Quality Versus Quantity: Using Scholarly Activity to Assess Otolaryngology Residency Candidates

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Selecting qualified candidates each year for residency positions has become more difficult in recent years, due to the sharp increase in Otolaryngology applicants. Although there are objective measures that can be used to directly compare medical students during the initial screening process, most information in the application is highly subjective and/or variable across institutions. Many programs count the total posters/presentations and publications to gauge scholarship. This measure of quantity may lead to negative bias toward those who have no home program, limited time outside of academics, and/or inadequate resources to engage in volunteer research. Evaluating the quality of research may be superior to quantity. A first-author publication is a viable proxy that demonstrates applicants have developed skills that set them apart from their peers. They likely possess non-clinical, translatable skills including internal motivation, self-regulation, curation of information, and task completion that map closely with qualities that make for excellent residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere45
JournalOTO Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • medical students
  • research
  • residency match
  • scholarly activity
  • surgical specialty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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