The rankings are still rolling in.
Starting Wednesday, a website called Doximity began offering ranks of different medical residency programs across the country, and the University of Michigan Health System stood out among the 3,700 programs listed.
Doximity is a social networking site for doctors. The rankings are based on input from physicians, who give their opinions on the top residency programs within their specialties. Of the 20 residency programs ranked, 12 UMHS programs ranked in the top 10 in their fields, including Anesthesiology, Dermatology, and Surgery. Most of the other eight programs placed in the top 20, with the lowest, pediatrics, ranking at 22.
Doximity’s Residency Navigator is the first of its kind. According to Monica Lypson, interim assistant dean for graduate medical education, residency programs have never been ranked before. Previously, people looked at overall hospital rankings to assess the strength of residency programs.
“Since most training programs happen in a hospital where teaching occurs, people would assume that if a hospital got ranked at a certain level, then the residency programs would follow,” Lypson said. “There really hasn’t been clear rankings for residency programs.”
The rankings did not come a moment too soon. Applications for residencies that start in September 2015 are due in less than a week. Students unsure of where they can receive the best possible physician training now have a resource available to help them choose. Lypson said the University’s high ranking should result in a more dense applicant pool.
Even without extra applicants, the University’s residency programs are extremely competitive. UMHS currently has 1,199 residents. This year, it brought in 379 new residents, and Lypson said UMHS usually takes between 300 and 400 per year. The number of applicants varies from program to program. In the internal medicine program, only 1.5 percent of applicants were accepted for the 2014 cycle.
Most residencies last between three and seven years, depending on the specialty.
In spite of the potential benefits of a larger applicant pool for the University and more information for medical students, Lypson did mention a possible drawback to the rankings. She said students may feel inclined to apply to the top-ranked programs rather than those that they feel would best suit their needs.
“When you are trying to weigh so many possibilities, one of the ways to shorten your list is to go to these rankings to help you start to make some decisions,” she said. “Sometimes that lessens a student’s ability to really make the best choice for themselves.”