Factors affecting residency rank-listing: A Maxdiff survey of graduating Canadian medical students
With the goals of creating a better match between medical students and general surgery programs and providing a program that is desirable to medical students who are interested in pursuing careers in surgery, a survey was designed to categorize student interests and to determine what factors are used in choosing a general surgery program. The survey focused on the reasons that surgical resident candidates select a program. Each statement was rated for importance on a 5-point scale, and then the top 10 statements were ranked in order of importance. The survey was distributed to 19 community hospitals, 23 university programs, and medical students interviewing for surgical residency. A total of 286 surveys were returned from 18 programs and medical students. The statements with the three highest ratings were "amount of operative exposure," "diversity of operative cases," and "perceived relationships among faculty and residents." "Amount of operative exposure," "diversity of operative cases," and "ability to pursue fellowship training after residency" received the top rankings. There was a significant difference between men and women in the ratings of three statements. However, there was no difference with the ranking of the statements. There was also a significant difference between residents early and late in their training on ratings of five statements and on the ranking of two statements. The ratings of six statements were significantly different between community and university programs. A significant difference between types of program was also found with the rankings of four statements. There was a difference between small and large programs on two ratings of statements and one ranking. This data provides a useful resource for programs and candidates in preparing for candidate/residency selection.