Objective. Little has been written about the counseling of medical students as they go through the process of selecting and ranking residency programs for the National Resident Matching Program. The Association of Pediatric Program Directors (APPD) and the Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics jointly sought to evaluate the current status of advice and counseling for students going through the Match, and to elicit suggestions for improvement. Methods. Surveys evaluating satisfaction with aspects of and advice received regarding the Match were sent to each of the 199 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredited member programs of the APPD with a request that they be distributed to all first-year pediatric residents during the orientation process for the 2001-2002 academic year. Surveys were both voluntary and anonymous. Results were compiled by the administration of the APPD. Results. We received responses from 42% of all US pediatric categorical or combined residents entering pediatric residency in July of 2001. Respondents included at least 1 representative from every US medical school. Ninety-seven percent of respondents were either very satisfied (88%) or somewhat satisfied (9%) with where they matched, whereas 82% were either very (42%) or somewhat (40%) satisfied with the advice they received regarding the match. The Fellowship and Residency Interactive Database, the faculty advisor, and resident-to-student counseling were the top 3 resources identified by the respondents. Of 12 resources listed in the survey, only the Green Book was rated as unhelpful. Four areas for improvement regarding the advising process were identified: timing, standardization, and quantity of advice and accuracy of online information resources, with specific suggestions given for each. Conclusions. Overall, recent medical school graduates are quite satisfied with both where they matched in pediatrics and the process that got them there. However, several areas for improvement in the advising/counseling system were identified. Potential approaches to these concerns or resources to develop approaches to them were identified.
- Medical education
- National Resident Matching Program
- The Match