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Ophthalmology Resident Selection: Current Trends in Selection Criteria and Improving the Process

Published:January 27, 2010DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2009.07.034

      Objective

      To document and assess current ophthalmology resident selection practices as well as to initiate discussion on how best to improve the process.

      Design

      Online survey comprising 56 questions.

      Participants

      Program directors, chairpersons, or members of the resident selection committee representing 65 United States ophthalmology residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education.

      Methods

      Study participants completed an online, anonymous survey consisting primarily of multiple choice questions, with single or multiple answers.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Ophthalmology resident selection practices were evaluated and included: screening of applications, interview processes, selection factors, and formation of rank lists; recommendations given to applicants; and respondent satisfaction with the current selection process.

      Results

      As a group, survey respondents deemed the following factors most important in resident selection: interview performance (95.4%), clinical course grades (93.9%), letters of recommendation (83.1%), and board scores (80%). Statistical analyses deemed that the best predictors of resident performance are interviews, clinical course grades, recommendation letters, and ophthalmology rotation performance.

      Conclusions

      Ophthalmology resident selection is a relatively subjective process, continuing to rely heavily on cognitive factors. Because these factors are not always indicative of ultimate resident quality, it would be helpful if ophthalmology training programs improved selection practices to discern who most likely will become a successful resident and future ophthalmologist. Long-term studies correlating applicant attributes with residency and postresidency success are needed to recommend guidelines for a more standardized selection process.

      Financial Disclosure(s)

      The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.
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      Linked Article

      • Erratum
        OphthalmologyVol. 117Issue 8
        • Preview
          With apologies from the authors of “Ophthalmology resident selection: current trends in selection criteria and improving the process” (Ophthalmology 2010;117:1041–7). AOA was erroneously identified as American Optometric Society. AOA in this article stands for the Alpha Omega Honor Society in the legends for Table 2, Figure 1, as well as in the Results and Discussions sections. The abbreviation refers to membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. Status in the American Optometric Society was not a criteria used by any program directors.
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      • Resident Selection
        OphthalmologyVol. 118Issue 4
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          I would like to thank Nallasamy et al1 for highlighting important (and scary) issues in the ophthalmology resident selection. At the national level we are moving from the initial phases of simply teaching and assessing the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies in just residency programs to a more comprehensive strategy for incorporating and aligning the assessment methods for the competencies across the spectrum of our profession that will hopefully include practicing physicians (i.e., maintenance of certification) and our lifelong learning (e.g., continuing medical education) process.
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