Objectives: To examine applicant characteristics and behaviors associated with a successful match into otolaryngology residency.
Methods: Self-reported survey data from applicants to otolaryngology residency between 2018 and 2020 were obtained from the Texas STAR database. Characteristics and predictors associated with a successful match were examined using Chi-square tests, two-sided t-tests, and logistic regression models.
Results: A total of 315 otolaryngology residency applicants responded to the survey of whom 274 matched (87%) and 41 did not match (13%). Matched applicants had a significantly higher mean USMLE Step 1 score (P = .016) and Step 2 CK score (P = .007). There were no significant differences in AOA status (45% vs 36%; P = .207), mean number of applications submitted (70 vs 69; P = .544), and mean number of away rotations (2.1 vs 2.0; P = .687) between matched and unmatched applicants. Significant predictors of a successful match included receiving honors in 5 or more clerkships (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.0-4.0; P = .040), receiving honors in an ENT clerkship (OR 3.7, 95% CI 1.0-12.9; P = .044), and having 3 or more peer-reviewed publications (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.1-4.5; P = .020). The majority of applicants (79.9%) matched at a program where they either did an away rotation, had a personal geographic connection, or attended medical school in the same geographic region.
Conclusions: Board scores, excelling on clinical rotations, and having productive research experience appear to be strong predictors of a successful match in otolaryngology. The majority of applicants report a personal or geographic connection to the program at which they match.
Level of evidence: 4.
Keywords: otolaryngology; personnel selection; residency; surveys.
© 2021 The Authors. Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Triological Society.