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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Apr;144(4):537-41. doi: 10.1177/0194599810396604. Epub 2011 Feb 4.

Otolaryngology resident selection: do rank lists matter?

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10467-2490, USA.



To examine the relationship between National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) rank list position and future otolaryngology residency performance.


Cohort study.


Eight consecutive residency classes (starting 2001-2008; 4 residents/y) were reviewed. Three hundred and thirty-three applicants (40.6 applicants/y) were interviewed, and 316 (94.9%) were ranked. Residents matching with our program were divided 3 different ways: into quarters, thirds, and halves, based on their rank order. Correlation coefficients were obtained to compare resident rank number and rank group (quarter, third, half) to faculty evaluation, coresident evaluation, and in-service score. Chi-square tests were conducted comparing rank group to chief resident selection and annual teaching award.


Resident NRMP rank number was not significantly correlated with faculty evaluation, coresident evaluation, or in-service exam score (-0.21 < r < 0.05; P > .28). There was also no significant correlation between resident quarter, third, or half rank group and faculty evaluation; coresident evaluation; or in-service exam score (-0.29 < r < 0.10; P > .13). Chi-square analysis found no relationship between resident rank group and chief resident (P > .35) or teaching award (P > .13) selection.


Applicant rank number and rank group did not correlate with performance of this otolaryngology residency cohort as assessed by faculty evaluation, coresident evaluation, in-service exam score, or selection for chief resident or the annual teaching award. Resident selection committees should consider reallocating manpower hours from creating rank order to recruiting applicants and selecting interview candidates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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