Frequently Asked Questions about the Match

Adult Reconstructive Hip and Knee / Musculoskeletal Oncology Fellowship Match Program
The Match
What if I match, but decide later to seek a position offered in another institution, can I drop my match and continue with the other?

No. Certification of your rank list indicates that you agree to withdraw from all competing matches. Do not commit to a year of training outside of the fellowship to which you were matched without withdrawing from the match or being released from that

If an applicant accepts a position outside of the match during the interview process, you must notify the SF Match and the programs to which you have applied of your intent to withdraw from the match. As a courtesy, advise all applied programs of your immediate plans.

The Fellowship Match is considered a binding agreement and matched applicants are expected to honor their obligation to the matched fellowship program. Once you accept a position and a contract has been signed, you have made a binding commitment with the institution, pending satisfactory completion of the prerequisite training. Note that there may be consequences for failure to abide by the contract terms. 

Can I obtain a position without an interview?

No, unless the program director waived the interview requirement. However, this is uncommon. 

A program director seems to be soliciting a commitment before The Match. How should I respond?

Respond with what makes you most comfortable. When you complete your confidential rank list, you must remember that any prior statements you may have made to programs 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.

If I rank a program as #10, and another applicant ranks it as #1, who will get that program?
When two applicants compete for the same program, the program’s rank list decides.
One program director tells me that he likes me very much. Some better programs are noncommittal. Which program should I rank first?
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.
A program director told me that he would “rank me high.” Does that mean a guaranteed position?

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.

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

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.

If an applicant accepts a position outside of the match or needs to withdraw for any other reason during the interview process, you must notify the SF Match and the programs to which you have applied of your intent to withdraw from the match. As a courtesy, advise all applied programs of your immediate plans. The Fellowship Match is considered a binding agreement and matched applicants are expected to honor their obligation to the matched fellowship program. Once you accept a position and a contract has been signed, you have made a binding commitment with the institution, pending satisfactory completion of the prerequisite training. Note that there may be consequences for failure to abide by the contract terms. Do not commit to a year of training outside of the fellowship to which you were matched without withdrawing from the match or being released from that program. 

Can I end up being matched to a program I do not really like?
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.
It's close to the deadline, and my letters of recommendation are not yet sent. What should I do?

It happens that not all letters of recommendation are written and sent in a timely manner. If your Match application deadline is approaching, and you still do not have all your letters of recommendation, contact SF Match to let them know that you have requested the letter of recommendation and are still awaiting delivery. This will allow your application to be completed and processed in time. 

Contact Us

Natalie R. Loper
AAHKS Project Specialist
Fellowship Match Liaison
(847)430-5061
Connect@AAHKS.org

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