Is the Program-Specific Paragraph Responsible for Declining Application Numbers? A Commentary

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An alarming trend of declining applications to otolaryngology–head and neck surgery has surfaced over the past 3 years. There are many possible explanations for this decline, and a recent publication has implicated “impossible” qualifications as the reason for this decline. While these qualifications may deter a significant number of potential applicants, they have not changed significantly in the past 5 years and do not seem to explain a sudden decline. This commentary argues that the program-specific paragraph, which was introduced in 2015, may be at least in part responsible.

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