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The Independent Plastic Surgery Match (2010 to 2018): Applicant and Program Trends, Match Predictors at Top-Ranked Programs and Future Directions
Azoury, Sad C.; Kozak, Geoff M.; Stranix, John T.; Colen, David L.; Piwnica-Worms, W.; Fosnot, Joshua.; Serletti, Joseph M.; Kovach, Stephen J.
Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Changes were made to the independent plastic surgery residency in 2009-2010 that included full prerequisite training and increased from two to three years of independent residency. The authors sought to determine the impact on the match and predictors of a match at a top-ranked program.

With American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons (ACAPS) approval, the San Francisco Match provided data for the independent match (2010-2018). Applicant variables were analyzed to determine correlation with a match at top-ranked programs using Doximity Residency Navigator (DRN).

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%. In 2010, 37% matched their top choice and 69% within their top 3; those numbers decreased to 32% and 62% in 2018, respectively. Matched applicants averaged more interviews (11.9 vs. 3.6, p<0.0001). By multivariate regression analysis, ≥ 240 (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.0-10.2, p=0.046), Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) 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 DRN plastic surgery programs.

Since 2010, independent plastic surgery applicant and program participation has decreased, with significantly fewer positions available compared to the integrated match. Factors predictive of a match at top-ranked DRN plastic surgery programs include high Step 1 scores, AOA membership, and prerequisite training at the same institution.

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