Sunday, December 19, 2021

An Interview Match for medical residents and fellows--a preliminary proposal

 There is a lot of concern in the graduate medical education community that too much time and treasure is being spent on too many unproductive interviews prior to the submission of rank order lists for the Match.  Here's discussion of a proposal for an interview match, to precede the interview stage before the actual NRMP Match.

Explaining a Potential Interview Match for Graduate Medical Education, by Irene Wapnir, MD; Itai Ashlagi, PhD; Alvin E. Roth, PhD; Erling Skancke, MS; Akhil Vohra, PhD; Irene Lo, PhD; Marc L. Melcher, MD, PhD, J Grad Med Educ (2021) 13 (6): 764–767.

"Residency and fellowship candidates are applying to more programs to enhance their chances of securing interviews and matching favorably. The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted interviews to video formats, which lowers interview-associated costs for applicants but may further increase application numbers.1  While a candidate's application to a training program communicates some interest in the program, the relative amount of interest is obscured when candidates apply to large numbers of programs. We suspect that, as a result, programs host large numbers of low-yield interviews.

"The number of interviews is steadily increasing, and there is widespread agreement on the need to ease congestion in the pre-Match evaluation process.2  Proposals to reduce this burden include signaling (organized, centrally-controlled protocol for limited communication of interest),3–5  capping the number of applications or the number of interviews,6,7  and an early acceptance matching program as in college admissions.8,9 

"We propose another solution, an “interview match” to address the expanding number of interviews.10  An interview match enables candidates and programs to express preferences privately by ranking their interview choices individually or in tiers. This may ease congestion in the “marketplace,” reduce costs for candidates, favor interviews that are more likely to lead to a match in the final Match, and avoid interviews unlikely to convert to a match. An interview match algorithm would match based on the same “deferred-acceptance” algorithm currently used by the National Resident Matching Program but adapted to a “many-to-many” setting where candidates and programs receive multiple interviews."

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