Introduction: Applicants in the NRMP for pediatric surgery have little objective data available regarding factors predicting successful matching. We analyzed data from applicants at our institution to attempt to identify parameters correlated with three outcomes: successfully matching, or attaining either a top ten or top three ranking in our final submitted match list.
Methods: After IRB approval, we reviewed ERAS documents for all applicants (n = 146) over 3 years (candidates for the 2007, 2008, and 2009 fellowship years). An interview was offered to 75% of the applicants (Table 1). We analyzed over 20 factors; including demographics, number of publications and first author publications, number of book chapters, national presentations, prior match attempts, advanced degrees, quality of recommendation letters, and ABSITE scores. Significant variables were evaluated with multiple logistic regression analysis to identify independent predictors.
Results: Variables correlated with successful outcome for each of the three endpoints are shown in Table 2. The number of peer-reviewed publications and first author publications, and AOA membership were highly correlated with a favorable outcome for all three endpoints. High ABSITE scores were significantly correlated with top ten rank. Research experience and outstanding letters of recommendation were significantly associated with a top ten ranking and overall match success. Variables associated only with overall match success included number of book chapters, graduation from a US medical school, quality of recommendation letters, and being granted an interview at our institution. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated no independent factors for overall match success; number of publications was significant for both top ten and top three ranking (P = 0.006 for each); number of first author publications (P = 0.002) and AOA membership (P = 0.03) were independent predictors for top three ranking.
Conclusions: Applicant variables associated with success in the match included quality of letters, number and type of publications, research experience, graduation from a US medical school, and AOA membership. Factors not correlated with outcome included advanced degrees (PhD, Masters), other fellowship training, and community-based versus university-based residency training. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated no independent factors for overall match success.