DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.13956 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 13956: Trends in Cardiology Specialty Applicants and Match Rates: A Comparative Analysis From 2017 to 2021

Omar Obeidat, Saeed Abughazaleh, Mohammad Tarawneh
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Introduction: The demand for well-trained cardiologists is increasing, particularly in the US. Understanding trends in cardiology specialty applicants and match rates is crucial to address the demand-supply gap.

Aim: Analyze the trends in cardiology specialty applicants and match rates between 2017 and 2021.

Methods: Data from the NRMP and the ABIM websites were examined using chi-square tests to examine changes in match rates among different applicant types. Furthermore, we assessed the proportion of applicants matching at their first, second, third, or subsequent choices. Statistical analysis was conducted using IBM SPSS version 23.

Results: There is a significant increase in the number of matched US MD applicants from 482 in 2017 to 549 in 2021 (p=0.0001). However, the match rate for US MD applicants experienced a decline from 89.8% in 2017 to 83.1% in 2021. The number of matched US DO applicants also significantly increased from 60 in 2017 to 103 in 2021 (p=0.0001), with the statistically significant change starting in 2020. We observed a decrease in an applicant's probability of matching at their first choice from 52.7% to 45.3% after the virtual interviews season (p=0.001). In contrast, the probability of matching at a program beyond the third choice increased over time, rising from 152 in 2017 to 288 in 2021.

Conclusions: This study highlights the increasing competitiveness of the cardiology match process. The observed trends in match rates underscore the challenges faced by different applicant groups, particularly after the implementation of a virtual interview format. Further investigation into these factors is warranted to better understand and address the disparities.

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