The 2012 NRMP Program Director Survey results are out, and they are very instructive. The NRMP sends questionnaires every two years to residency directors who have participated in the previous Match in an attempt to determine what factors program directors use to decide whom to interview and then whom to Match.
The overall response rate this year was 44.8% – down from 2010′s survey – but the results are as useful as ever. Of note, the personal statement is one of the top factors in deciding whom to interview – more than Step 2 scores! (See page 3 for details.) Furthermore, interactions with faculty and house staff and interpersonal skills are more important than Step 1 scores and honors in clinical clerkships in ranking applicants. (See page 5 for details.)
What this means: Your personal statement and your interview skills are critical for success in the application process! Some candidates spend months studying for the Boards, yet they rush through their application written materials and don’t practice before their interviews. Don’t be one of those misguided people! Contact me for assistance.