How residence program directors choose medical students?

Medical  students always have speculated about the main criteria used by  Residence Programs Directors for choosing which candidates that apply for resident positions are going to be selected:  Step I score?  Reputation of the Medical school?   Research experience?  Step II Clinical Knowledge? Recommendation letters?


The last issue of Academic Medicine, (March, 2009) the Journal of the Association of the American Medical College, includes an article devoted to this topic: “Selection Criteria for Residence: Results of a National Program Directors Survey”, written by M. Green, P. Jones and J.Thomas.  


The authors  did a survey to around 2 500 program directors asking the relative importance of the different criteria they used to make the selection of an applicant.


Clinical performance, expressed in different ways  (Grades in required clerkships, Step II Clinical Skills pass,  Step II Clinical Knowledge results, etc ) together to  USMLE Step I score were among the first 6 ranked selection criteria.


The article includes the ranking of 14 Academic Selection Criteria, and even show tables for different specialties, so I strongly encourage all medical students, independently of the step  in which they are now in their medical school, to review this article, since some of the required strengths should be built in the medical school, and before the moment to apply to the match.


The complete article can be found here:

Green, Marianne; Jones, Paul, Thomas, John X. Jr.:  Selection Criteria for Residence: Results of a National Program Directors Survey.

Academic Medicine: March 2009,  Vol 24 –Issue 3 –pp362-367


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