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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Comparison of Standardized Letters of Evaluation for Emergency Medicine Residency Applicants

  • Author(s): Wilson, David
  • Laoteppitaks, Chaiya
  • Chandra, Shruti
  • et al.

Introduction: Medical students pursuing an emergency medicine (EM) residency are advised to obtain at least two Standardized Letters of Evaluation (SLOE). Students often complete one rotation at their home institution and at least one “away” rotation at a program separate from their home institution. The SLOE was introduced as an objective evaluation tool. The aim of this study was to determine whether there was a difference in scores between home rotation and away rotation SLOEs.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the SLOEs of all applicants to an urban, academic EM residency program. For each SLOE, we calculated a composite score from rankings in seven “Qualifications for EM” (CS7), and converted comparative rank score (CRS) and estimated rank list position (ERP) to percentile scores. The CS7, CRS, and ERP on the home rotation SLOE were compared to those of the away SLOE using a paired t-test.

Results: An evaluation of 721 applicants with at least one home SLOE and one away SLOE demonstrated a significant increase in the ERP of home rotators (P = 0.003). The data did not demonstrate a statistically significant difference in the CS7 (P = 0.69), or CRS (P = 0.97).

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that the only difference in SLOEs is that students are likely to be given a slightly higher estimated placement on the rank order list on a home SLOE. We hope this will help residency leadership with reviewing applications.

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