To identify how applicants to otolaryngology residency determine how to apply to, interview with, and rank programs on the interview trail and to determine the extent of the financial burden of the otolaryngology interview trail.Study Design
Web-based survey distributed in March and April 2016.Setting
Otolaryngology residency applicants throughout the United States.Subjects and Methods
Applicants to otolaryngology residency during the 2016 match cycle and current otolaryngology residents were surveyed.Results
Median number of applications, interview offers, interviews attended, and programs ranked was not different during the 2016 match and the previous 5 match years. The most important factor affecting the number of applications was the need to apply widely to ensure sufficient interview offers. The most common reason for declining an interview offer was scheduling conflict. Applicants during the 2016 match spent a median of $5400 applying and interviewing for otolaryngology residency.Conclusions
Median number of applications, interview offers, interviews attended, and programs ranked has not changed. The most cited reason for applying to many programs was to increase the chances of matching, but this is not statistically likely to increase match success. We advocate for continued attempts to make the otolaryngology match process more transparent for both applicants and resident selection committees, but recognize that applicants are likely to continue to overapply for otolaryngology residency positions.