With less than one year until the first unified match under the Single GME Accreditation System, AACOM is pleased to announce three resources for the osteopathic medical education (OME) community. These new products will better equip osteopathic medical students to enter the newly unified Match in 2020, along with faculty and staff to better advise their students to help them to make confident decisions.
AACOM is a strategic collaborator with the AAMC on its newest resource, called Residency Explorer. The tool has two main functions. It allows a student user to compare his or her own profile to those of residency applicants that have matched to a program over the last five years. Second, it provides information about and characteristics of individual programs across a range of factors.
The tool uses several residency application factors, including USMLE and COMLEX scores; work, research, and service experiences; and Gold Humanism Society induction. Eleven specialties (representing more than 90 percent of residency applications) are included in the Residency Explorer: Anesthesiology, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine (preliminary/categorical tracks), OB-GYN, Orthopedic Surgery, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Radiology-Diagnostic, and Surgery-General (preliminary/categorical tracks).
The Residency Explorer will be available from June through September to all rising fourth-year allopathic, osteopathic, and international medical students and is free-of-charge.
Created for the OME community, AACOM will be launching a separate resource called MatchBook, a new interactive match advising tool using data from three COMs with their student and match data, including COMLEX Level 1, COMLEX Level 2 CE, and USMLE Step 1 performance, and specialty and program match information. Users will be able to see data from the last three years and filter by specialty, state, and qualifications.
The OME community will notice that both tools—the AAMC’s Residency Explorer and AACOM’s MatchBook—are similar in functionality. Residency Explorer has a rich array of data (not just academic in nature); but only MatchBook includes data from programs previous accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Only programs that have received ACGME accreditation are included in the Residency Explorer, and only if they have been in the ACGME match for at least three years; this means that most of the formerly AOA-accredited programs are not included.
AACOM is excited to share MatchBook with the OME community, including deans, faculty, and staff to advise osteopathic medical students to apply to the programs that makes most sense for them. MatchBook will be available in summer 2019.
Diminishing Returns Data
The AAMC has released data that seeks to determine if there is a point where the relationship between the number of residency applications submitted and the likelihood of entry into a residency change—or, simply put, a point of diminishing returns. This is AAMC’s second iteration of a report, which was released two years ago; at that time, the diminishing returns data did not include specific information for osteopathic medical students. This updated version includes MDs, DOs, and IMGs.
Students will be able to use these findings as a starting point when considering the number of programs in which to apply. Because there is no magic number that would apply to all applicants, students will need to consider the entrance rates and the point of diminishing returns in the context of their overall residency candidacy and application. They can evaluate a variety of information—such as unique experiences, qualifications, and residency application strategy—as they work with their advisor to determine how many programs in which to apply. Osteopathic medical students should know that the data used in this report only represents DO seniors who took the USMLE.
“In preparation for the first unified Match in 2020, AACOM was pleased to work with the AAMC to provide students with new insights into the residency application process,” said Mark Speicher, PhD, MHA, Senior Vice President for Medical Education and Research at AACOM. “While the data does not include COMLEX scores or the relationship between COMLEX and USMLE results for those who took both tests, these results provide an excellent starting point for medical students to learn how to maximize their efforts when seeking residency placements.”