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Urology Residency Interview Process Can Be Costly

Survey shows that it adds a median of $4,000 to a median of $125,000 in education debt

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- For recent medical school graduates, the cost of interviewing for urology residency programs is substantial and could prevent some qualified applicants from reaching their full potential, according to an article published in the June issue of Urology.

B. Price Kerfoot, M.D., of the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues surveyed all 468 applicants to the 2006 urology match, of whom 287 (61 percent) responded. They found that the median educational debt of the applicants was $125,000 and that the median total cost of the interview process -- which involved a median of 12 interviews -- was $4,000.

"Efforts to reduce the financial impact of the interview process should be initiated at both a regional and national level," the authors conclude.

That prompted a differing opinion from the author of an accompanying editorial: "I do not believe that the current interview process should be changed, nor do I believe that costs averaging for most 3 percent of the total educational costs are unreasonable." In reply, the study authors offered additional comment: "We are a bit concerned that applicants with minimal resources could be inhibited from taking more distant trips and making fewer trips because of financial constraints and thus possibly undershoot their potential. A partial solution might be for some source to be identified, such as the American Urological Association, which might consider making an educational grant of $1,000 after interviews are completed to those who apply and who can provide evidence of financial need."

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