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Ethics and Discriminatory Behavior in the MedPhys Match

K Hendrickson

K Hendrickson1*, J Burmeister2 , A Rodrigues3 , T Juang4 , S Vimolchalao5 , (1) University of Washington, Seattle, WA, (2) Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, (3) Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, (4) Stanford Cancer Center, Stanford, CA, (5) University of Washington, Seattle, Washington


TU-D-201-10 (Tuesday, August 2, 2016) 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM Room: 201

Purpose: To investigate behaviors that may be in conflict with ethical standards of the Medical Physics Residency (MedPhys) Match process and with best practices for adhering to non-discrimination regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Methods: A confidential survey was sent to registered applicants and program directors for the 2014/2015 MedPhys Match. Survey questions included demographics, application, interview and post-interview experiences, match results, and overall satisfaction with the process.

Results: Of the 402 candidates emailed, 109 completed the survey. 48% of the respondents did match with a residency position in 2015. Of the 77 program directors emailed, 42 completed the survey. Selected results of the surveys are included. 69% of candidate respondents indicated that they were asked during interviews where else they were interviewing; 31.7% of those respondents indicated that they were uncomfortable or very uncomfortable answering. 40% of candidate respondents (39% of males, 41% of females) indicated that they were asked about their marital or relationship status. 23% of the respondents (19% of males, 33% of females) indicated that they were asked about children or plans to have children. 57% who were asked this question (27% of males, 89% of females) indicated that they were uncomfortable/very uncomfortable answering. 29% were told by a program that they were “ranked to match” or told their rank prior to the match deadline. Only 13% indicated that they were asked by a program how highly they were going to rank that program or asked which program they would rank number one. Among that 13%, 64% indicated that they were uncomfortable/very uncomfortable answering.

Conclusion: In the inaugural year of the MedPhys Match, there were instances of ethical violations and discriminatory interviewing. Training on the Match rules and EEOC guidelines can decrease these instances and thereby increase the fairness of the residency selection process.

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