Early result acceptance programs could lead to better matches for residency programs, study finds

Offering early result acceptance programs could lead to better matches in residency programs, according to an Oct. 11 study from JAMA Open Network.

"The survey clearly defined ERAP as a 'binding early decision process' where students would only apply to a limited number of programs," Helen Kang Morgan, MD, co-principal investigator,  professor of obstetrics and gynecology and learning health sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School said in a Nov. 10 press release. "The programs could then make a portion of their residency openings available through this process, with matches announced in September, just before the main match is opened."

Researchers surveyed various stakeholders involved in OB-GYN residency application processes regarding their interest in an early result acceptance program from March to April 2021. Each participant was asked to indicate their likelihood of participating in a program using a Likert scale. 

Results indicated proposed early result acceptance programs would include three applications per candidate and allow programs to open 25 percent to 50 percent of their positions to applicants within the first stage of the match.

"The estimated impact of an ERAP based on these survey data would be a significant decrease in applications in the main match, decreasing costs and anxiety and allowing these applicants to focus on their education," researchers wrote. "In addition, hundreds of unnecessary applications by competitive applicants would be removed from the pool, facilitating holistic review of applications in the main match." 

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