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The effort and outcomes of the Pediatric Surgery match process: Are we interviewing too many? J Pediatr Surg 2015 Nov;50(11):1954-7



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84953363107   10 Citations


PURPOSE: Increasing numbers of programs participating in the pediatric surgery match has resulted in economic and logistical issues for candidates, General Surgery residencies, and Pediatric Surgery training programs (PSTP). We sought to determine the ideal number of interviews conducted by programs based on resultant rank order lists (ROL) of matched candidates.

METHODS: PSTPs received 4 online surveys regarding interview practices (2011-2012, 2014), and matched candidate ROL (2008-2010, 2012, 2014). Program directors (PD) also provided estimates regarding minimum candidate interview numbers necessary for an effective match (2011-2012, 2014). Kruskal-Wallis equality-of-populations rank tests compared ROL and interview numbers conducted. Quartile regression predicted ROL based on the interview numbers. Wilcoxon signed rank-sum tests compared the interview numbers to the minimal interview number using a matched pair. p Values<0.05 were significant.

RESULTS: Survey response rates ranged from 85-100%. Median ROL of matched candidates (2-3.5) did not differ between programs (p=0.09) and the lowest matched ROL for any year was 10-12. Interview numbers did not affect the final candidate ROL (p=0.22). While PDs thought the minimum median interview number should be 20, the number actually conducted was significantly higher (p<0.001).

CONCLUSION: These data suggest that PSTPs interview excessive numbers of candidates. Programs and applicants should evaluate mechanisms to reduce interviews to limit costs and effort associated with the match.

Author List

Gadepalli SK, Downard CD, Thatch KA, Islam S, Azarow KS, Chen MK, Lillehei CW, Puligandla PS, Reynolds M, Waldhausen JH, Oldham KT, Langham MR Jr, Tracy TF Jr, Hirschl RB, Association of Pediatric Surgery Training Program Directors


Keith T. Oldham MD Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Costs and Cost Analysis
Internship and Residency
Interviews as Topic
School Admission Criteria
Specialties, Surgical
Statistics, Nonparametric
Surveys and Questionnaires