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American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons

Advocacy, Education, Research

The Match FAQ

1) Suppose I match, but later I decide to seek a position offered in another match, can I drop this match and continue with the other match?

Answer: No. certification of your rank list indicates that you agree to withdraw from all competing matches.

2) Can I obtain a position without an interview?

Answer: Generally not – unless the program director waived the interview requirement.

3) A program director seems to be soliciting a commitment before The Match. What should I tell him?

Answer: You may say anything you are comfortable with. When you complete your confidential rank list, you must remember that any statements you may have made do not constitute binding commitments. You are free to change your preference at any time. By the same rule, program directors are also free to change their preference after interviewing more applicants.

4) If I rank a program as #10, and another applicant ranks it as #1, who will get that program?

Answer: When two applicants compete for the same program, the program’s rank list decides.

5) One program director tells me that he likes me very much. Some better programs are noncommittal. Which program should I rank first?

Answer: By all means, list the more desirable program first. Your request will first go to the program you ranked highest. Skipping (or downgrading) the better program eliminates your chance of being considered there, while it does not improve the chance that others will accept you. There is no risk in listing programs that you liked high on your list, but for which you may have little chance.

6) A program director told me that he would “rank me high” does that mean a guaranteed position?

Answer: Certainly not. If you are #8 of 50 or 80 applicants, you are certainly “ranked high.” Yet if that program fills at #7, you are still out of luck. It is always wise to list additional programs as a safeguard, as long as you would rather go there than remain unmatched.

7) Can I withdraw from the position I accepted through the Match?

Answer: No. Your signature on your rank list makes The Match result a binding commitment. Withdrawal is possible only in exceptional circumstances and requires written approval from your program director.

8) Can I end up being matched to a program I do not really like?

Answer: No. Your placement request will go only to programs you have listed. If you do not like a program, you should not list it. The Matching Program processes your rank list like a stockbroker processing written orders from a client. In doing so, the stockbroker does not question the client’s judgment and obviously cannot guarantee that the client will be satisfied with the stock’s performance over the next several years. Similarly, the Matching Program does not question your judgments and cannot in any way guarantee that you or the program director will remain satisfied with each other’s performance. Indeed, in the years between your interview and the completion of your residency, changes will occur in their faculty, in funding, or even in accreditation. The Matching Program promises you due diligence in processing your rank list, but neither it nor its sponsoring organization can accept any responsibility whatsoever for any such changes or for their consequences.The