NRMP survey reveals most important factors used for ranking applicants in residency match

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The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) conducted a survey of program directors of all programs participating in the first quarter of 2012. The survey fielded during the 19 days between the rank order list deadline and Match Week revealed some of the factors program directors used in ranking applicants for interviews.

The importance of factors was found to be as follows from top to bottom in sequence of importance and ratings.

  1. Applicant was flagged with Match violation by the NRMP
  2. Interactions with faculty during interview and visit
  3. Interpersonal skills
  4. Interactions with housestaff during interview and visit
  5. Feedback from current residents
  6. Evidence of professionalism and ethics
  7. Grades in clerkship in desired specialty
  8. Perceived commitment to specialty
  9. Letters of recommendation in the specialty
  10. Graduate of U.S. allopathic medical school
  11. USMLE/COMLEX Step 1 score
  12. Leadership qualities
  13. Honors in clerkship in desired specialty
  14. Gaps in medical education
  15. Grades in required clerkships
  16. USMLE/COMLEX Step 2 score
  17. Honors in clinical clerkships
  18. Class ranking/quartile
  19. Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE/Dean’s Letter)
  20. Personal prior knowledge of the applicant
  21. Consistency of grades
  22. Perceived interest in program
  23. Visa status**
  24. Audition elective/rotation within your department
  25. Graduate of highly regarded U.S. medical school
  26. Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) membership
  27. Fluency in language spoken by your patient population
  28. Personal Statement
  29. Other life experience
  30. Demonstrated involvement and interest in research
  31. Honors in basic sciences
  32. Volunteer/extracurricular experiences
  33. USMLE/COMLEX Step 3 score**
  34. Other post-interview contact
  35. Interest in academic career
  36. Gold Society membership
  37. Second interview/visit
  38. Away rotation in your specialty at another institution

** International Medical Graduates only