Expert Advice on Making Your Rank List

By Jeanne Rabalais and Lexie Mannix, MD


Interview season is finally coming to an end and it’s time to make your rank list. Where to even start? First, it’s important to understand the logistics of the “rank list'' and some vital information in regards to the NRMP match process.


Once interviews are complete, applicants begin compiling their rank order list (ROL). This list includes the places the applicant has interviewed in which the applicant wishes to train. Applicants should rank programs in their preferred order (more on this to come). This list is submitted and certified through the NRMP Registration, Ranking, and Results (R3) system by no later than March 3, 2021 at 9:00am EST. The NRMP algorithm then uses the applicants’ lists, along with the programs’ lists, to place applicants into residency positions.

So, how does one create their rank order list? We asked some EXPERTS in medical education (Current or previous Program Directors and Clerkship Directors.) Below is their summary of recommendations! We recognize that each person will value different factors more heavily, but we hope this will help get you started!



Dr. Abby Spencer starts us off with a fantastic list of things to consider when making your rank list.