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Transition to Residency (T2R)

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Working in collaboration with member medical schools and teaching hospitals, and with other organizations invested in GME, the AAMC is committed to improving the transition to residency for all stakeholders involved. The AAMC has invested millions of dollars through the development of tools and resources to support students, medical school advisors, and program directors.

While the change in score reporting for Step 1 of the USMLE exam to "pass/fail" is an important first step in creating system wide change, the medical education community must now work together to identify and implement additional improvements.

The AAMC remains committed to working in collaboration with the other organizations in the Coalition for Physician Accountability to continue identifying system wide changes to improve the UME-GME transition and help lead this effort.

This page provides resources, tools, effective practices, and other materials to support students, medical school advisors, and program directors in the transition to residency.

AAMC News & Insights

Insights
Atul Grover, MD, PhD, Executive Director, AAMC Research and Action Institute
July 7, 2020
Medical Education
Patrick Boyle, Senior Staff Writer
January 5, 2020

Resources for Applicants

Apply Smart

Resources for students to help them choose their specialties, research residency programs, and devise application strategies.

  1. Residency Explorer allows students to research individual residency programs and compare themselves to applicants who previously matched at those programs. The tool is a collaboration with eight other organizations committed to providing students with verified data.
  2. Careers in Medicine® offers valuable content for students as they make important decisions in their medical school journey, including choosing their specialty and navigating the residency application and match process.
  3. “Apply Smart for Residency” webpage, which includes research on the relationship between the number of applications submitted and the likelihood of entry into residency. In order to support international and osteopathic students applying to ACGME-accredited residency programs, the AAMC added specialty entrance rates by Step 1 score tercile for most specialties in 2019.
  4. Interview guidelines (PDF) to provide the community with behavioral norms during interview season.
  5. Analysis of a national survey of residency program directors to understand their applicant evaluation and selection process, and pain points experienced in that process.

Resources for Advisors

Advise Smart

Resources for medical school advisors to help students navigate the residency application process.

  1. “Apply Smart for Residency” webpage, including annual research into residency application strategies and the relationship between the number of applications submitted and the likelihood of entry into residency.
  2. Careers in Medicine® offers advisors information, tools, and formal training that advisors can use to help students choose their specialties and prepare competitive applications.
  3. Recommendations for a revised  Medical Student Performance Evaluation format, endorsed by the Council of Deans (COD) Administrative Board, which allows for a holistic approach to both evaluating and reviewing an applicant.
  4. A collaborative project between several stakeholder communities—including the GSA and GEA—to improve the narrative feedback section of the MSPE by encouraging writers to move away from primarily quantitative measures of student performance to a more qualitative measure of professional characteristics.
  5. Analysis of a national survey of residency program directors to understand their applicant evaluation and selection process, and pain points experienced in that process.
  6. Creation of interview guidelines (PDF) to provide the community with behavioral norms during interview season.

Resources for Program Directors

Select Smart

Resources for residency program directors to help them assess applicants' qualifications, conduct interviews, and select candidates.

  1. Overview of interview practices and processes (PDF) to support program directors and enable both the applicant and the interviewer to have a more efficient and informative interview.
  2. A pilot to implement a streamlined, standard approach to collecting program director assessment of “resident readiness”  for entry to GME, as well as an approach to sharing these data with medical schools for curricular improvements.
  3. Guidelines around a set of activities that all medical students should be able to perform upon entering residency, regardless of their future career specialty, and examination of how students entrusted to perform those activities transitioned to residency.
  4. Recommendations for a new Medical Student Performance Evaluation format, endorsed by the Council of Deans (COD) Administrative Board, which allows for a holistic approach to both evaluating and reviewing an applicant.
  5. Development of the Standardized Video Interview and a 4-year investment in research and pilot testing with the emergency medicine community to determine the tool’s potential to improve the residency selection process.
  6. Creation of interview guidelines (PDF) to provide the community with behavioral norms during interview season.
  7. Completion of a project, in partnership with four medical schools and the American Board of Pediatrics, to implement an new educational model that would explicitly connect the continuum of UME and GME as a distinct pathway, and provide an assessment system with specific uniform thresholds for advancement to GME.
  8. Ongoing dialogues with specialty societies, aimed at collaboratively addressing pain points in the transition to residency.

Additional Resources

  • Body of research completed to validate the Standardized Video Interview as a reliable, valid assessment of behavioral competencies that does not disadvantage individuals or groups.
  • Review of MSPE Task Force recommendations and adoption of recommendations in 2018, published in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education .