Introduction: This study investigates the impact of the Doximity rankings on the rank list choices made by residency applicants in emergency medicine (EM).
Methods: We sent an 11-item survey by email to all students who applied to EM residency programs at four different institutions representing diverse geographical regions. Students were asked questions about their perception of Doximity rankings and how it may have impacted their rank list decisions.
Results: Response rate was 58% of 1,372 opened electronic surveys. This study found that a majority of medical students applying to residency in EM were aware of the Doximity rankings prior to submitting rank lists (67%). One-quarter of these applicants changed the number of programs and ranks of those programs when completing their rank list based on the Doximity rankings (26%). Though the absolute number of programs changed on the rank lists was small, the results demonstrate that the EM Doximity rankings impact applicant decision-making in ranking residency programs.
Conclusion: While applicants do not find the Doximity rankings to be important compared to other factors in the application process, the Doximity rankings result in a small change in residency applicant ranking behavior. This unvalidated ranking, based principally on reputational data rather than objective outcome criteria, thus has the potential to be detrimental to students, programs, and the public. We feel it important for specialties to develop consensus around measurable training outcomes and provide freely accessible metrics for candidate education.