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Table A1. Continuity of Specialty Preference on the Matriculating Student Questionnaire and the 2018 Graduation Questionnaire

The table below displays the number and percentage of U.S. MD medical students who provided a specialty preference on the 2018 Graduation Questionnaire (GQ) and also participated in the Matriculating Student Questionnaire (MSQ), which matriculants are invited to complete during the summer before the first year of medical school. Data include 2018 GQ responses for those who indicated their specialty preferences, compared with their previous responses on the MSQ. For example, 12.1% of those who indicated a specialty preference of anesthesiology on the 2018 GQ had selected the same specialty on the MSQ when they started medical school; 59.4% had selected a different specialty on the MSQ; 17.2% were undecided; and 11.3% had not responded to the question on the MSQ. Please contact residentreport@aamc.org with any comments or questions.

Selected Finding: Over the course of medical school, most medical students change their preferred residency specialty. Specifically, just over a quarter (25.7%) of 2018 respondents to the GQ indicated the same specialty preference as they had indicated on the MSQ.

2018 GQ Specialty Preference2018 GQ Respondents Who Also Participated in the MSQSame Specialty Reported on MSQDifferent Specialty Reported on MSQReported Undecided Specialty on MSQNo MSQ Response1
NumberPercentNumberPercentNumber PercentNumberPercent
1"No MSQ Response" includes counts for those who participated in the GQ and the MSQ but did not answer the specialty preference question on the MSQ.

Note: N/A indicates the response option was not available on the MSQ. Counts of those individuals who responded "Undecided" on both the GQ and MSQ are displayed in the "Reported Undecided Specialty on MSQ" column. The "Different Specialty Reported on MSQ" column includes those who indicated "Allergy and Immunology" or "Colon and Rectal Surgery" on the MSQ because the response options do not correspond with the 2018 GQ specialty preference options displayed. The MSQ typically receives a response rate of approximately 65% (e.g., 64.9% in 2017). The 2018 GQ had a response rate of 83.0%.

Source:2018 GQ as of Sept. 13, 2018, and matching MSQ data from various survey years.