Despite the many issues with the current process, I found Dr. Jennings’ comments about Preventive Medicine specialty, which does not go through the match, to be instructive: “I appreciate from this perspective how much a match protects applicants—and smooths the process for programs.”
We’ve heard about many potential fixes, from limiting the number of programs students can apply to, to uniform and/or regional interview windows, and incorporating more video interviewing whenever possible. In the NEJM perspective, Drs. Aagaard and Abaza mentioned the possibility of designating a limited period of time for interviews. Do such “restrictive” approaches (i.e. reducing the volume, expense, and time commitment of interviews) pose any potential harm to applicants, especially for those going into fields with fewer available spots?* Are there any other ways to protect applicants, or is improved mentorship, advising, and transparency our best bet?
*I encourage interested readers to check out the article Dr. Pereira referenced about the urology match and the prisoner’s dilemma, which I found an apt analogy to the match process! ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/239479...
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