Impact of Match Violations on Applicants' Perceptions and Rankings of Residency Programs
2021; 13 (1)
Impact of Match Violations on Applicants' Perceptions and Rankings of Residency Programs.
2021; 13 (1): e12823
Introduction The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) requires all Match participants to adhere to a strict code of conduct known as the Match Participation Agreement, yet Match violations continue to occur. We sought to determine how interview experiences, including Match violations, impact applicants' perceptions and rankings of residency programs. Methods An electronic survey was sent to all accredited medical school Deans of Student Affairs and Association of American Medical Colleges Student Representatives for distribution to fourth-year medical students. Questions assessed pressures that residency programs placed on applicants during interview season and their impact on applicants. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Results Of the 433 included respondents, 31.2% (n = 135) reported breaches of the NRMP Match Participation Agreement. Of those, 63% (n = 85) had a negative perception of the violating programs, and 37.8% (n = 51) were less likely to rank those programs highly. Violations included asking applicants about the locations of their other interviews (60.3%, n = 261), pressuring applicants to reveal their ranking (24.0%, n = 104), explicitly requesting applicants to reveal their ranking (6.5%, n = 28), asking applicants to provide a commitment before Match day (3.9%, n = 17), and other behavior that was felt to ignore the spirit of the Match (16.4%, n = 71). Implying that applicants would match into a program if they ranked it highly (37.2%, n = 161) was received positively by 65.2% (n = 105) of applicants experiencing this breach, with 42.2% (n = 68) ranking the program more highly. Three major themes impacting applicants' impressions of residency programs emerged from the qualitative data: interview experience, professionalism, and post-interview communication (PIC). Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that PIC should either be eliminated or that programs should set clear expectations for PIC. Conclusions Match violations continue to occur, despite the NRMP Match Participation Agreement. With the notable exception of communication implying that applicants would match into a program, applicants overwhelmingly view programs that commit these violations negatively and often rank these programs lower as a result.
View details for DOI 10.7759/cureus.12823
View details for PubMedID 33628688
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7895534