I'll quote from some emails without identifying the senders.
"I oversee the xxx residency match ....
"There is a terrible game that is going on in some surgical fields, though. Program directors feel that it is prestigious not to go down their lists very far. A program director may boast to his/her Chair, "This year we only needed to go down to #6 on our list to fill our (3) positions." This ambition to not go down far on a list, as evidence that a program is highly desirable, is often achieved by pressuring candidates in the following way, "If you want to come here, you really need to let us know," which translates to "tells us we are your #1 and then you will have a chance to match here." These actual or implied quid pro quos are a shame and pervert the intent of the match and your good work. I know the NRMP considers them illegal or at least poor practices, but they are common, unfortunately."
Perhaps the community (directors and NRMP) could be persuaded that residency directors shouldn’t show their rank order lists to their deans and chairs?