September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Influence of Post-interview Communication Between Residency Applicants and Ophthalmology Residency Programs on Programs’ Ranking of Applicants
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nicholas Behunin
    Ophthalmology, Penn State Hershey, Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Ingrid U Scott
    Ophthalmology, Penn State Hershey, Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Mark Goerlitz-Jessen
    Ophthalmology, Penn State Hershey, Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Darren Hill
    Ophthalmology, Penn State Hershey, Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Nicholas Behunin, None; Ingrid Scott, None; Mark Goerlitz-Jessen, None; Darren Hill, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, 5545. doi:
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      Nicholas Behunin, Ingrid U Scott, Mark Goerlitz-Jessen, Darren Hill; Influence of Post-interview Communication Between Residency Applicants and Ophthalmology Residency Programs on Programs’ Ranking of Applicants. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):5545.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : While San Francisco Match rules permit post-interview communication (PIC) between residency applicants and ophthalmology residency programs, it is unknown whether PIC affects programs’ ranking of applicants. The current study investigates the influence of PIC between residency applicants and ophthalmology residency programs on programs’ ranking of applicants.

Methods : An anonymous survey including multiple choice and Likert-type questions was created using RedCAP electronic data capture tools hosted at Penn State Hershey. An e-mail with a description of the study and link to the survey was sent to the program director (PD) of each ophthalmology residency training program in the United States accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Weekly reminders were sent for two consecutive weeks.

Results : Thirty-three of 116 (28.4%) PDs completed the survey. The type of PIC followed by the proportion of respondents who reported that type of PIC would typically result in an applicant being moved upward (more favorably) on the program’s rank list included: applicant stating they will rank the program highly (3.0%), applicant stating they will rank the program “number 1” (3.0%), applicant’s faculty mentor (NOT personally known to PD) stating the candidate will rank program “number 1” (0.0%), applicant’s faculty mentor (personally known to PD) stating the candidate will rank program “number 1” (21.2%), applicant’s faculty mentor (NOT personally known to PD) endorsing candidate as outstanding (15.2%), applicant’s faculty mentor (personally known to PD) endorsing candidate as outstanding (42.4%). Among respondents, 39.4% agreed they would not consider changing applicant rank order as a result of any PIC from an applicant or their faculty mentor(s), and 6.0% agreed that applicants who did NOT have a faculty mentor contact the program on their behalf were disadvantaged compared to those who contacted programs.

Conclusions : Post-interview endorsement by a faculty mentor who is personally known to an ophthalmology residency PD is more likely to improve the rank of an applicant than any other type of PIC included in the study. This suggests that applicants who do not engage in PIC or who do not have “well-connected” mentors may be at a disadvantage. Further study is warranted to investigate these findings further.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.

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