Ranking Tips for Fellowship Match Participants

Helpful TipsSeptember 14, 2017


  • The matching algorithm attempts to place you in the most preferred program possible, so be sure to rank programs in order of YOUR TRUE PREFERENCE and not where you think you will match. Go for your “reach” program.
  • Rank only those programs where you are able and would be happy to train. Putting a program on your ROL creates a binding commitment if a match occurs, so review carefully each program’s eligibility requirements and the contract you will be expected to sign. You should receive that information from programs during the application/interview process.
  • Do not rank programs where you did not interview. Programs do not rank candidates they have not interviewed, and no match will occur.
  • Be realistic about your competiveness and the competiveness of your preferred specialty (review Charting Outcomes in the Match). Consider creating a ROL that includes a mix of competitive and less competitive specialties and programs, and be sure to include at least one “safety” program.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to enter your ROL in the R3® system. The servers may be overloaded and working slowly.
  • Do not make last minute changes to your ROL. Most such changes are not well thought out, and applicants frequently regret them.

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  • Rank all applicants who are acceptable to your program to avoid having unfilled positions. Check your Match Results by Ranked Applicant report from prior-year Matches to gauge how many applicants to rank.
  • The match commitment is binding, so rank only those applicants you deem acceptable to train.
  • Rank applicants in order of your true preference, not how you think applicants will rank your program.
  • During interviews, remind applicants to register with the NRMP so you can rank them.
  • Collect applicants’ AAMC and NRMP IDs during interviews to assist you when creating a ROL.
  • If creating a Joint A/P program, do so before interviews begin and inform applicants to ensure they enter the correct program codes on their ROLs.

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