Acad Med 2019 03;94(3):324-327
B.W. Frush is a first-year resident in internal medicine-pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Monroe Carell Jr Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee. The author was a fourth-year medical student, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at the time of writing. J. Byerley is professor of pediatrics, vice dean for education, and chief education officer, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Within the Match process, current residency interview practices are inefficient for both applicants and programs. Problems include disorganized interview offers and scheduling, excessive numbers of applicant interviews, unclear postinterview communication policies, and the significant expenses entailed. To address these issues, the authors propose applying a quality improvement approach to create a high-value interview process that would decrease investments of time, money, and energy and improve the quality of the Match experience for both applicants and programs. They propose establishing an interview offer week to streamline and systematize the interview offer and scheduling process; placing an evidence-based cap on the number of interviews that applicants are allowed to schedule; and enforcing a moratorium on postinterview communication that would apply to both applicants and programs. Implementing these proposals would decrease expenses, improve the efficiency of this process for all involved, and demonstrate that quality improvement methods used to improve patient care can also be applied to improving medical student and physician experiences.