Tips for ranking applicants to your program

Residency Program Insider, January 20, 2017

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Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from HCPro’s new book, Resident Recruitment: From ERAS to Match. For more information about this book or to order your copy, click here.

Ranking applicants is a crucial—and potentially stressful—step in the resident recruitment process. Because a successful Match outcome is one of the highest priorities for the training program, ranking can prove to be even more stressful for the program than the review, selection, and interviewing of applicants. The forms and methods used for the ranking process will vary among training programs. The key is to find the method that works best for your program.

Candidates must be ranked according to their value to the program at the end of the interview season. Many programs schedule only one meeting for this task and discuss all candidates during that time. This approach is typical for smaller programs that have fewer candidates or fewer interview dates. In contrast, some larger programs hold a meeting after each interview day, creating a rank listing for only those candidates. Then, at the end of the interview season, they combine all of the lists and have a final ranking meeting to review this combined listing. This method is typical for large internal medicine programs that may interview 150 or more candidates for their program.

Keep the following pointers in mind while preparing for the ranking session:
•    Have all applications available for review
•    Have the pictures of the candidates available in a composite form, separate from the applications, or project the pictures as the candidate is being discussed
•    If your ranking session works from a list of candidates ranked according to the interview scores, have your pictures in the same order

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