The impact of medical student research as a discussion topic during the residency interview process
AffiliationThe University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
DescriptionA Thesis submitted to The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.
AbstractBackground: Students with a greater number of research experiences are more successful in the National Residency Match Program (NRMP.) As a result, approximately two-thirds of allopathic medical schools have implemented a scholarly research project (SP) as a part of their curriculum. While inclusion of a SP in the medical school curriculum increases research productivity, literature to date has not investigated its ability to provide students with a means to communicate their scholarly strengths to residency programs during interview discussions. Methods: 123 students from the graduating class of 2019 and 2020 at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix (UACOMP) completed a 17-question survey examining the student’s SP and whether they completed additional research. Survey participants were asked to quantify how many residency interviewers asked about their SP or additional research during the interview process. Results: 27% of interviewers (SD 27.0) asked students about their SP and 41% of interviewers (SD 32.0) asked students about additional non-SP research. 40% of interviewers asked about research overall to include SP and/or non-SP research. A greater percentage of interviewers (50%, SD 26.2) asked students about their SP if they had undertaken additional research compared to interviewers of students who did not undertake additional research (29%, SD 28.4, p = 0.0237). A greater percentage of interviewers at academic institutions (31%, SD 27.9) asked students about their SP, compared with a smaller percentage of interviewers at predominantly non-academic programs (22%, SD 25.5, p = 0.0054). There were no significant differences in the proportion of interviewers asking about the SP based on the type of specialty, competitiveness of specialty, topic relatedness of project, and publication/presentation status of project. Conclusion: Student research experiences may serve as a meaningful discussion topic during the residency interview. Approximately one-third of interviewers ask about the SP regardless of specialty, research topic, and publication/presentation status of the project. Students with additional research experiences beyond their SP may experience a higher percentage of interviewers asking about their SP. Also, students applying to predominantly academic programs may experience a higher proportion of interview questions about research compared to peers interviewing at non-academic programs.