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October 14, 2006
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Room Hall E, Area F
Timing of Applicants Residency Interview Cannot Predict If They Will Match Your Anesthesia Program
Michael C. Wajda, M.D., Daniel O'Neill, M.D., Lisa Tepfenhardt, M.D., Inkyung Yook, M.D., Jung Kim, M.D.
Anesthesiology, New York University, New York, New York
Introduction: Every year, anesthesia programs are faced with the challenge of choosing medical students to fill their residency positions. Applicants interview at many different programs and must compile a rank list when interviewing is complete. Anesthesia programs must also draft a rank list after interviewing season, and the match is computed through the NRMP (National Resident Matching Program). The medical students' anxiety often causes them to question when to schedule their interview.

Methods: With IRB approval, the match list for the past three years was obtained. The interview dates for each of the applicants that matched our program was determined. There were ten interview dates offered for each of the three years, and 16,13, and 18 positions were matched for each respective year. The number of matching applicants for each of the ten interview dates was calculated. A statistical analysis including a Chi-Squared was performed to determine if there was a correlation between the timing of the interview and those who matched.

Results: The results showed that 5/47(10.6%) matching applicants were in the first interview session. The following were in each subsequent session: 5/47(10.6%), 6/47(12.8%), 4/47(8.5%), 2/47(4.2%), 4/47(8.5%), 6/47(12.8%), 4/47(8.5%), 7/47(14.9%), and 4/47(8.5%) on the tenth and final interview day. Chi-squared analysis revealed p-value > 0.05, suggesting no significant association between interview day and likelihood of matching. In addition, our results suggest seven to ten applicants are needed to be interviewed to get a resident match on a specific day.

Discussion: As anesthesia residency positions become increasingly more competitive, medical students often inquire about the best time to schedule an interview. Frequently, applicants have been attending between 10 and 20 anesthesia interviews across the country. Some students believe they should interview at their preferred programs later in the season after they have had the experience of multiple interviews. Other applicants feel it is best to interview at their preferred programs earlier in the year to make a good first impression. It is often difficult for program directors to realize which students are truly interested in their program and which are just trying to increase their chances of matching somewhere. This study has shown that there is no correlation between those applicants who matched over the past three years and the time they interviewed. Therefore, this study implies that the medical students anxiety about the timing of their interview is unfounded.

Anesthesiology 2006; 105: A167