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Click "Certify"

February 16, 2019
by Mark David Siegel

Hi everyone, My mission for today is to certify the final rank list and bring interview season to a close. Yesterday I certified the preliminary and physician-scientist lists, but the categorical list is huge by comparison, so hours of tweaking, inspecting, and double-checking lie ahead. If you’re wondering what makes the process so hard, consider this:

  • 64% of the candidates will graduate at the top of their class; 64% are rated top-tier by their Department of Medicine; 49% are at the top of both
  • 21% got Honors in all their clerkships
  • 36% are in AOA, 15% in the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and 8% were elected to both
  • 29% have advanced degrees
  • 47% published first author papers
  • 77% served in leadership roles in medical school
  • 42% scored at least 250 on Step 1 and 77% scored at least 250 on Step 2

How do you rank such talented candidates?

The challenge is to identify the stars who are right for us. I’ve reviewed every application and read every personal statement. I’ve absorbed the glowing letters. I know where they come from, literally and figuratively. I know the languages they speak and the countries they’ve visited. I know which ones are athletes, artists, dancers, musicians, writers, bakers, and chefs. I’ve met them all.

With so much data available to me, I like to think I can choose the ones who will embrace our mission: the idealistic ones; the collaborators; the ones who love to teach; the question seekers; the innovators and the ones who will make great discoveries; the ones who embrace diversity and social justice; the ones who exude kindness and compassion; the ones who put the needs of their teammates before their own. I like to think I can choose the candidates who will work tirelessly to perfect their craft; who will write op-eds and contribute to the Beeson Beat; who will perform in Arts Night or play for the Beeson Bombers; who will serve on committees, lead Distinctions, and foster wellness. I like to think I can choose the ones who view medicine as a calling and will work tirelessly for their patients. In short, I hope to choose the same kind of exceptional residents we recruit every year.

It’s easy to forget—and hard for many applicants to believe—that candidates choose us as much as we choose them. There are countless wonderful residency programs in our country and the top applicants can train wherever they want. The ones who choose Yale know they’ll get phenomenal training here; but equally importantly they choose us because they embrace our culture and our mission. That’s what makes it a match.

Enjoy your sunny Sunday everyone. I’m going to hike up East Rock before staring at spreadsheets for the rest of the day. My goal is to click “certify” by 5 PM.

If you want to share any final words of wisdom with me, let me know,

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on February 17, 2019