MONDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Medical licensing exam scores, letters of recommendation, and research experience are among the factors associated with successful matching of nontraditional applicants, such as those who have previously failed to match, to a dermatology residency program, according to research published online Oct. 18 in the Archives of Dermatology.
Erik J. Stratman, M.D., of the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, and Rachel M. Ness, M.D., of Dermatology Associates in Fargo, N.D., analyzed data from the Electronic Residency Application Service on 221 residency applicants to six accredited academic dermatology residency training programs in 2006. The researchers identified factors associated with successful matching to a residency program by August 2008.
The investigators note that 46 of the 221 applicants matched to a residency program during the study period. Among the factors strongly associated with successful matching were United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 3 score, submission of letters of recommendation from dermatologists at institutions with residency training, completion of preliminary medical -- as opposed to transitional -- internships, research experience, published medical manuscripts, and completion of non-Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Examination dermatology fellowships. Among factors not associated with matching were volunteer work, Ph.D. status, gender, posters or presentations at dermatology conferences, quality of journal publications, and first authorship. Successful applicants limited personal statements to one page and omitted prior unsuccessful matching efforts.
"For candidates seeking to match into dermatology residency programs after graduating from medical school, there are factors within their control that are associated with higher rates of match success. This study provides evidence to assist mentors who counsel such candidates," the authors write.