With interview season rapidly approaching in a few months (Nov-Feb), we gathered a few more of our favorite program directors to discuss the hot topic of making the rank order list. We feature Dr. Colleen Roche (George Washington), Dr. Jonathan Davis (Georgetown), and Dr. Brian Stettler (Univ of Cincinnati). Thanks again to Dr. Mike Gisondi (Northwestern) for spearheading this innovative and helpful EM Match Advice video series for medical students.

EM Match Advice #4: The Rank Order List

Video Timestamps

  • 00:00 Dr. Gisondi introduces the expert panel and the five steps in making the rank list. It is important to think of these steps BEFORE interview season starts so that you most efficiently gather information during your interview days.
  • 04:50 Dr. Roche discusses what kind of information that program directors and residents may be presenting to you during interview day. Much of this may not be on the residency website.
  • 08:25 Dr. Roche and Dr. Gisondi comment on what factors the student should focus on in making his/her rank list.
  • 11:10 Dr. Davis follows up discussing information overload and what information may/may not be as important to factor into the rank list. The important elements to focus on the 3 P’s = people, passion, philosophy.
  • 18:30 Dr. Stettler tries to tackle the question of — how do I advise my students on how to make a rank order list?
  • 20:10 Dr. Stettler addresses how to approach “the love note” and whether you can “game” the NRMP match algorithm.
  • 22:30  The panelists discuss two major deciding factors of geography vs programmatic elements.
  • 28:22 Dr. Lin reflects on the comments thus far and then surprises the panelists with a question of her own: What’s your take on the Doximity listing of the best EM programs? The panelists address this question. Here is the official joint response by ACEP, CORD, AAEM, ACOEP, and EMRA.
  • 34:48 The panelists address a case of a student who is at a total loss on how to rank their list of programs. They loved all the sites and now can’t decide. Now what?
  • 47:45 The program directors are challenged to share something that Dr. Gisondi doesn’t know about their program.


 Edited Podcast Version

Further Reading

  1. Lin M. Top 10 tips on making your rank list, ALiEM (2010).
  2. Joshi N. Making your match rank list, ALiEM (2013).
  3. Deiorio NM, Yarris LM, Gaines SA. Emergency medicine residency applicant views on the interview day process. Acad Emerg Med. 2009 Dec;16 Suppl 2:S67-70. PMID: 20053215.
  4. Yarris LM, Deiorio NM, Lowe RA. Factors applicants value when selecting an emergency medicine residency. West J Emerg Med. 2009 Aug;10(3):159-62. PMID: 19718377
  5. DeSantis M, Marco CA. Emergency medicine residency selection: factors influencing candidate decisions. Acad Emerg Med. 2005 Jun;12(6):559-61.PMID: 15930408.
  6. Love JN, Howell JM, Hegarty CB, McLaughlin SA, Coates WC, Hopson LR, Hern GH, Rosen CL, Fisher J, Santen SA. Factors that influence medical student selection of an emergency medicine residency program: implications for training programs. Acad Emerg Med. 2012 Apr;19(4):455-60. PMID: 22506950.

Watch the other EM Match Advice series videos!

Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at https://t.co/50EapJORCa Bio: https://t.co/7v7cgJqNEn
Michelle Lin, MD
Michael Gisondi, MD

Michael Gisondi, MD

Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Education
Department of Emergency Medicine
Stanford University
Editor, ALiEM EM Match Advice series
Michael Gisondi, MD


Emergency Physician, Medical Education Researcher, Vice Chair of Education. Stanford University. #PrecisionEducation #GoCardinal🌲🏳️‍🌈