Ophthalmology Resident Selection: Current Trends in Selection Criteria and Improving the Process

Sudha Nallasamy, Tara Uhler, Nambi Nallasamy, Paul J. Tapino, Nicholas J. Volpe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: To document and assess current ophthalmology resident selection practices as well as to initiate discussion on how best to improve the process. Design: Online survey comprising 56 questions. Participants: Program directors, chairpersons, or members of the resident selection committee representing 65 United States ophthalmology residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education. Methods: Study participants completed an online, anonymous survey consisting primarily of multiple choice questions, with single or multiple answers. Main Outcome Measures: Ophthalmology resident selection practices were evaluated and included: screening of applications, interview processes, selection factors, and formation of rank lists; recommendations given to applicants; and respondent satisfaction with the current selection process. Results: As a group, survey respondents deemed the following factors most important in resident selection: interview performance (95.4%), clinical course grades (93.9%), letters of recommendation (83.1%), and board scores (80%). Statistical analyses deemed that the best predictors of resident performance are interviews, clinical course grades, recommendation letters, and ophthalmology rotation performance. Conclusions: Ophthalmology resident selection is a relatively subjective process, continuing to rely heavily on cognitive factors. Because these factors are not always indicative of ultimate resident quality, it would be helpful if ophthalmology training programs improved selection practices to discern who most likely will become a successful resident and future ophthalmologist. Long-term studies correlating applicant attributes with residency and postresidency success are needed to recommend guidelines for a more standardized selection process. Financial Disclosure(s): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1041-1047
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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