Indexed on: 30 Sep '15Published on: 30 Sep '15Published in: Annals of plastic surgery
Plastic surgery is one the most competitive residency programs. Data on match trends for plastic surgery residencies and traits of successful applicants are necessary for individuals applying into this highly desirable specialty.Analyze recent trends in the independent and integrated match as well as to describe attributes of successful applicants.Data from National Resident Matching Program and San Francisco Match Program for 2007 to 2014 were compiled and analyzed. Statistical analysis and figure creation were performed using the R software package. For bivariate associations, χ or Fisher's exact test was used.The number of available integrated plastic surgery positions through National Resident Matching Program has increased since 2007, whereas the number of independent residencies offered through the SF Match has steadily decreased. The average Step 2 scores, The number of research presentations, publications, abstracts, and the percent of students ranking plastic surgery only have increased. In a break from previous trends, percent of applicants with Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) membership and mean Step 1 board scores decreased. United States medical school applicants who matched were more likely to be AOA members and graduates from a top 40 medical school. There was no significant association between having an additional academic degree and successfully matching into integrated plastic surgery.Integrated plastic surgery residency programs continue to be highly competitive, with overall increasing research experience, but slightly lower Step 1 scores and AOA membership than that in previous years. If the trend of decreasing independent and increasing integrated positions continues, the applicant only interested in plastic surgery may find the integrated pathway a more feasible option.