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The Prevalence and Nature of Postinterview Communications Between Residency Programs and Applicants During the Match.

Dr. Jena was a third-year resident, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, at the time of writing. He is now assistant professor of health care policy, Harvard Medical School, and assistant physician, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Arora is associate professor of medicine, assistant dean for scholarship and discovery, and associate program director, Internal Medicine Residency Program, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Hauer is professor of medicine and director of internal medicine clerkships, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, California. Dr. Durning is professor of medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Borges is professor, Department of Community Health, and assistant dean of medical education research and evaluation, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Oriol is dean for students, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Elnicki is professor of medicine and director, Combined Ambulatory Medicine Pediatrics Clerkship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Fagan is professor of medicine and internal medicine clerkship director, Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island. Dr. Harrell is associate professor of medicine and internal medicine clerkship director, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida. Dr. Torre is associate professor of medicine and associate program director, Internal Medicine Residency Program, Drexel University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ms. Prochaska is a second-year student, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, Illinois
Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges (Impact Factor: 2.34). 08/2012; 87(10):1434-1442. DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31826772a6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT PURPOSE: To examine the frequency and nature of postinterview communications between programs and applicants during the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Main Residency Match. METHOD: The authors surveyed senior medical students at seven U.S. medical schools about postinterview communications with residency programs during the 2010 Match and analyzed the data. RESULTS: The response rate was 68.2% (564/827). Among respondents, 86.4% reported communicating with residency programs. Most (59.9%) reported telling more than one program they would rank it highly; 1.1% reported telling more than one they would rank it first. Students reported that programs told them they would be "ranked to match" (34.6%), be "ranked highly" (52.8%), or "fit well" (76.2%). Almost one-fifth (18.6 %) reported feeling assured by a program that they would match there but did not despite ranking that program first; 23.4% reported altering their rank order list based on communications with programs. In multivariate analysis, applicants to more competitive specialties were less likely to report being told they would be "ranked to match" (relative risk [RR] 0.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.52-0.99). Applicants were more likely to report being told that they would be "ranked to match" if they received honors in the specialty clerkship (RR 1.39, 95% CI 1.10-1.77) or were members of Alpha Omega Alpha (RR 1.72, 95% CI 1.37-2.17). CONCLUSIONS: Reports of nonbinding communications with programs were frequent. Students should be advised to interpret any comments made by programs cautiously. Reported violations of the NRMP's Match Participation Agreement were uncommon.

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