Colorectal residency has become one of the more competitive postgraduate training opportunities; however, little information is available to guide potential applicants in gauging their competitiveness.
The aim of this study was to identify the current trends colorectal residency training and to identify what factors are considered most important in ranking a candidate highly. We hypothesized that there was a difference in what program directors, current and recently matched colorectal residents, and recent graduates consider most important in making a candidate competitive for a colorectal residency position.
Three 10-question anonymous surveys were sent to 59 program directors, 87 current and recently matched colorectal residents, and 119 recent graduates in March 2015.
The study was conducted as an anonymous internet survey.
Current trends in applying for a colorectal residency, competitiveness of recent colorectal residents, factors considered most important in ranking a candidate highly, and what future colorectal surgeons can expect after finishing their training were measured.
The study had an overall response rate of 43%, with 28 (47%) of 59 program directors, 46 (53%) of 87 current and recently matched colorectal residents, and 39 (33%) of 119 recent graduates responding. The majority of program directors felt that a candidate’s performance during the interview process was the most important factor in making a candidate competitive, followed by contact from a colleague, letters of recommendation, American Board of Surgery In-Training Exam scores, and number of publications/presentations. The majority of current and recently matched colorectal residents felt that a recommendation/telephone call from a colleague was the most important factor, whereas the majority of recent graduates favored letters of recommendation as the most important factor in ranking a candidate highly.
Limitations to the study include its small sample size, selection bias, responder bias, and misclassification bias.
There are differences in what program directors and current/recent residents consider most important in making an applicant competitive for colorectal residency.
1 Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, Louisiana
2 Department of Surgery, Ochsner Clinic School, University Queensland School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana
Financial Disclosure: None reported.
Podium presentation at the meeting of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Boston, MA, May 30 to June 3, 2015.
Correspondence: David A. Margolin, M.D., Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, 1516 Jefferson Highway, New Orleans, LA 70121. E-mail: email@example.com