The pediatric surgery match by the numbers: Defining the successful application

Kate B. Savoie, Afif N. Kulaylat, Justin T. Huntington, Lorraine Kelley-Quon, Dani O. Gonzalez, Holden Richards, Gail Besner, Benedict C. Nwomeh, Jeremy G. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Pediatric surgery remains the most competitive general surgery subspecialty. The authors suspected significant inflation in academic metrics since the last published paper. This study aimed to identify factors associated with applicant success in the match. Methods: After IRB approval, all applications to a single accredited pediatric surgery fellowship program were reviewed for match years 2014–2018. Matched and unmatched applicants were compared in an unadjusted and adjusted analysis. Results: This training program received 414 of 425 total applications (97%). Match results were available for 388 (94%). Matched applicants were more likely to train in programs with pediatric surgery fellowships (64% vs. 28%) and to have dedicated research time (55% vs. 21%; all p < 0.01). Matched applicants had more total publications (median: 12 vs. 7, p < 0.01) and higher ABSITE scores (median: 64th vs. 59th percentile, p < 0.01). Training in multiple programs negatively impacted the chance to match (p < 0.01). The median number of publications per applicant increased over the study time period from 7 to 11 (p < 0.01). Conclusions: The likelihood of matching into a pediatric surgery fellowship was related to the type of residency attended, dedicated research time, ABSITE scores, and number of publications. Overall, the total number of publications reported by all applicants increased. Type of Study: Retrospective Comparative Study. Level of Evidence: Level III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1053-1057
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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