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Research Article

Vol. 18 No. 1 (2020)

What affects medical students’ applications to five-year FRCPC emergency medicine programs?

September 23, 2020


Purpose: To compare the impact of institutional and epidemiologic factors on differences in application trends of Canadian medical graduates (CMGs) from different medical schools to FRCPC emergency medicine (EM) residency programs.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study. Data from 2013-2018 were obtained from the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) database and standardized questionnaires sent to Canadian medical schools.

Results: CaRMS data were available for all schools and survey data was available for 76% schools. Five schools yielded significantly higher rates of applications to FRCPC-EM programs (8.8-13.1%, p<0.05), and 5 schools had significantly lower rates compared to the national mean (2.9-5.1%, p<0.05). Increased exposure to EM (a core rotation and/or elective rotation in EM in the third year of medical school at home-school) yielded 28-55% higher application rates (p<0.001). The presence of an FRCPC-EM residency program at the applicant's home school, and a home school program with 5 or more CMG residency positions at a CMG’s increased the application rates by 39 and 17%, respectively (p<0.05).

Conclusion: These data demonstrate a significant difference in application rates of CMGs graduating from Canadian medical schools and certain factors may affect application rates. This information could be used by medical schools to modify curricula, increase exposure to EM, and contribute towards addressing the forecasted national shortage of EM physicians.


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