Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Surg Educ. 2017 Sep 5. pii: S1931-7204(17)30292-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2017.08.008. [Epub ahead of print]

Examination of Nondesignated Preliminary Surgery Residents Recruited Since the Inception of Supplementary Offer and Acceptance Program: Lessons Learned From a Large Academic Program.

Author information

Department of Surgery, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado.
Department of Surgery, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado. Electronic address:



The majority of surgery programs roster non-designated preliminary (NDP) residents. We and others have reported on the success of NDP resident mentoring with regard to categorical position placement. Lacking is a focus on the candidates themselves and differences based on initial career of choice.


NDP residents' files since the institution of SOAP were reviewed for demographics, initial career choice, financial burden, region of medical school of origin, application and interview history, and pre-screen interview candidate score (high score of 22 - data includes USMLE scores, major clerkship grades, and AOA) used for categorical recruitment.


From 2012-16 79 NDP residents have been recruited at UCDenver (82% via SOAP). Median age was 28 years, majority were single (73%), and male (82%). Thirty percent belonged to an under-represented minority group. Mean debt was $156,000 but 20% owe over $250,000. 90% attended US medical schools with 65% from the NRMP "South" region. 86% were recruited as fourth year students. NDPs were categorized as failing to match in general surgery (38%), surgical subspecialties (47%), or other (15%). NDPs applied to median of 68 programs (range 7-200) and granted a median of 8 interviews (range 0-24). NDPs had a mean pre-screening interview score of 13 out of 22 and only 9% would have met the standard threshold to obtain a categorical surgery interview. There were no differences in pre-screening scores in the three groups. 95% NDPs (excluding present year) successfully completed their R1 year (three resigned - one obtained a general surgery spot mid-year and two after matching in non-general surgery fields). 68% NDPs placed in categorical positions after the R1 year. The placement was better for the surgical subspecialty group compared to the other two.


The bias is that due to a more competitive applicant pool recruiting NDPs from surgical subspecialties would be optimal. However, those unmatched surgical subspecialty candidates are no better academically than the unmatched general surgery group, often have career interests that do not always align with scheduled rotations, and may not feel compelled to complete the year if they match. They place minimally better when accounting for those unmatched general surgery NDP R1s continuing as NDP R2s. Ultimately the success in a non-designated preliminary R1 surgery program is alignment of clinical educational opportunities with the needs of the trainee.


Interpersonal Skills and Communication; Medical Knowledge; Professionalism; SOAP; nondesignated preliminary residents; surgery match

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center