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Salman J. Yousuf, Stephen Sutherland, John Kwagyan, Leslie S. Jones; Factors Influencing Applicants’ Selection of Ophthalmology Residency Programs. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):1416.
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To describe determinants for applicants’ selection of ophthalmology residency programs.
An online survey was sent to all applicants for the 2011 U.S. ophthalmology residency match. The 25-item survey was based on a 10-point Likert scale to evaluate the relative importance of different program characteristics on rank list ordering. Primary determinants in creating a rank order list were categorized as least, moderate, or most influential by Likert responses of 0-5, 6-8, and 9-10, respectively. In addition, applicants were asked whether there were any program characteristics that caused them to rank a program significantly lower or not at all (i.e., "red flags").
A total of 138 of 746 applicants responded to the survey. Factors found to be most influential were high clinic and surgical volume, diversity of pathology, resident-attending relationships, interview experience with faculty, and geographic proximity of program to applicant’s family. The most commonly cited "red flags" were a disorganized or unfriendly interview experience and interacting with residents who seemed unhappy.
The findings of this survey contribute a better understanding of the factors most influential to applicants when selecting an ophthalmology residency program. In addition, our findings may be used by residency programs to make improvements or to ensure that items most relevant to applicants are well presented to attract the best candidates.
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