INTRODUCTION: Each year residency programs expend considerable effort ranking applicants for the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). We explored the relationship between residents’ NRMP rank list position as generated at our institution and their performance in residency and post-graduation to determine whether such efforts are justified.
METHODS: Faculty who were present for the 10 consecutive study years at an allopathic emergency medicine residency retrospectively evaluated residents on their overall performance, medical knowledge, and interpersonal skills. Residency graduates were surveyed regarding their current position, hours of clinical practice, academic, teaching and leadership roles, and publications. We compared match position to performance using graphical techniques as the primary form of analysis.
RESULTS: Ten faculty evaluated the 107 residents who graduated from the program during these 10 years by class year. Eighty-four residents responded to the survey. In general, we found little correlation between NRMP rank and faculty rank of resident performance. There was also little correlation between position in the NRMP rank list and the probability of having an academic career, publishing research, or having a teaching or leadership role.
CONCLUSION: We found that the position on our NRMP rank list was of little value in predicting which residents would do best in residency or take on academic or leadership roles once graduated. Residencies should evaluate the processes they use to generate their rank list to determine whether the ranking process is sufficiently predictive to warrant the effort expended. [West J Emerg Med. 2019;20(4)641-646.]