Results of the 2016 Program Directors Survey

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Results of the 2016 Program Directors Survey

Program directors incorporate a variety of information on applicants’ personal and academic characteristics during the residency selection process. Among the most important characteristics are professionalism, integrity, interpersonal skills, reliability, and dependability. Yet there remains a gap between the most important characteristics used to make selection decisions and program directors’ level of satisfaction with tools currently available to measure them. This survey provides actionable insights on making the best possible choices.

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Designed for program directors, researchers, medical students, and residents.

 

OVERVIEW AND BENEFITS


Program directors incorporate a variety of information on applicants’ personal and academic characteristics during the residency selection process. Among the most important characteristics are professionalism, integrity, interpersonal skills, reliability, and dependability. Yet, a gap remains between the most important characteristics used to make selection decisions and program directors’ level of satisfaction with tools available to measure them. This survey, based on responses from 1,454 program directors, provides actionable insights on making the best possible choices. Results of the 2016 Program Directors Survey, a new publication that is part of the AAMC’s Optimizing Graduate Medical Education (GME) initiative, provides an exclusive snapshot of current trends in U.S. residency-selection practices. Insights include:

  • Nearly 50% of residency interviews are unstructured with limited or no guidance provided about interview content or scoring
  •  The majority of programs (60%) use group discussion to reach consensus on ranking candidates. Only 31% of programs provide the program director with discretion to adjust rankings
  • Most programs (88%) eliminate certain interviewed candidates from the ranking process due to factors such as a poor interview day (which include poor interpersonal and communication skills) or concerns around academic preparation, professionalism, and poor fit for the program
  • The top three “pain points” for program directors in residency selection are difficulty comparing information across medical schools; lack of reliable information about applicants’ personal characteristics; and the large volume of applications.

This report is part of the AAMC’s broader initiative for Optimizing Graduate Medical Education (GME), a five-year plan designed to generate a road map to help America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals meet the challenges of today’s health care environment.

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This publication was developed by the AAMC to advance medical education. It is provided to the medical community at no cost for that purpose.

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Year Published 2016