The following is the summary of “Preference Signaling Pilot in the Urology Match: Outcomes and Perceptions” published in the December 2022 issue of Urology by Traxel, et al.
During the 2021-2022 Urology Match cycle, the Society for Academic Urology piloted a preference signaling (PS) system to see how it would work and to gauge the feedback it received. The American Urological Association created a structured and equitable approach for applicants to communicate their real interest in residency programs by providing them with 5 non-weighted signals and delivering the signals to the programs. Surveys were used to examine how applicants and program participants felt about the application process and the program itself. For overall, signaled, and unsolicited programs, researchers determined signal distribution, mean range, and interview offer rates.
With a total of 2,829 signals submitted to programs, 97% of applicants and 100% of programs participated in the 2021-2022 Urology Match cycle. The median number of signals received by each program was 19, with the range being from 1 to 62. The top 25% of programs received 49% of all signals. A total of 12,5% of the cohort was interviewed and offered positions (6,019 interviews out of 47,989), with a 4-fold increase in the interview rate for signaled programs compared to non-signaled ones (51%) 1,443 out of 2,829 interviews and (10%) 4,576 out of 45,160 interviews). Both applicants and programs reported moderate to high levels of satisfaction with the procedure as a whole.
About 48% of programs included PS in their primary application screening process. It was proven that preference signaling is a workable and effective method for candidates to convey their real interest in programs in a novel, applicant-directed, formal, egalitarian, and believable organized approach. PS was also incorporated into the interview, selection, and recruitment processes of many programs.