American Association of Plastic Surgeons

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The Independent Plastic Surgery Match (2010 to 2018): Applicant and Program Trends, Match Predictors at Top-Ranked Programs and Future Directions
Azoury, Sad C; Kozak, Geoff M; Stranix, John T; Colen, David L; Piwnica-Worms, W; Fosnot, Joshua; Serletti, Joseph M; Kovach, Stephen J
Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

BACKGROUND: Changes were made to the independent plastic surgery residency in 2009-2010 that included full prerequisite training and increased from two to three years of independent residency. The authors sought to determine the impact on the match and predictors of a match at a top-ranked program.
METHODS: With American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons (ACAPS) approval, the San Francisco Match provided data for the independent match (2010-2018). Applicant variables were analyzed to determine correlation with a match at top-ranked programs using Doximity Residency Navigator (DRN).
RESULTS: Total independent applicants per cycle decreased 18% while foreign medical school applicants increased from 19.4% to 27%. Available positions decreased from 97 to 66 (32%) and match rate decreased from 82% to 78%. In 2010, 37% matched their top choice and 69% within their top 3; those numbers decreased to 32% and 62% in 2018, respectively. Matched applicants averaged more interviews (11.9 vs. 3.6, p<0.0001). By multivariate regression analysis, Step 1 scores 220-239 (OR 2.3, p=0.05), ≥ 240 (OR 3.9, p<0.05), Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) membership (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.1-4.4, p=0.03), and having completed prerequisite training at the same institution (11.0 95% CI 3.7-32.7, p<0.0001) were predictive of matching at top-ranked DRN plastic surgery programs.
CONCLUSIONS: Since 2010, independent plastic surgery applicant and program participation has decreased, with significantly fewer positions available than the integrated match. Factors predictive of a match at top-ranked DRN plastic surgery programs include high Step 1 scores, AOA membership, and prerequisite training at the same institution.


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