Wednesday, July 22, 2020

More applications, from fewer applicants per position in Vascular Surgery residencies

Trends in the 10-year history of the vascular integrated residency match: More work, higher cost, same result
Katherine K.McMackin MD, Francis J.Caputo MD, Nicholas G.Hoell MD, JoseTrani MD, Jeffrey P.Carpenter MD, Joseph V.Lombardi MD
Journal of Vascular Surgery, Volume 72, Issue 1, July 2020, Pages 298-303

"During the last 10 years, the number of vascular surgery integrated residency spots rose from 9 to 60 per year. Most programs offer one spot per year; none offer more than two. The average number of applications received by programs rose from 17 applications in 2008 to 63.8 in 2017. The average rank list depth needed by programs to fill the spots has not increased (range, 2.5-5.1; standard deviation, 0.73). The proportional depth of the applicant pool decreased from 4.6 U.S. and Canadian applicants for every one residency spot in 2008 to 1.7 applicants for every one residency spot in 2017. Applicant quality metrics were available for 2 years (2014 and 2016). Step 1 scores (237/239), Step 2 scores (250/250), research experiences (3.7/4.2), and volunteer experiences (5.9/5.5) remained nearly unchanged. The number of contiguous ranks for matched applicants remained stable (12.3/12.8).

The current system promotes multiple inefficiencies, resulting in application glut. Fewer applicants are flooding programs with an increasing number of applications. More money is being spent on Electronic Residency Application Service applications without changes in the number needed to rank by applicants or programs to achieve a match. There is no improvement in the quality of the applicant. Should these trends continue, they represent an unsustainable model for resident selection."

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