American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons

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The Influence of Academic Pedigree on Integrated Plastic Surgery Resident Training Location
Riley A. Dean M.D., Greta L. Davis B.S.; Christopher M. Reid M.D.; Amanda A. Gosman M.D.
Division of Plastic Surgery, University of California, San Diego Health Center, La Jolla and San Diego, California.

Background: Plastic surgery residencies are among the most competitive programs for graduate medical education. While board scores and research output are well-studied indicators of match success, no studies describe the association between an applicant’s medical school ranking and subsequent residency ranking
Methods: A cross-sectional study of integrated plastic surgery residents for the 2019 to 2020 academic year was performed. Integrated plastic surgery residency programs were ranked according to 2020 Doximity Residency Navigator. AAMC-affiliated allopathic medical schools were ranked according to US News & World Report 2020 Best Medical Schools. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine if academic pedigree predicted placement at highly competitive plastic surgery residency programs
Results: A total of 914 residents across 69 integrated plastic surgery residency programs were included. 159 (16.5%) matched at their home program for residency. Medical school ranking and medical school-affiliated integrated plastic surgery program ranking were significant predictors of match success and future residency competitiveness. The presence of an affiliated plastic surgery residency program predicted total number of medical school graduates who matriculated into plastic surgery residency (p<0.0005). There was a disproportionate production of residents from a select group of medical schools. Graduates of top-ranked schools represented a disproportionate number of current plastic surgery residents (Top 10 program: 12.5%, Top 20: 24.1%, Top 40: 40.9%, Top 50: 49.1%). Conclusions: Both medical school ranking and home plastic surgery program ranking appeared to influence match success and future residency training program competitiveness. This is the first study to demonstrate these associations.


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