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Table A1. Continuity of Specialty Preference on the Matriculating Student Questionnaire (MSQ) and the 2016 Graduation Questionnaire(GQ)


The table below displays the number and percentage of U.S. MD medical students who provided a specialty preference on the 2016 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 2016 GQ responses for those who indicated their specialty preferences, compared with their previous responses on the MSQ. For example, only 16.9 percent of those who indicated a specialty preference of anesthesiology on the 2016 GQ had selected the same specialty on the MSQ when they started medical school; 62.3 percent had selected a different specialty on the MSQ; 14.0 percent were undecided; and 6.8 percent 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, a quarter of 2016 respondents to the Graduation Questionnaire indicated the same specialty preference as they had indicated on the Matriculating Student Questionnaire.

2016 GQ Specialty Preference 2016 GQ Respondents Who Also Participated in the MSQ Same Specialty Reported on MSQ Different Specialty Reported on MSQ Reported Undecided Specialty on MSQ No MSQ Response1
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
{{data.specialty}} {{data.one}} {{data.two}} {{data.three}} {{data.four}} {{data.five}} {{data.six}} {{data.seven}} {{data.eight}} {{data.nine}}


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 2016 GQ specialty preference options displayed. The MSQ typically receives a response rate of approximately 67 percent (e.g., 67.0 percent in 2015). The 2016 GQ had a response rate of 80.5 percent.

Source: 2016 GQ as of September 24, 2016, and matching MSQ data from various survey years.

© 2016 Association of American Medical Colleges. May be reproduced and distributed with attribution for educational and noncommercial purposes only.