A Closer Look at the 2013-2014 Integrated Plastic Surgery Match: What Predicts a Successful Match
Russell E. Kling, MD2, Rochelle Kling, MD1, Chika Agi, BS2, Ernest K. Manders, MD2,
1UT-Southwestern, Dallas, TX, USA, 2University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Plastic Surgery has become an increasingly competitive field to match into due to the limited positions available. The goal of this study was to analyze which factors predicted a successful NRMP match during the 2013-2014 cycle. The results of this study provide a guide for future applicants and mentors.
An electronic questionnaire was distributed to successfully matched medical students in plastic surgery.
Data was available from 127 matched students (93% response rate). On average, 60% of matched applicants held AOA membership. Average step 1 and step 2 scores were 247.93 [95% CI (244.3, 251.56)] and 253.46 [95% CI (248.56, 258.37)], respectively. Step 1 scores were not significantly greater among those who matched at their first choice (r2=0.04). AOA membership and number of research publications also did not affect the outcome of an applicant’s rank list. 49% of current PGY-1 residents matched to their first choice and 77% matched to their third choice or better. 112 out of 127 PGY-1 residents had a plastic surgery residency program (independent or integrated) at their home institution (OR =2.2).
Our study demonstrates current PGY-1 residents have an average USMLE step 1 score that is one standard deviation greater than the mean score. An important predictive factor for matching into a plastic surgery residency position is a home plastic surgery residency program. Objective measures (e.g. USMLE step scores, AOA membership and number of publications) are not predictive of matching to a program ranked first.
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