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Acad Emerg Med. 2002 Jul;9(7):679-83.

Influence of international emergency medicine opportunities on residency program selection.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins University, Department of Emergency Medicine, Center for International Emergency, Disaster, and Refugee Studies, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.



In the last several years, there has been increasing interest in international emergency medicine (IEM) programs. A number of residency programs offer or encourage international opportunities during residency. The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to determine whether the availability of international opportunities during residency affected the ranking of emergency medicine (EM) residency programs by graduating medical students and 2) to determine whether prior international health experience among medical students influences interviewing and ranking of residency programs with international opportunities.


An eight-question survey measuring interest in IEM and its effect on ranking of programs was mailed to all 1,205 first-year EM residents from 122 accredited allopathic EM residency programs in the United States. International opportunities were defined as any program that offered an international elective during residency or had an IEM fellowship. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square tests.


Of the 1,205 mailed surveys, 34% were returned by the first-year residents. Of all respondents, 281/408 (69%) interviewed at programs with international opportunities. Study findings revealed 62% (164/264) of the students who interviewed at programs with international opportunities considered the availability of international opportunities a positive factor in ranking residency programs. Analysis revealed that applicants with previous international health experience, 68% (104/152), were more likely to rank EM residency programs with international opportunities higher than those that did not.


This study suggests that the availability of international opportunities during residency positively affected residency ranking. This relationship was stronger in medical students with prior international health experience.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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