ARRS: Consistent disparities found in radiology residency match

Women and underrepresented minorities have had a higher risk of not matching into diagnostic radiology residency programs than their white counterparts in recent years, according to research presented at the annual American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) meeting.

But there are signs of improvement.

“Our data indicate that there is a statistically significant difference in the relative risk of not matching into diagnostic radiology residency among different races and sexes,” wrote Justin Hernandez, MD, of Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. “However, our data also suggests that these disparities are slowly decreasing over time.”

The researchers gathered demographic information on diagnostic radiology residents over the past seven years using match data from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. They also analyzed four years of Electronic Residency Application Service statistics from the American Association of Medical Colleges’ website to obtain a corresponding applicant pool.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found the following:

  • Women had a higher risk of going unmatched than men, ranging from 1.09 in 2015-2016 to 1.02 in 2021-2022. The differences were statistically significant for all years with the exception of 2021-2022.

  • Underrepresented minorities had a higher risk than white individuals for going unmatched. For example, the relative risk for Black individuals ranged from 1.49 in 2015-2016 to 1.33 in 2021-2022. For Hispanics, relative risk dropped from 1.48 in 2015-2016 to 1.19 in 2021-2022. As for Asians, relative risk dipped from 1.31 in 2015-2016 to 1.04 in 2020-2021. However, relative risk increased for Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders from 1.67 in 2015-2016 to 1.76 in 2021-2022.

“All p values were statistically significant, and the 95% confidence intervals for all relative risks did not overlap with 1.0, with the exception of Asian individuals in 2020-2021,” Hernandez wrote in an ARRS statement.

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