The Cost and Burden of the Residency Match in Emergency Medicine.

Research paper by Aaron M AM Blackshaw, Simon C SC Watson, Jeffrey S JS Bush

Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: The western journal of emergency medicine


To obtain a residency match, medical students entering emergency medicine (EM) must complete away rotations, submit a number of lengthy applications, and travel to multiple programs to interview. The expenses incurred acquiring this residency position are burdensome, but there is little specialty-specific data estimating it. We sought to quantify the actual cost spent by medical students applying to EM residency programs by surveying students as they attended a residency interview.Researchers created a 16-item survey, which asked about the time and monetary costs associated with the entire EM residency application process. Applicants chosen to interview for an EM residency position at our institution were invited to complete the survey during their interview day.In total, 66 out of a possible 81 residency applicants (an 81% response rate) completed our survey. The "average applicant" who interviewed at our residency program for the 2015-16 cycle completed 1.6 away, or "audition," rotations, each costing an average of $1,065 to complete. This "average applicant" applied to 42.8 programs, and then attended 13.7 interviews. The cost of interviewing at our program averaged $342 and in total, an average of $8,312 would be spent in the pursuit of an EM residency.Due to multiple factors, the costs of securing an EM residency spot can be expensive. By understanding the components that are driving this trend, we hope that the academic EM community can explore avenues to help curtail these costs.