Does Timing of Internal Medicine Residency Interview Affect Likelihood of Matching?

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Abstract

Objectives

Applicants to our internal medicine (IM) residency program consistently have shared concerns about whether the interview date influences their ability to match via the National Residency Matching Program. We performed a retrospective study to assess whether interview timing was associated with successful matching at our IM program.

Methods

We identified all of the applicants who interviewed for a first-year position with our IM residency program from 2010 to 2014. Each year’s interview dates were totaled and divided equally into three categories: early, middle, or late. Baseline demographics, United States Medical Licensing Examination scores, and type of medical school (American or international) were compared among the interview date groups and between those who did and did not match at our program.

Results

Of 914 interviewees, 311 interviewed early (October/November), 299 interviewed in the middle (December), and 304 interviewed late (January). The proportion to match at our program was similar in each interview group (12.5%, 18.4%, 15.1%, respectively; P = 0.133). Logistic regression analysis showed that the middle interview group had increased odds to match compared with the early group (odds ratio 1.590; P = 0.044). The late-versus-early group showed no difference (P = 0.362). No significant differences were found with type of medical school or United States Medical Licensing Examination scores. Of all of the interviewees participating in the match, nearly all matched into a program somewhere, with no significant difference based on interview timing.

Conclusions

When considering all of the interviewees, interview date showed no major influence on matching. Only the middle interview time period showed a slight increased chance of matching to our IM program, but the significance was marginal.

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