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Apply Smart: Data to Consider When Applying to Residency

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Your likelihood of securing residency training depends on many factors — including the number of residency programs you apply to.

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Does submitting one more application always help? 

Our researchers suspected that — unlike buying raffle tickets, where the more tickets you buy, the better your chances of winning — additional applications to residency do not necessarily increase chances of getting accepted to a program. We set out to determine if there was a point where the relationship between the number of applications submitted and the likelihood of entry into a residency changes. Or, simply put, a point of diminishing returns. For more information on how we conducted these analyses and important context when interpreting these results, please refer to the research methodology and our overall research conclusions

As you consider the number of residency programs you apply to, consider the strength of your entire application as well as your personal circumstances. But also note: though it varies by specialty, Step 1 scores, and applicant type, there is a point at which submitting one more application results in a lower rate of return on likelihood of entering a residency program.

The diminishing returns data — along with other resources — can help determine the best plan for your residency applications

Special note to DO applicants 

Special note to IMG applicants 

Select your applicant type from the drop-down menu to reveal the specialty choices. Choose your specialty to reveal the relevant data. In some cases, entrance rates or a point of diminishing returns cannot be reported due to small sample size.

For more information on how we conducted these analyses and important context and caveats when interpreting these results, please refer to the research methodology and our overall research conclusions.

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  • - Any -
  • DO
  • -Anesthesiology
  • -Dermatology
  • -Diagnostic Radiology
  • -Emergency Medicine
  • -Family Medicine
  • -General Surgery
  • -Internal Medicine
  • -Internal Medicine - Pediatrics
  • -Neurology
  • -Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • -Orthopedic Surgery
  • -Otolaryngology
  • -Pathology
  • -Pediatrics
  • -Plastic Surgery - Integrated
  • -Psychiatry
  • -Radiation Oncology
  • -Urology
  • -Vascular Surgery - Integrated
  • Non-U.S. IMG
  • -Anesthesiology
  • -Dermatology
  • -Diagnostic Radiology
  • -Emergency Medicine
  • -Family Medicine
  • -General Surgery
  • -Internal Medicine
  • -Internal Medicine - Pediatrics
  • -Neurology
  • -Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • -Orthopedic Surgery
  • -Otolaryngology
  • -Pathology
  • -Pediatrics
  • -Plastic Surgery - Integrated
  • -Psychiatry
  • -Radiation Oncology
  • -Urology
  • -Vascular Surgery - Integrated
  • U.S. IMG
  • -Anesthesiology
  • -Dermatology
  • -Diagnostic Radiology
  • -Emergency Medicine
  • -Family Medicine
  • -General Surgery
  • -Internal Medicine
  • -Internal Medicine - Pediatrics
  • -Neurology
  • -Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • -Orthopedic Surgery
  • -Otolaryngology
  • -Pathology
  • -Pediatrics
  • -Plastic Surgery - Integrated
  • -Psychiatry
  • -Radiation Oncology
  • -Urology
  • -Vascular Surgery - Integrated
  • U.S. MD
  • -Anesthesiology
  • -Dermatology
  • -Diagnostic Radiology
  • -Emergency Medicine
  • -Family Medicine
  • -General Surgery
  • -Internal Medicine
  • -Internal Medicine - Pediatrics
  • -Neurology
  • -Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • -Orthopedic Surgery
  • -Otolaryngology
  • -Pathology
  • -Pediatrics
  • -Plastic Surgery - Integrated
  • -Psychiatry
  • -Radiation Oncology
  • -Urology
  • -Vascular Surgery - Integrated
Select an applicant type which allows you to select a specialty

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Supporting the Transition to Residency

The transition to residency is a time of critical importance in a medical student’s journey to become a physician. The AAMC is developing tools and information to better support students, their advisors, and program directors during this phase.

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Advisors: Advise Smart

Login to Careers in Medicine to view key resources for your students.

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Program Directors: Select Smart

Find PDWS software support, resources for you and your students, important dates and a timeline, as well as ERAS news and announcements. 

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