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How to Order your Residency Rank List Made Easy

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

Are you struggling to make your rank list? Not sure if your forgetting something you should consider when making this huge decision that will affect you for the rest of your life? Yah. I can relate. For whatever reason making such huge decisions can be crippling for me. There are always so many what if’s to consider.

I am very happy with my specialty choice. I selected PM&R aka Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation aka Physiatry aka NOT psychiatry. This field is a bit new, but is such an amazing space to practice medicine. I’m geeked! I get to spend the next four years learning about this field. But four years is a long time, and I want to make sure those years are amazing. That is why I made this tool.

I made a similar spreadsheet when trying to decide where I should go for medical school. I was choosing between several schools that were very different and I wasn't sure which program would meet my needs/wants. I figured I would put together a similar tool for making my residency rank list. This tool considers the most commonly reported factors when selecting residency according to the American Medical Association. I also used several other sources including JGME and doximity to add additional data to the tool.

The main factors considered by this tool are quality of life of residents, quality of learning environment, reputation of a program, and financial considerations of attending said program. While these factors are not all inclusive, I left them open ended to be more generalizable. This tool also weights your answers to consider factors that are more important to you. For example, if quality of life is the most important thing to you, questions that relate to quality of life will count more toward a program’s final score. This makes this tool a bit different and more detailed than Prism if you are familiar with using this app.

How to interpret your results:

Your tool will give you a percentage score. Don’t worry! This is not like the rest of medical school. I’m not trying to give anyone PTSD with yet another test. It is likely that no program will get a perfect score. I argue that not all residencies will have everything you are looking for, but this is a tool to identify the programs that meet the majority of your needs based on what you value in a residency program. What is most important is the order of your results.

I found my results to be very accurate and close to what I plan to submit for rank list. I was having an especially hard time deciding who to rank third as I had several programs that I felt were similar and that I would be equally happy with. This tool primarily helped me to order those places ranked 3rd, 4th, 5th and so on. Hope this tool is helpful for you. Please let me know if you want more factors considered, or if you thought this tool was helpful. And don't forget to share the post with your fourth year friends who may be stressing over the rank.

Click below for a video tutorial on how to use the tool:

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