Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health
What do they want from us? A survey of EM Program Directors on EM application criteria.
- Author(s): King, Kevin
- Kass, Dara
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5811/westjem.2016.10.31496
Introduction Although a relatively young specialty, emergency medicine (EM) is quite popular among medical students and is one of the most competitive large specialties. Consequently, students increasingly seek more opportunity to differentiate themselves from their colleagues by pursuing more clerkships at the cost of taking out additional loans. This despite the fact that those who match in emergency medicine typically do so in their top three choices. We sought to ascertain what factors EM program directors seek in their typical candidate. Methods Emergency Medicine program directors were recruited via the Council of Residency Directors email listserv to participate in an anonymous survey regarding the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), the number of Standard Letters of Evaluation (SLOE), and the number of EM rotations during the fourth year. Results 135 respondents completed the anonymous survey. 59% of respondents stated their program did not have a minimum USMLE Step 1 score, but 39% reported a minimum score of 210 or higher. 95% of programs do not require Step 2 to grant an interview, but 46% require it to place the student on the rank list. 80% require only one EM rotation to grant an interview and none require more than 2. 95% of programs will accept 2 SLOEs for both application and rank list placement. Conclusion For the typical emergency medicine applicant, there is likely little benefit to performing more than two rotations and obtaining more than two SLOEs. Students can defer USMLE Step 2 but must complete it by the time rank lists are due. Our study was limited by the anonymity of the survey and comments by the respondents revealed the questions did not account for some nuances programs apply to their application review process.