Emergency medicine (EM) residency programs want to employ a selection process that will rank best possible applicants for admission into the specialty.


We tested if application data are associated with resident performance using EM milestone assessments. We hypothesized that a weak correlation would exist between some selection factors and milestone outcomes.


Utilizing data from 5 collaborating residency programs, a secondary analysis was performed on residents trained from 2013 to 2018. Factors in the model were gender, underrepresented in medicine status, United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 and 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA), grades (EM, medicine, surgery, pediatrics), advanced degree, Standardized Letter of Evaluation global assessment, rank list position, and controls for year assessed and program. The primary outcomes were milestone level achieved in the core competencies. Multivariate linear regression models were fitted for each of the 23 competencies with comparisons made between each model's results.


For the most part, academic performance in medical school (Step 1, 2 CK, grades, AOA) was not associated with residency clinical performance on milestones. Isolated correlations were found between specific milestones (eg, higher surgical grade increased wound care score), but most had no correlation with residency performance.


Our study did not find consistent, meaningful correlations between the most common selection factors and milestones at any point in training. This may indicate our current selection process cannot consistently identify the medical students who are most likely to be high performers as residents.

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