Predictors of a Top Performer during Emergency Medicine Residency

Rahul Bhat, Katrin Takenaka, Brian Levine, Nikhil Goyal, Manish Garg, Annette Visconti, Leslie Oyama, Edward Castillo, Joshua Broder, Rodney Omron, Stephen Hayden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background Emergency Medicine (EM) residency program directors and faculty spend significant time and effort creating a residency rank list. To date, however, there have been few studies to assist program directors in determining which pre-residency variables best predict performance during EM residency. Objective To evaluate which pre-residency variables best correlated with an applicant's performance during residency. Methods This was a retrospective multicenter sample of all residents in the three most recent graduating classes from nine participating EM residency programs. The outcome measure of top residency performance was defined as placement in the top third of a resident's graduating class based on performance on the final semi-annual evaluation. Results A total of 277 residents from nine institutions were evaluated. Eight of the predictors analyzed had a significant correlation with the outcome of resident performance. Applicants' grade during home and away EM rotations, designation as Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA), U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 score, interview scores, "global rating" and "competitiveness" on nonprogram leadership standardized letter of recommendation (SLOR), and having five or more publications or presentations showed a significant association with residency performance. Conclusion We identified several predictors of top performers in EM residency: an honors grade for an EM rotation, USMLE Step 1 score, AOA designation, interview score, high SLOR rankings from nonprogram leadership, and completion of five or more presentations and publications. EM program directors may consider utilizing these variables during the match process to choose applicants who have the highest chance of top performance during residency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-512
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2015


  • NRMP
  • education
  • match
  • predictors
  • success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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