Surgical Residency Recruitment—Opportunities for Improvement

Amit R.T. Joshi, Daniel Vargo, Amy Mathis, Jeffrey N. Love, Teena Dhir, Paula M. Termuhlen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Introduction The Association of Program Directors in Surgery convened a panel during Surgical Education Week 2016 to discuss the current state of the general surgery residency application process and to review alternative ways to evaluate the suitability of each applicant to a residency program. Methods/Results Over 40,000 applicants registered for the National Resident Matching Program's 2016 Main Residency Match. General Surgery had 2345 applicants for 1241 categorical postgraduate year (PGY)-1 positions, and 1239 of those positions were filled when the matching algorithm was processed. Program Directors reported that only 33% of applications received an in-depth review, and 62% were rejected with minimal review. Eventually (after all applications had been reviewed), only 13% of applicants were invited to interview. Conclusions There are several opportunities for improvement within the current application process. These included standardized letter of recommendation and personal statements, refinement of the interview process, and recalibration of the Medical Student Performance Evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e104-e110
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Association of Program Directors in Surgery


  • ERAS
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • MSPE
  • Professionalism
  • standardized letter of recommendation
  • surgery


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