What is the Rank Order List?

Every year, after filling out applications and completing residency interviews, the next step in the residency application process is to create and certify Rank Order Lists (ROL) through NRMP®. This is a very important step towards participating in the Main Residency Match® in March.

Rank Order Lists are created and certified by both residency programs and residency candidates. The goal is to find the best fit for all parties involved. Residency programs create a list of candidates they interviewed over the course of the interview season that they would like to see on their roster. At the same time, candidates create a list of programs they interviewed with that they would like to be a part of. If your name appears within the program’s available positions and you had ranked the program in return– hooray, you’re (technically) Matched!

Important Rank Order List Dates

The Rank Order List process opens January 15, 2018.

You may create, certify, and change your Rank Order Lists at any time until the Rank Order List Deadline.  You must have your list created and certified by the Rank Order List Deadline February 21, 2018, at 9 p.m. (Eastern). If you have not certified a Rank Order List by the deadline, you will not be entered into the Main Residency Match.

Types of Rank Order Lists

There are two main types of lists you can create on NRMP: Primary and Supplemental Rank Order Lists.

The Primary Rank Order List is used to rank all Categorical, Preliminary, or Advanced residency programs you interviewed with.

Supplemental Rank Order Lists are used if you have ranked an Advanced residency position. You may create a Supplemental list that only has Preliminary positions to complete the full training course for the Advanced position.

Use these lists to rank the programs you have interviewed with throughout the season. (Technically, you can rank programs you have not interviewed with, but your chances of being ranked in return are virtually impossible).

Additional Important Information

Note, each residency program on your certified Rank Order List signifies a binding agreement. If you put a program on your list and you Match, you are obligated to enter their program July 1st unless you obtain a waiver from NRMP. If you don’t understand waivers, be sure to review the waiver policies on NRMP.

If you are an International Medical Graduate (IMG), you must also have your credentials verified through ECFMG by the Rank Order Deadline. Does this mean you must be fully ECFMG certified? No. However, you must have your USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS scores reported by the deadline.

Be sure to review the NRMP policies for Eligibility before continuing with the process.

As with every step of the process, creating the right Rank Order List is not a perfect science. There are many considerations and intricacies to creating an optimal list with the best chances of matching into a residency program.

Be sure to explore the other Match A Resident blog articles about Rank Order Lists to learn more about how to create and certify a Rank Order List as well as some helpful hints and tips to make the most of your Rank Order Lists.

(Content Updated: January 5, 2018). 

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