What Program Directors Use to Rank 2016

Walking out of a residency interview can be filled with mixed emotions. You may feel confident you presented yourself well and made a connection with the program and the Program Director. Or, you may feel as though you could’ve put yourself out there more or answered a question differently.

Even if a Program Director looks you in the eyes and says,”We look forward to working with you next year,” or “We will be sure to rank you highly,” it’s hard to know if you have a real chance to rank in the program you interviewed with.

To help answer some questions and help you make more well informed Rank Order List decisions, NRMP® conducted a survey with over 1,400 responses from Program Directors. The data was compiled in a document called Results of the 2016 NRMP Program Director Survey.

Among the information gathered, Program Directors were asked to to cite factors they used to rank candidates after the interview. They were also asked to rate each factor on a scale from 1 (least important) to 5 (most important).

Most Important Factors for Ranking

Percentage of Programs Citing Each Factor

  1. Interactions with faculty during interview and visit (95%)
  2. Interpersonal skills (95%)
  3. Interactions with house staff during interview and visit (90%)
  4. Feedback from current residents (86%)
  5. USMLE Step 1 score (78%)

Average Importance Rating for Each Factor (scale of 1 to 5)

  1. Interactions with faculty during interview and visit (4.8)
  2. Interpersonal skills (4.8)
  3. Interactions with house staff during interview and visit (4.8)
  4. Feedback from current residents (4.7)
  5. Flagged by NRMP (4.7)

Least Important Factors for Ranking

Percentage of Programs Citing Each Factor

  1. Other post‐interview contact (18%)
  2. USMLE Step 3/COMLEX Level 3 score (19%)
  3. Away rotation in your specialty at another institution (20%)
  4. Fluency in language spoken by your patient population and Awards or special honors in basic sciences (21%)
  5. Second interview/visit (22%)

Average Importance Rating for Each Factor (scale of 1 to 5)

  1. Awards or special honors in basic sciences (3.4)
  2. Other post‐interview contact (3.7)
  3. USMLE Step 3 score (3.7)
  4. Second interview/visit (3.7)
  5. Personal Statement (3.7)**

**Personal Statement holds a higher value for OBTAINING an interview, but not for the ranking process itself.

There is a lot to consider when you’re ranking programs such as preference, or the program having what you are looking for. But, knowing what factors Program Directors use to rank you will help you be aware of how you are being ranked in return.

 

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