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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Factors Applicants Value when Selecting an Emergency Medicine Residency


Objective: Little is known about the factors important to applicants when selecting an emergency medicine residency. We sought to identify which residency-specific criteria applicants value in selecting a training program.

Methods: We conducted an anonymous survey of emergency medicine interviewees at our residency. Applicants were asked to rate each of 18 factors on a four-point scale from 1 (“not at all important”) to 4 (“very important”) in their selection of a residency.

Results: Of 82 interviewees, 73 (89%) completed the survey. The factors with the top six mean scores were: how happy the residents seemed (3.9), program personality (3.8), faculty enthusiasm (3.7), geographic location (3.6), experience during interview day (3.5), and pediatrics training (3.5).

Conclusion: The top three factors deemed most important to emergency medicine applicants are primarily intangibles, while programs have no control over the fourth most important factor, location.

[WestJEM. 2009;10:159-162.]

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