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1857. The Competitiveness of Diagnostic Radiology as a Function of Economic Markers
Authors * Denotes Presenting Author
  1. Ben Nelson *; University of Alabama at Birmingham
  2. Avik Som; Massachusetts General Hospital
  3. Andrew Gunn; University of Alabama at Birmingham
  4. Rachel Oser; University of Alabama at Birmingham
  5. Junjian Huang; University of Alabama at Birmingham
Objective:
To evaluate the correlation between the state of the economy and the competitiveness of the diagnostic radiology match.

Materials and Methods:
The NRMP’s Main Residency Match Results and Data from the years 2000-2020 were reviewed. Data extracted included the percentage of available residency spots that filled (% filled) during each year’s match, the number of filled spots filled by allopathic U.S. medical school seniors each year (USMD), as well as the number of foreign medical graduates (FMG) and doctors osteopathic medicine (DO) were collected. The competitiveness of the match was defined as the percentage of available residency spots that filled (% filled) during each year’s match as well as by the number of filled spots filled by allopathic U.S. medical school seniors each year (USMD). We evaluated the state of the economy as the average closing price of the DOW Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) for each year and as the real gross domestic product (seasonally adjusted annual rate from 1st qtr. of each year; labelled as “GDP”). Statistical analysis included spearman rho, pearson correlation and multiple linear regression tests were performed with Stata (statacorp).

Results:
The % filled ranged from 86.9% to 99.5% between 2000-2020 with a median of 97.5%. Statistically significant findings using multiple linear regression were made between % filled spots, spots occupied by USMD(coef=0.0516, p=0.008) and DJIA (coef=0.00128, p=0.0003) suggesting that higher DOW Jones indices correlated with more competitive years for the diagnostic radiology match. Repeat linear regression analysis using staggered years to evaluate for reactionary changes proved nonsignificant. No correlations were determined between the radiology competitiveness and GDP nor calendar year.

Conclusion:
The association between the state of the economy and the competitiveness of the radiology match is certainly interesting and may be an important consideration for selection committees during times of economic success or duress. Correlation does not mean causality and the reason for this association is assuredly multifaceted and further investigation of this phenomenon in other specialties is currently underway. Furthermore, investigation of applicants’ perceptions of radiology would help us better understand if the association is direct and intentional or an indirect consequence of economic stagnation.