We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Viewpoint |

Drowning in Applications for Residency Training A Program’s Perspective and Simple Solutions

Robert M. Naclerio, MD1; Jayant M. Pinto, MD1; Fuad M. Baroody, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Section of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014;140(8):695-696. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2014.1127.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


We read with interest the viewpoint by Christophel and Levine.1 Although we agree with the problem, we suggest a different solution.

In a 2008 editorial entitled “Otolaryngology (Urban) Legend,”2 we addressed the alarming increase in the number of applications each medical student was submitting to obtain residency training in otolaryngology–head and neck surgery. The latest Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) data for our field show that the median number of applications per US graduate applicant rose from 40 in 2006 to 60 in 2014, an extraordinary increase considering that there are approximately 100 otolaryngology training programs.3 This tectonic shift in the application process has led to an increase in the average number of submitted applications per program from 159 in 2008 to 278 in 2014. For our program at The University of Chicago this year, we received 382 applications for 2 positions, leading to a 0.5% match rate. Although we can exult in our selectivity, we believe that the change to a central standard application process, along with ready availability of data such as these match rates, has created the conditions for a vicious cycle of increases in applications per applicant. How many of these 382 applicants had a genuine interest in our program? Are applicants simply responding to stress about matching in a competitive field by checking boxes on the Common Application form?

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

4 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles

Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, 3rd ed
Clinical Scenario

Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, 3rd ed
Matching Content and Context: Evidence-Based Teaching Scripts