Residency

Researchers link international medical graduates’ background to performance during residency

Residency Program Insider, September 22, 2009

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A candidate’s application materials can only tell you so much. Wouldn’t it be great if you could consult a crystal ball to find out how candidates will perform in your program? Unfortunately, crystal balls, the fountain of youth, and calorie-free chocolate cake fall into the things-you-wish-existed-but-don’t category.  

Just because you don’t have a crystal ball doesn’t mean you can’t use other factors to predict how candidates will perform during residency.

Researchers from Lincoln Medical & Mental Health Center looked at whether there is an association between specific background characteristics of international medical graduates (IMGs) and performance outcomes.

Researchers examined characteristics including age, gender, self-reported ethnicity, time between medical school graduation until residency, USMLE step I and II scores, pre-GME clinical experience, and interest in pursuing fellowship education. These were compared with outcomes, such as annual aggregate graduate PGY-level specific competency-based evaluation scores, resident in-training exam scores, and acceptance to a fellowship position.

The study found that, of all the factors measured, age and USMLE scores predict performance on competency-based evaluations and in-training examination scores during residency training. For example, younger residents had higher aggregate annual scores on the competency-based evaluations than the program median.

In addition, IMGs who had an interest in fellowship training and participated in more research activities were more likely to enter into a fellowship program.

For full results, see the article “Predicting performance using background characteristics of international medical graduates in an inner-city university-affiliated Internal Medicine residency training program” in the Jul. BMC Medical Education.



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