Otolaryngology-head and neck surgery residency match: applicant survey

Christopher D Lansford, Samuel R Fisher, Robert H Ossoff, Richard A Chole
Archives of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery 2004, 130 (9): 1017-23

OBJECTIVE: To examine satisfaction with the match process and reported failures to comply with the match rules among applicants of the January 2002 Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery match.

DESIGN: A survey was mailed to all applicants completing the 2002 San Francisco Matching Program match.

PARTICIPANTS: Surveys were mailed to 312 applicants, and the 151 returned surveys were entered into a database, which was then subjected to statistical analysis.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Survey questions asked whether the applicant matched and how highly, how well the applicant considers the match to fulfill its goals, how many interviews the applicant attended, and how many of these included perceived noncompliance with San Francisco Matching Program rules by region of the country.

RESULTS: Satisfaction with the match correlated significantly (P<.001) to how highly the applicant matched among those successfully matching. The satisfaction among matching applicants was significantly better (P<.001) than those not matching. The 151 respondents had a total of 970 interviews. The respondents reported that they identified noncompliance with the match rules in 42 (4.3%) of these encounters. Most (87%) respondents reported full adherence to the match rules, and the degree of adherence did not correlate significantly to applicants' satisfaction (P =.71).

CONCLUSIONS: Applicants' satisfaction with the match process depended significantly on their match outcome. Rule noncompliance was rare and not significantly related to applicant satisfaction. This study suggests that otolaryngology applicants perceive high levels of satisfaction with the match and infrequent breaches of stated match rules.

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