The urology residency matching program in practice

Joel M.H. Teichman, Kimberly D. Anderson, Marsha M. Dorough, Catherine R. Stein, Scott A. Optenberg, Ian M. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Purpose: We evaluate behaviors and attitudes among resident applicants and program directors related to the American Urological Association (AUA) residency matching program and recommend changes to improve the match. Materials and Methods: Written questionnaires were mailed to 519 resident applicants and 112 program directors after the 1999 American Urological Association match. Subjects were asked about their observations, behaviors and opinions towards the match. Results: Questionnaires were returned by 230 resident applicants and 94 program directors (44% and 83% response rates, respectively.) Of the resident applicants 75% spent $1,001 to $5,000 for interviewing. Of the program directors 47% recalled that applicants asked how programs would rank the applicant and 61% of applicants recalled that program directors asked applicants how they would rank programs. Dishonesty was acknowledged by 31% of program directors and 44% of resident applicants. Of program directors 82% thought applicants 'lied', while 67% of applicants thought that programs 'lied' (quotations indicate questionnaire language). Participants characterized their own dishonesty as 'just playing the game' or they 'did not feel badly.' Of program directors 81% and of applicants 61% were 'skeptical' or 'did not believe' when informed they were a 'high' or 'number 1' selection. Being asked about marital status was recalled by 91% of male and 100% of female (p = 0.02), if they had children by 53% of male and 67% of female, (p = 0.03), and intent to have children by 25% of male and 62% of female (p < 0.001), applicants, respectively. Free-form comments were written by 132 resident applicants and 28 program directors. The most frequent comments suggested the need to improve ethical behavior, modify the process so applications could be transmitted electronically and modify interviews to reduce applicant financial burden. Nine female applicants commented on their perceptions of sexual discrimination during the interviews. Conclusions: Resident applicants and program directors violate match code rules frequently. Program directors and resident applicants are skeptical of each other. Patterns of faculty behavior differ based on applicant gender. Interviews are costly for applicants. We recommend that 1) programs adopt policies to enhance fairness, 2) applications be filed electronically, 3) programs assist resident applicants with interview accommodation to reduce financial burden and 4) a post-interview code of limited or noncommunication be adopted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1878-1887
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethics, professional
  • Internship and residency
  • Student, medical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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