Elliott SP, Goldstein LB, Meinberg D, Jeger AM. Relationship Between Residency Placement and Clerkship Site Enrollment: A Retrospective Analysis. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2015;115(4):226–231. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2015.045.
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Context: Osteopathic medical students frequently engage in clinical clerkships away from their home teaching institution, which can help them decide on a residency program, gain additional experience in a new environment, and further their professional contacts. Conventional wisdom states that these audition clerkships are an important factor in residency placement, but the educational literature concerning the topic is lacking.
Objective: To determine the relationship between clerkship site enrollment and residency placement so that empirical guidelines can be established for osteopathic medical students in the process of making informed decisions about their clerkships, particularly during the fourth year.
Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted. Data on clerkship and residency placement were compiled for the classes of 2008, 2009, and 2010 at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, and χ2 goodness-of-fit analysis and χ2 tests of independence were used to explore relationships between clerkship and residency placement.
Results: Of 862 graduates, data were available for 812 (94.2%). Statistically significant relationships were noted between residency program status (osteopathic, allopathic, and military) and audition clerkship, with fewer graduates completing audition clerkships in allopathic programs and with more graduates completing audition clerkships in osteopathic and military residency programs than expected from an independent relationship. A total of 416 graduates (51.2%) did not enroll in the residency program where they completed their audition clerkship. A total of 352 graduates (43.3%) enrolled in the residency program where they completed their audition clerkship. An additional 44 graduates (5.4%) did not complete an audition clerkship in the discipline of their residency program but rotated at a hospital. A total of 364 graduates (44.8%) enrolled in osteopathic residency programs, 425 (52.3%) enrolled in allopathic programs, and 23 (2.8%) enrolled in military programs.
Conclusion: Although the results of this study are specific to 1 medical school, they provide evidence to counter long-held beliefs that audition clerkships determine residency placement.
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