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Acad Radiol. 2002 Jan;9(1):75-81.

Factors that affect National Resident Matching Program rankings of medical students applying for radiology residency.

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Department of Radiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.



A study was performed to determine which factors most influence the program rank lists of U.S. medical students applying for radiology residency and which sources of information about residency programs these medical students value most highly.


Questionnaires were mailed to the 516 U.S. medical students who applied to the authors' radiology residency program in the 2001 National Resident Matching Program match. Respondents were asked to evaluate 23 factors that may have affected their rank lists, on a five-point Likert scale. For data interpretation, factors were categorized as being either within, somewhat within, or outside the control of the program director. Respondents were also asked to evaluate eight potential sources of information about residency programs.


The response rate was 23.3% (120 of 516). The three most important factors affecting rank lists were the perceived happiness of current residents within the program, the geographic location of the program, and the academic reputation of the department. Four of the five factors that scored most highly were judged to be outside the program director's control. The most important sources of information were the interview day and personal interactions with residents currently in the program. Program Web sites were rated more highly than the written materials provided.


Medical students applying for radiology residency use many sources of information and weigh many factors in making their program rank lists. Many of the most influential factors are outside the direct control of the program director.

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