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Surgical residency market research-what are applicants looking for?

Surgical residency market research-what are applicants looking for?

Journal of Surgical Education 70(2): 232-236

We propose that one of the integral parts of building a stronger residency program is the ability to recruit top applicants. Little is known about the factors applicants use to evaluate residency programs. Given that the top applicants are likely to be ranked highly by multiple programs, we sought to determine which factors applicants themselves used to evaluate potential residency programs. An anonymous, voluntary survey was distributed to all interviewing applicants, asking them to rank 12 factors when choosing a residency. They were additionally asked about any prior research or international medical experience. Settings Surveys were distributed at the beginning of the interview day and collected in sealed unmarked envelopes. All applicants interviewing for general surgery residency at the University of Virginia during the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons. Resident satisfaction was rated the highest, 8.7 out of 9. In descending order of importance, applicants ranked record of the chiefs (8.0), resident case volume (7.8), academic reputation (7.6), geography (7.4), research opportunities (7.3), laparoscopic laboratory (6.2), elective time (5.4), international opportunities (5.1), benefits (4.8), and vacation (4.7), respectively. No correlation was found between prior research experience and research ranking score. A significant positive correlation was found between those applicants with prior international experience and their ranking of international opportunities during residency (p < 0.0001). Applicants rated a program on a broad range of factors and commonly cited a gut feeling or esprit de corps. The ability to pursue an identified area of special interest, in this case an international opportunity, proved to be an additional major selection factor for a subset of candidates.

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Accession: 036618184

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23427969

DOI: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2012.09.002

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