Important Note about Point of Diminishing Returns and Entrance Rate Data after 2020

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February 25, 2022

Following a one-year pause in 2021 to collect feedback, the AAMC will not resume its annual analysis of residency program entrance rates and “point of diminishing application returns.” The change in USMLE Step 1 scoring to a pass/fail (rather than numerical) score was a significant factor that went into this decision, including other considerations. 

We recognize concerns in the academic medicine community about an overreliance on USMLE scores in the residency application process. We also recognize the need for valid and useful information that supports applicants in their decision-making and application strategy.  

The AAMC will continue to make other resources available to medical students during their research and application phase. Data and guidance from Residency Explorer™, Careers in Medicine®, and the Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS®) should continue to be used when developing an application strategy. All these resources are intended to be a starting point for thinking about which programs—and how many—to apply to. We encourage applicants to work with their medical school advisor or faculty mentor to consider a wide variety of information—such as unique experiences, qualifications, and residency application strategy—when preparing for application season.  

The AAMC will continue to make an archived version of the currently-posted 2020 data available for residency applicants through the end of calendar year 2022. We recognize that this 2020 data, which is based on a five-year average from 2013-2018, remains a valuable resource for applicants. Since the AAMC began this analysis four years ago, the data trends within each category, specialty, and applicant type have not changed substantially from year to year.

The AAMC continues to prioritize and invest in several newer research efforts to assess data-driven approaches to solve challenges in the transition to residency process. We encourage you to learn more about these programs.   

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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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