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Acad Emerg Med. 2005 Jan;12(1):89-92.

Aspects of residency programs' web sites important to student applicants.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, New York Methodist Hospital, 506 Sixth Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA.



To determine which components of a residency Web site (RWS) are important to residency applicants.


The authors performed a cross-sectional observational study of residency applicants. All applicants were invited to participate and were provided with a nine-question survey. Applicants were asked questions regarding the importance and impact of RWSs on the residency application process. They were also asked to rate items regarding content and aesthetics, and then rank all items in order of importance. Descriptive statistics are reported. Rank-order displays were determined using the Condorcet choice method.


One hundred eighty-eight (82%) of the applicants responded to the survey. Seventy-eight percent of the respondents reported that information provided in an RWS influenced their decision to apply to a particular program (41% decided not to apply to at least one program based on the quality of its RWS). Applicants believed that presentation of the residency curriculum was most important. Information about the hospital and its affiliates, faculty and resident information, and research activities followed in the rank order. Least important to applicants were the aesthetic quality of the site, faculty/resident photographs, and educational resource materials. The authors report additional areas of content that applicants thought would be useful to view.


The content, and not necessarily the aesthetic quality, of an RWS is important to residency applicants. The residency program Web site would seem to be an important factor in the applicant's decision to apply. The applicant's perspective provides training program directors and administrators with focused direction in Web site development or for upgrading existing RWSs for use by future applicants.

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