Does it match? Analyzing Internal Medicine residency match data on Student Doctor Network

Asad Loya, Khaled Abdelrahman, Vignesh Ramachandran


Introduction: Applying to Internal Medicine residency has become increasingly competitive. The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) bi-annual report (Charting Outcomes in the Match) details match-specific data for each specialty, including Internal Medicine. However, recently, applicants use online forums. The forum Student Doctor Network (SDN) includes anonymized and individual Internal Medicine data beyond NRMP data. The data validity and its concordance with NRMP have yet to be verified.

Methods: SDN Internal Medicine data (2016-17 and 2017-18) was analyzed. Factors influencing interview rate were delineated. Only cases with entirely complete data 55.8% (149/267) were included. NRMP 2018 applicant characteristics (aggregated matched and unmatched groups) were compared to SDN data.

Results: Mean Step 1 and step 2 scores from SDN were significantly higher than those reported on NRMP (P < 0.001). Significantly more SDN applicants reported AOA membership (P < 0.001). Also, 74.6% (106/142) reported Honors on the Internal Medicine clerkship. In unadjusted SDN data analysis, higher Step 1, higher Step 2, AOA membership, and Internal Medicine Honors significantly increased interview offer rates (P < 0.001). When including both Step scores in an adjusted model, only Step 2 (P < 0.01) was significantly associated with increased invites.

Discussion: NRMP data lacks complete individual applicant data, which aids applicants in identifying programs they are competitive for, saving application costs, and personalizing the application process. Although SDN data is skewed towards higher scores/AOA status, it spans a wide range of data, making it widely applicable. Furthermore, it may be useful to applicants considering top-ranked programs.

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