Submission ID 76700

Code P6
At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
Category Medical Education
Type Poster
Will the presenter be a: Early Career Faculty - (Less than 7 years of practice)
Title "The Feeling of Failure is Immense": A Qualitative Analysis of the Experiences of Unmatched Residency Applicants Using Reddit
Background/Purpose Each year, a significant number of residency applicants do not match to a post-graduate residency training position in Canada and the United States. There is a paucity of scholarly literature examining this common occurrence, which is surprising given that the experience of going "unmatched" has been associated with reports of stigma, financial distress, and even suicide. By better understanding the experiences of going unmatched, medical schools will be better equipped to design support systems for medical students who find themselves without a residency position.
Methods This study examined the collective experiences of unmatched residency applicants using qualitative analysis of data gathered from the social media website Reddit. A total of 206 comments containing content about first-person experiences of going unmatched were gathered from Reddit. Thematic analysis was undertaken to identify themes and subthemes of these comments.
Results This analysis revealed that experiences of unmatched residency applicants included perceptions of insufficient return for investments in medical education and concern about not matching with subsequent applications. Subthemes included uncertainty about the reasons for not matching, perceptions that the residency application process is unfair, a sense of failure, consideration of other careers, regret for pursuing medical school, and a desire to improve future applications, sometimes involving consideration of applying to residency programs of different medical specialties.
Discussion Awareness of these shared experiences can be used by medical schools to further support applicants who do not successfully match to a residency training program. Further outcome-based research is needed to determine effective interventions for supporting unmatched applicants.
Keyword 1 Medical students
Keyword 2 Residency match
Keyword 3 Workforce development
Abstract content most relevant to: (check all that apply) Undergraduate Medical Education
Abstract Track - First Choice Physician & Medical Student Health and Well-being
Authors Matthew Morrissette
Anita Morrissette
Matthew Morrissette

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