Purpose: The authors sought to determine the value of the audition elective to the overall success of medical students in the match.
Method: The authors surveyed 1,335 fourth-year medical students at 10 medical schools in 2013. The study took place over a 2-month period immediately following the match. Medical students were emailed a 14-question survey and asked about audition electives, rank order, and cost of 'away' rotations.
Results: One hundred percent of students wishing to match in otolaryngology, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, radiation oncology, and urology took the audition electives. The difference by specialty in the proportion of students who took an audition was statistically significant (p<0.001). Of the students who auditioned, 71% matched at one of their top three choices compared with 84% of non-auditioners who matched to one of their top three choices (p<0.01).
Conclusions: Students performed a large number of 'away' rotations as 'auditions' in order to improve their chances in the match. For certain competitive specialties, virtually all students auditioned. Overall, students who did not audition were just as successful as or more successful than students who did audition.
Keywords: 4th year students; audition; electives; match.