The Independent Plastic Surgery Match (2010-2018): Applicant and Program Trends, Predictors of a Successful Match, and Future Directions.

Research paper by Saïd C SC Azoury, Geoff M GM Kozak, John T JT Stranix, David L DL Colen, William W Piwnica-Worms, Joshua J Fosnot, Joseph M JM Serletti, Stephen J SJ Kovach

Indexed on: 19 Aug '20Published on: 14 Aug '19Published in: Journal of Surgical Education


Changes were made to the independent plastic surgery residency in 2009 to 2010 that included full prerequisite training and increased from 2 to 3 years of independent residency. The authors sought to determine subsequent match trends and predictors of a successful match. With American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons approval, the San Francisco Match provided data for the independent match (2010-2018). Trends in the independent plastic surgery were reviewed. Applicant variables were analyzed to determine correlation with a successful match and a match at top-ranked programs using Doximity Residency Navigator. Total independent applicants per cycle decreased 18% while foreign medical school applicants increased from 19.4% to 27%. Available positions decreased from 97 to 66 (32%) and match rate decreased from 82% to 78%. Applicants who matched were from US medical schools, had higher USMLE Step 1 scores, were from University and top General surgery residencies, and averaged more interviews (p < 0.05). By multivariate regression, number of interviews completed (odds ratio [OR] 15.35 95% confidence interval [CI] 7.7-30.6, p < 0.001) and having completed prerequisite training at a university based program in addition to having graduated from an allopathic medical school (OR 1.78 95% CI 1.1-2.97, p = 0.027) were predictive of a successful match. Step 1 score ≥ 240 (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.0-10.2, p = 0.046), Alpha Omega Alpha membership (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.1-4.9, p = 0.048), and having completed prerequisite training at the same institution (7.6, 95% CI 2.2-25.7, p < 0.001) were predictive of matching at top-ranked programs. Since 2010, independent plastic surgery applicant and program participation have decreased. Greater number of interviews, university-based prerequisite training, and allopathic medical school background are variables that correlate with a successful match. Factors predictive of a match at top-ranked Doximity Residency Navigator plastic surgery programs include high Step 1 scores, Alpha Omega Alpha membership, and prerequisite training at the same institution. Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.