Behind the match process: Is there any financial difference lurking below the specialty of choice?

Academic Article


  • The Match was developed in response to a chaotic residency selection process. While the match has remained relatively unchanged since it was introduced, the number of medical school graduates has increased at a rate outpacing the number of residency positions leading to a more competitive process for applicants. In May 2014, an 18-question mixed-response questionnaire was distributed to fourth year allopathic medical students via an E-mail distribution list for student affairs representatives. The individual surveys were accessible via SurveyMonkey and available for completion over the course of a 4-week period. Approximately 65.1 per cent of students performed at least one audition rotation and documented average expenditures of $2494 on housing, food, and transportation. The average applicant applied to 32 programs and attended 12 interviews while spending $4420 on the interview trail. Applicants for surgical programs applied to approximately 42 programs and attended 13 interviews compared with primary care applicants who averaged 23 programs (P < 0.001) and attended 12 interviews (P = 0.002). Surgical applicants averaged 20 days on the interview trail while spending $5500 ($423/interview) on housing, food, and transportation compared with primary care applicants averaged 19 days away from home (P < 0.05) and spending $3400 ($283/interview) on these same items (P < 0.001). The findings in our study indicate that the "Match process" contributes to the financial burden of graduating medical students and it is more expensive and time consuming for the candidates interested in surgical specialties.
  • Authors

    Author List

  • Oladeji LO; Raley JA; Smith S; Perez JL; McGwin G; Ponce BA
  • Start Page

  • 1163
  • End Page

  • 1168
  • Volume

  • 82
  • Issue

  • 12