rank list. This can be an intimidating task that feels like it carries immense weight. But you’ve gotten this far, and all you have left is this one step. You no doubt have heard numerous approaches to making a rank list. No single way is correct. But the more you hear, the more you’ll be able to approach your list in a way that works best for you. Here I will lay out my general steps to making my Med-Peds rank list. Hopefully you can find something that is helpful in your personal method of finalizing your rank list in whatever field you chose.

Image taken from Pixabay.com

Important Rules

First, rank every single place you interviewed with unless matching at that program is less desirable than not matching at all. Second, the way the matching system works, there is no benefit to moving programs around based on what you think your likelihood of matching there is. I won’t get into the details of it, but trust me, rank programs in order of your desire to match there, even if you feel it’s a longshot. Third, this list is about YOU. Don’t let prestige, fear, or stereotypes affect your rank. Set your order how You want, how YOU will be happiest and most successful.

Jog Your Memory

I did not make a giant spread sheet like many people do. Mostly because it was so tedious. But I did keep notes and reflections of each program I interviewed with. I had pros, cons, gut reactions, personal feelings, and unique qualities about each place. If you have kept notes on your interviews, now is the time to read through them and refresh on each program. If you are like me, the details of the early interviews might be a bit hazy. Use your notes to remember what it was about each place that left certain feelings. If more questions remain, reach back out to programs and contacts via email. If you debriefed interviews with friends, family, or mentors, ask them what you said about each program. My wife was able to remind me of the level of enthusiasm I had after each interview, which wasn’t necessarily reflected in my own notes.

Top, Bottom, and Middle

An easy first step is to group your programs into top, middle, and bottom tiers. This step gets the ball rolling and sets the skeleton of your rank list. You don’t need to worry about the minutia here. Large, overarching themes will dictate who goes where. Everyone knows the places that blew them away, underwhelmed, or fell somewhere in between.

Fine Tune

This can get difficult. How do you distinguish programs that offer so much? It seems like each program always makes up in one area where it lacks in another. If there isn’t an obvious gap between programs, think through different criteria. Are they equal academically, but one offers a more desirable geographic advantage? Does one offer more extensive research opportunities? Think about your desired career path. Does one program train better for primary care while another tends to match residents into prestigious subspecialty fellowships? Did you have more consistently stimulating conversations with one program than another? What program has the best chance of supporting your career and wellness? Where will you be happiest and most successful (these two things should be the same no matter what your definition of success is). For me, a couple angles helped me the most in finalizing an order. I knew I wanted to pursue a subspecialty, but just wasn’t sure which field. So, programs that had larger numbers of Med-Peds residents and faculty practicing in more areas would set me up for better exploration of Med-Peds subspecialty opportunities. Thus, larger, older, and more established programs got a bump. Additionally, I was more interested in education rather than research. So, programs with solid education initiatives and training rose on my lists as well. There are a million ways to make the small list changes. At the end of the day, if two programs are 100% equal to you, go with your gut reaction. Visualize how you’d feel opening the envelope/email on match day. Gut feelings employ all of the subconscious information we have stored away. Put that to use, and listen to your gut.

Remake Your List Multiple Times

As you run through the infinite methods of comparison, you are bound to change your mind at least a little bit on each pass. My advice is to click the submit button each time you set your most recent rank. This helps in a couple of ways. First, it ensures that, should some massive computer system failure occur, you have at least submitted something along the way. Second, you have the benefit of feeling the immediate reaction to that submission. If you have a panic attack, maybe your order isn’t quite right. If you feel at peace, you might be done. Run through this exercise a number of times. You’ll see patterns develop in the tougher sections, figure out what traits you value most, and learn which rank orders you feel most comfortable with. After a while, your list will feel tried and true. You can hit that submit button with confidence.

Conclusion

Making your rank list is the culmination of years of hard work and months of exhausting interviews. Take the final bit of effort to make your list reflect what you want for your future. Refresh your memory, review your notes, discuss it with the important people in your life, look at each place from numerous angles, submit a trial list, rinse, and repeat. A winning combination will rise to the top. At the end of the day, you’ve done your work, and the rest is up to a mindless algorithm. Sit back, relax, and await one of the best days of your life, match day!

Have questions about your rank list? Contact us directly or leave a comment below!

Back to more resources for applying to residency.

Developing Mentoring Relationships (Part 1)

Prior to entering medical school, I worked at a consulting firm in Washington, DC. The environment was fast-paced. I needed to learn on the job, so I found a mentor. She pulled me aside after a meeting and said point blank, “I want to help, but you need to keep me accountable. Find a system.”

I realized I needed to take ownership of our mentoring relationship and treat it as if I was consulting her for advice. We set up a bi-monthly standing meeting where we would review my progress, set priorities, and ask any questions about working with others at the firm.

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The key part of this relationship was that I had to set the agenda and clearly communicate what I needed from my mentor. It allowed me to gain valuable feedback and gave me the space to grow professionally and as a person. When I decided to pursue medicine, she was on my team helping me plan how to balance my work with interviews.

“I needed to take ownership of our mentoring relationship.”

Edgar Soto, Contributor, Med Student Edge

I strongly believe that this “managing-up” system I employed as a consultant which I now use with my mentoring relationship in medical school has helped me build lasting relationships and helped me pursue my passion of caring for others. In the next post, I will summarize the general principles of “managing up” and describe how you can  integrate it into your workflow in order to develop successful research partnerships.

What strategies do you have for managing your relationships with mentors? Comment below.

Check out more of our resources on finding mentors and engaging in research.

Welcome Interns!

We are excited to announce and introduce our two interns, Calais Nobuhara and Theo Sperber. We are so thankful to have them working with us this winter to help make Med Student Edge more user friendly and accessible to you. Read about them below, and be sure to check out our social media pages. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram (@MedStudentEdge), and Twitter (@MedStudentEdge).

Intern

Hi! My name is Calais Nobuhara, and I am a current senior at the University of Notre Dame, where I am majoring in Marketing and minoring in Korean. I am originally from Honolulu, HI, where I am enjoying the beaches before I head back to the Indiana snow. I am overjoyed to be working as a Med Student Edge intern over my winter break. I am especially excited to spread awareness about the company to the medical students who could benefit most from its services. My sister is currently a third year medical student, and through her journey, I have seen how complicated the path to medical school and residency can be. I hope to partner my marketing skills with Med Student Edge’s invaluable resources to reach an audience of students across the country!

Follow Us on Social Media

Intern

My name is Theo Sperber and I’m a freshman at Notre Dame planning on majoring in Economics. I’m from Westchester, New York and I’m interested in social media marketing, specifically how to attract potential customers with the power of social media. I’m excited to help expose Med Student Edge to a larger audience and in turn attract more customers to our product. Look forward to working with you all.

Interested in becoming an intern for Med Student Edge and joining a young, growing company that has reached over 6,000 unique individuals in the past 6 months? Contact us today.

My 2021 New Year’s Resolutions

It is now 2021. The year we have all been waiting for. 2020 was one of the collectively hardest years in memory, but we can all take so much away. Let’s take the lessons of the past 365 days to make the next 365 full of progress, happiness, and success. Here are a few of my New Year’s Resolutions that I have made for both professional and personal growth. They are applicable to all medical students as well. Join me, and let’s make 2021 OUR YEAR!

Taken from Pixabay.com

Personal Quiet Time

This year I will be taking a dedicated 5-10 minutes daily for some personal quiet time. For me, this will most likely be in the form of prayer with my early morning coffee. Personal quiet time can be used for visualization of the day, reflection, meditation, or prayer. All are excellent ways to refresh the mind, settle the nerves, and refocus your energy. There is even science1 to back this up2.

Improve Self-Directed Learning

Be on the lookout for a full post on this subject coming soon. Self-directed learning is an imperative skill in medicine. It looks different for everyone and requires creativity to sustain. My resolution for 2021 is to take 5 minutes each day to read on a topic and write down (or type in my phone) something I learned. I have a list already going in my notes app of what I’ve learned from each day. By keeping the reading to 5 minutes, the learning is digestible. I won’t overwhelm myself and hate it so much I quit the practice one month in. If anything, I’ve already found the short periods are heightening my curiosity. Other methods of self-directed learning include medical podcasts (I love listening to case-discussions while driving), discussions with colleagues, textbooks, YouTube, etc. The key is to find a sustainable way to gain knowledge each day that feels easy and nonintrusive on your already hectic life.

Maintain Professional Relationships

Keeping in touch with professional contacts is something I am quite bad at. There are so many professors, attendings, colleagues, etc. that have been immensely helpful to me. But I have done so little to keep open lines of communication with them. It is difficult to have a mentor if you don’t communicate with any. My resolution for 2021 is to maintain better communication with these individuals. It takes little effort to send an email containing life or career questions/updates, an article you think they’d find interesting, or an invitation to a cup of (virtual) coffee. Communication is key to any relationship; professional relationships are no exception.

Knock Off One To-Do List Item Each Day

When you are working your tail off each day, whether it is studying for exams, Step 1, clerkships, or sub-I, getting home to relax and unwind is a major milestone each day. And some days, that is all that can be done, which is just fine. But my resolution for 2021 is to whittle away at my ever-growing “To-Do” list by completing one small task when I get home. For 3 straight weeks my wife watched me snooze the same 8pm daily alarm to remind me to finally complete one particular 15 minute task I was dreading. I don’t want that in 2021. Rather than immediately sinking into the couch, I will work on that article, clean that toilet, bathe the dog, reply to those emails, organize those bills. I’m not out here trying to be some kind of busy-body who never relaxes. My goal is simply to take a few extra minutes each day to do one more productive thing. I found in 2020 that my days off were far less enjoyable when I spent them catching up on everything I pushed off during the week. In 2021, I will finish more of those things during the week. This will increase my life efficiency and allow for more restorative and enjoyable days off.

Take some time to write down your resolutions for 2021. Join me and the rest of the team at Med Student Edge in a great year ahead!

Back to more resources on creating your edge.

References for Further Reading:

  1. Sampaio CV, Lima MG, Ladeia AM. Meditation, Health and Scientific Investigations: Review of the Literature. J Relig Health. 2017 Apr;56(2):411-427. doi: 10.1007/s10943-016-0211-1. PMID: 26915053.
  2. Anderson JW, Nunnelley PA. Private prayer associations with depression, anxiety and other health conditions: an analytical review of clinical studies. Postgrad Med. 2016 Sep;128(7):635-41. doi: 10.1080/00325481.2016.1209962. Epub 2016 Jul 22. PMID: 27452045.

How to make a rank list?

Now that you’re nearing the end of interviews, you are probably wondering how to make a rank list. Before you make a rank list, there are a couple things you should do first.

crop woman making schedule in planner
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Know How the Match Works

Every year there are students who think that there is a strategy to outsmart the Match, beat out other applicants, and game the system by crafting your rank list. This is false. The Match is an algorithm that favors the applicants’ preferences. In fact, this algorithm is so efficient and equitable that it’s developers won a Nobel Prize.

The first step is to educate yourself on the Match. Review the official NRMP’s guidelines and instructions. Be sure to watch this video from the NRMP that walks you through exactly how the Match algorithm works.

In short, you should rank programs in the order you want to attend residency at them. There is no gaming the system. The system is set up to favor you and your preferences.

Rank Your Priorities First

Rank your priorities before making a rank list. This may not make sense at first, but it is a useful way to begin. If location of a program, for example, is super important to you then that should guide how you stratify and tier programs on your rank list.

Some factors that many students consider include:

  • Significant other/family considerations
  • Location
  • Program rank
  • Required research/academic years
  • Length of program
  • Time off
  • Anything else that you value personally or in a program

Ranking your priorities guides the rest of your search for a residency program. With these priorities in mind, you can then move forward and begin to rank the programs that you interviewed at.

This is just the first of many posts on devising a rank list. Stay tuned for more useful info, tips, and opinions on how to make a rank list.

What questions do you have about making a rank list? Contact us directly or leave a comment below.

Back to more resources on applying to residency.

The COVID-19 Impact on Medical School Admissions

Several of our Med Student Edge team members contributed to the national discussion of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the medical school admissions process. In their article, Dr. Gambril and colleagues outline several of the key obstacles that the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced for undergraduate students interested in applying for medical school.

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Their perspective includes the difficulties of battling already high burnout rates amidst pre-medical students coupled with the challenges of remote learning. Closure of testing sites for national medical school admission examinations also introduced wide-scale problems. These issues are all augmented by pre-existing disparities of opportunity for students of different backgrounds.

Be sure to check out their article. Interested in joining the discussion? Let us know your thoughts or comment below.

Interested in applying to medical school? Stay tuned to our website on ways you can maximize your opportunities on getting accepted to medical school even in these unprecedented times.

Back to more resources on Med Student Edge.