Residency Program Website Content May Not Meet Applicant Needs


  • Sangrag Ganguli BA, MMSc. Fourth-year Medical Student. George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  • Sheena W. Chen MD. First-year Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellow. New York University Langone, New York, USA
  • Sam Maghami MD. Research Resident, Department of Surgery, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  • Florina Corpodean MD. PGY-4. Louisiana State University, New Orleans, USA
  • Paul P. Lin MD, FACS. Associate Professor of Surgery and Surgical Oncology, Chief of Division of General Surgery, Vice Chair of Department of Surgery. George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  • Yolanda C. Haywood MD, FACEP. Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine. George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  • Khashayar Vaziri MD, FACS. Professor of Surgery, Program Director of General Surgery Residency. George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  • Juliet Lee MD, FACS. Associate Professor of Surgery, Clerkship Director, Director of Undergraduate Surgical Education. George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  • Hope T. Jackson MD, FACS. Assistant Professor of Surgery, Associate Program Director. George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia, USA



Residency, Clinical education, residency websites, Residency Program, Medical Students, Website Content Evaluation, Applicant Needs, Online Information Seeking, Resident Wellness, Fellowship and Residency, Medical Education, Program Websites, Application Process, Resident Fellowship Acquisition, Faculty Data, Residency Location, Resident Lifestyle, Information Source Utilization, Likert Scale Assessment, Survey Analysis, Procedural Specialties, Non-Procedural Specialties, Digital Resource Accessibility


Background: Residency program applicants use a variety of resources during the application cycle. Program websites can vary substantially, and it is unclear how the website information is used by applicants. We aimed to determine the most popular information source used by applicants. We also sought to identify specific online content that was deemed important in the decision-making process.

Methods: A survey was distributed to fourth-year medical students at an academic institution. Demographic information was collected, and the importance of various online resources was gauged using a Likert scale. Subgroup analysis was performed for procedural versus non-procedural specialty applicants.

Results: 91 of the 169 fourth-year medical students (54%) completed the survey. The most utilized sources for the students were residency program websites (41%), the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database (FREIDA) website (36%), and the Doximity website (14%). The most valued (Likert scale of 4 and 5) website content for the students included information on resident wellness (86%), resident fellowship acquisition (85%), faculty data (84%), residency location and resident lifestyle (81%), and application point of contact (79%). There were significant differences between what procedural specialty applicants deemed important versus what those applying to non-procedural specialties deemed important.

Conclusion: Residency program websites are commonly used among applicants during the residency match process. Content on resident wellness was highly valued irrespective of specialty choice; however, this information was often not present on residency websites. These findings may help guide website content development initiatives for residency programs to reflect applicant needs more adequately.


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The image is a bar chart displaying the most common sources of information for medical students learning about residency programs. The vertical bars represent the percentage of participants selecting each source. Program websites are the most frequently used, reaching close to 40%, followed closely by the FREIDA website. The Doximity website appears to be less used, shown by a shorter bar, and an even smaller percentage of respondents reported using other sources, which are detailed in the legend. These other sources include specific websites such as ACGME, AAFP, SDN, the AAMC's Residency Explorer, and Reddit Spreadsheets, each with smaller individual percentages contributing to the 'Other' category.


2024-03-25 — Updated on 2024-04-12

How to Cite

Ganguli, S., Chen, S. W., Maghami, S., Corpodean, F., Lin, P. P., Haywood, Y. C., Vaziri, K., Lee, J., & Jackson, H. T. (2024). Residency Program Website Content May Not Meet Applicant Needs. International Journal of Medical Students, 12(1), 60–68.



Original Article