Urology Match 2021: Characteristics and Outcomes of Successful Applicants amid COVID-19
Spencer H. Bell, BS1, Trevor C. Hunt, MD2, Alberto A. Castro Bigalli, MD3, Joshua Randolph, MD4, Andrew Gusev, MD5.
1Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA, 2Department of Urology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA, 3Division of Urology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 4Department of Urology, UC Irvine Health, Orange, CA, USA, 5Department of Urology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
BACKGROUND: Urology is historically a highly selective residency, and the 2021 urology match rate of 74% was the lowest in 5 years. It is unclear whether this is a result of COVID-related disruptions or is due to other factors such as increased interest in urology. Only 34% of applicants surveyed preferred virtual interviews, and many expressed concerns about match outcomes in the months prior to it. Unfortunately, applicant data are scarce compared to those published by other specialties. Thus, our aim was to describe the characteristics and outcomes of recently matched urology applicants.
METHODS: The popular Urology Match Google spreadsheet was accessed in February 2021 and reviewed to summarize anonymous, crowdsourced, self-reported data for matched applicants, including a complete match list for all residency programs. Results were compared to historical data published by the AUA.
RESULTS: Of 198 matched applicants with data, 64 (18%) matched at their home program while 32 (9%) matched where they completed an away rotation. Six of 143 (4%) programs matched all home students. Of 83 matched applicants with data, 73 (88%) were US allopathic seniors, 8 (10%) were osteopaths, 2 were foreign grads, and 20% had no home residency program. Additional data are displayed in the Table. USMLE scores were consistent with prior reports and >70% sent Step 2 CK scores to programs. Most matched applicants were in the top class quartile, with 39% earning AOA status. On average, matched applicants had 4 published articles and 9 other research items. They completed 2 urology sub-internships at home or away sites and applied to 80 programs. Matched applicants received 19 interviews, 2-3 being from the waitlist, and attended and ranked 15. Over half matched in their top 2 choices with 83% in their top 5. 11% matched from a waitlist interview and 21% matched at a program ranked lower than their home/away rotation sites.
CONCLUSIONS: In an unprecedented academic year and application cycle, matched urology applicants remained highly competitive and obtained their desired programs even while completing fewer away rotations. Interview metrics were not notably higher than in prior years, despite concerns of virtual interviews leading to inflation and hoarding. A significant minority matched from the waitlist, lending support to the new interview invitation processís utility.
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