The impact of a rural emergency department rotation on applicant ranking of a US emergency medicine residency program.

M. C. Wadman, L. H. Hoffman, T. Erickson, T. P. Tran, R. L. Muelleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Few US emergency medicine (EM) residency programs have been located in rural states due to program requirements for emergency department (ED) patient volume. Recent revision to the program requirements now permits 'educationally justifiable exceptions' to the patient population requirement, 'such as clinical sites in a rural setting', and some EM residency programs now plan to offer rural ED clinical experiences as a required curricular component. The impact of a required rural EM rotation on the ranking decisions of applicants is important to residency programs seeking to attract the most desirable applicants. OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of a required rural ED rotation on applicant ranking of an EM residency program in the US National Resident Matching Program (NMRP). METHODS: All applicants to the study's EM residency program completing the interview portion of the application process received a mailed and emailed survey following the release of the 2004 NMRP results. The survey included questions addressing the rural/non-rural classification of the location of the applicants' childhood home, medical school, and anticipated future practice. RESULTS: Of 46 eligible subjects, 32 (69.6%) completed the survey. Of subjects with a rural childhood, 73.3% reported a positive impact on rank order (95% CI 50.9-95.7%) and 26.7% reported no impact (CI 4.3-49.1%); 81.3% of subjects with non-rural backgrounds reported no impact (CI 62.2-100%), 12.5% higher rank (CI 0-28.7%), and 6.3% lower (CI 0-18.2%). If planning a future practice in a rural community, 83.3% reported positive impact (CI 62.2-100%) and 16.7% no impact (CI 0-37.8%); 78.9% of subjects anticipating future practice in non-rural communities reported no impact (CI 60.6-97.3%), 15.8% higher rank (CI 0-32.2%), and 5.3% lower (CI 0-15.4). Of the subjects attending medical school in rural states, 52.2% reported a positive impact (CI 31.8-72.6%) and 47.8% no impact (CI 27.4-68.2%), while 75% of graduates of medical schools in non-rural states reported no impact (CI 32.6-100%) and 25% (CI 0-67.4%) a negative impact. CONCLUSION: The presence of a rural ED rotation did not adversely impact EM residency applicants' ranking of the program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686
Number of pages1
JournalRural and remote health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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