Results of the 2016 Program Directors Survey

Results of the 2016 Program Directors Survey

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Results of the 2016 Program Directors Survey, a new publication that is part of the AAMC’s Optimizing Graduate Medical Education (GME) initiative, provides an exclusive snapshot of current trends in U.S. residency-selection practices based on insight from 1,454 program directors and includes actionable information for program directors, researchers, medical students, and residents.
 
Results of the 2016 Program Directors Survey is available for download. Key insights include:
 
  • Program directors incorporate a variety of information on applicants’ personal and academic characteristics during the residency selection process. Among the most important characteristics are professionalism, integrity, interpersonal skills, and reliability and dependability.
  • There is a gap between the most important characteristics used to make selection decisions and program directors’ level of satisfaction with tools currently available to measure them, especially in the preinterview screening stage. (To assist programs in collecting more data on important characteristics, the AAMC is investigating a standardized video interview which is designed to assess interpersonal and communication skills and professionalism.)
  • Nearly 50% of residency interviews are unstructured, with limited or no guidance provided about interview content or scoring. (To assist programs in structuring residency interviews, the AAMC has developed a free interview guide.)
  • The majority of programs (60%) use group discussion to reach consensus on ranking candidates, and only 31% of programs provide the program director with discretion to adjust rankings. Most programs (88%) eliminate certain interviewed candidates from the ranking process due to factors such as a poor interview day (which includes poor interpersonal and communication skills) or concerns around academic preparation, professionalism, and poor fit for the program.
  • The top three “pain points” for program directors in residency selection are:
    • Difficulty comparing information across medical schools
    • Lack of reliable information about applicants’ personal characteristics
    • The large volume of applications 
A graphical summary of key survey results is available online.
 
To help programs implement best practices, the AAMC has developed a free interview guide designed to formulate productive, insightful, and actionable interviews.
 
This report is part of the AAMC’s broader initiative for Optimizing Graduate Medical Education (GME), a five-year plan designed to generate a road map to help America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals meet the challenges of today’s health care environment.