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Dermatology Online Journal

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Does it match? Analyzing self-reported online dermatology match data to Charting Outcomes in the Match

  • Author(s): Ramachandran, Vignesh
  • Nguyen, Hai-Yen
  • Dao Jr, Harry
  • et al.
Abstract

Dermatology is arguably the most competitive residency (81.6% match rate for United States allopathic seniors) with significantly more applicants than available positions. To objectify this process, the National Residency Match Program (NRMP) has produced bi-annual Charting Outcomes in Match (COM) datasets, which aggregate data from the prior two application cycles and tabulate statistics to aid applicants. In parallel, online forums provide medical trainees with vast amounts of information, including residency application insights. Reddit medical school subforum compiles annual spreadsheets of anonymous, individualized applicant data to aid future applicants. We compared this data to NRMP data to show that although the data means are similar (e.g. Step 1), the Reddit dermatology spreadsheet collects more data and the individualized nature aids applicants in a personalized way unlike the mean aggregate data in NRMP. Under univariate analysis, Alpha Omega Alpha status, overall publications, and dermatology-specific publications are associated with interview invitation rates. Although limitations of the study include small data size and reporting bias, this is the first of its kind to our knowledge to compare these two often-used tools to aid dermatology applicants. Future endeavors should expand anonymous data reporting and use the data to carry out more extensive studies to investigate factors influencing the application process.

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