Considerations for a Holistic Model in Evaluating Medical Students for Cardiothoracic Surgical Residency

Edgar Aranda-Michel, Lena E. Trager, Jason J. Han, Rishav Aggarwal, Marisa Cevascoc, Rosemary F. Kelly, Ibrahim Sultan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Program directors are tasked with selecting whom they think will be the best fit for residency and the next leaders of the field. While numerical metrics have played a vital role in this process, recent changes to student evaluation are reducing the availability of these metrics. This poses unique challenges for both applicants and program directors. Here we discuss how this will likely shift the focus on other parts of the application and the consequences (good and bad) of doing so.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSeminars in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research has always played a significant part in the application process. It gives insight into an applicant's ability to think and write in the specialty and measure their scholarly output, a staple of academic institutions. This emphasis will likely only increase, particularly with a viewpoint of less time allocated to studying in the pass/fail environment. However, research is not a perfect metric; individual productivity can depend on the department's productivity. Additionally, using research as a leading metric for resident selection could lead to a selection bias for students who come from top-ranked/funded CT surgery programs, particularly those with home integrated programs. 19 Nevertheless, students frequently seek out external research opportunities, leading to obtaining external funding from national CT societies (eg, Society of Thoracic Surgeons [STS], AATS, Southern Thoracic Surgical Association, Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society, and the American Heart Association). 3 Overall, an applicant's research provides insight into their intellectual curiosity and ability to synthesize and advance scientific ideas—crucial qualities for the CT surgeon and this specialty's future.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • Holistic evaluation
  • Integrated residency
  • The match

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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