Should I rank internship/residency program X or Y?
This must be one of the most common questions we get here at VSG. Realistically, only you have all the details to make this decision. Everyone's circumstances will be slightly different, but we can hopefully help tip the balance one way or the other.
It's "easy" to decide the ranking of most programs. Just rank them in your order of preference. In other works, rank your top choice #1, second choice #2 and so on.
Rank programs in your order of preference. There is no benefit to try and "play the game"
The tricky part arises arises for programs in which you have information obtained from current house officers (ie. current interns and residents), the program descriptions, phone/in-person interviews (or lack thereof) that makes you wonder if it would be a good fit for you.
Common reasons include (but not limited to):
-House officers are not happy
-Little/no time dedicated to teaching rounds
-Too much ER time
-Not enough specialists for your desired specialty or in general
-No CT/MRI or other diagnostic modality
-Poor placing of interns into residency programs
rank many or only a few programs?
You can only match to programs you ranked. It doesn't matter if you applied to 10 or 100 positions. If you only rank one, that is the only program you can potentially match with.
Speaking of which, do not limit yourself on the number of programs you rank because of silly reasons such as "you only want to end up at the top schools in the US". That would not be a smart move.
On the same note, you might be decreasing your changes significantly if you apply to only a few programs. On the other hand however, don't apply to programs just because (when you clearly know it won't be a good fit for you). Applying to dozens of programs does not increase your chances vs someone that applied to "only" 10 positions.
Only rank programs you're sure you want to go to!
Rank IT or risk going unmatched?
This is the ultimate fear when trying to decide about a position.
Some of you might be limited to a small number of positions due to licensure or nationality reasons. In the grand scheme of things, this should not make a difference. Stick with the motto: "don't rank a program you don't want to go to". Create the best application package you can (which hopefully you did), excel on any upcoming interviews and let the Match do its work!
If you think you could/would be happy in a program you're on the fence about for 1 (internship) or 3 (residency) years, then go for it. If you don't feel it would be good for you, don't! Sure you'll always be thinking "what if?", but if you ultimately decide not to rank a program, it means it wasn't a good fit.
Remember, different people will evaluate the same program differently when faced with the above question.
Not a good fit vs going unmatched - what's better (or worse?). That's up to you to decide.
So, what will you do?