The following is a summary of the “Preference Signaling Pilot in the Urology Match: Outcomes and Perceptions” published in the December 2022 issue of Urology by Traxel et al.
For a study, researchers sought to evaluate the impressions and results of the A preference signaling (PS) experiment that the Society of Academic Urology used for the 2021–2022 Urology Match cycle.
To establish an applicant-centered formal & fair procedure to demonstrate a sincere interest in residency programs, the American Urological Association sent each candidate five non-weighted signals. The American Urological Association also distributed signals to programs. Surveys were used to evaluate how applicants and programs perceived and behaved. Calculations were made for signal distribution, mean, range, and interview offer rates for overall, signaled, and non-signaled programs.
A total of 2,829 signals were transmitted to programs during the 2021–2022 Urology Match cycle, with 566 candidates completing signaling and 97% of applicants and 100% of schools participating. Each program received a mean of 19 signals (from 1 to 62) and 25% of programs got 49% of all signals. The overall interview-offer rate for the cohort was 12.5% (6,019 interviews held/47,989 applications received); the signaled interview rate was 51% (1,443/2,829), and the non-signaled interview rate was 10% (4,576/45,160), with an approximately 4-fold increase in interview rate for signaled programs compared to non-signaled programs. Applicant and program satisfaction with the entire process ranged from moderate to excellent. PS was used in the initial applicant evaluation process in 48% of the programs.
Preference signaling has been shown to be practical and effective in offering applicants an innovative, applicant-directed, formal, fair, and believable organized approach for expressing sincere interest in programs. Programs were also able to use PS in their recruiting and interview selection procedures.