“I’ve been educating residents for 17 or 18 years, and there are some who I know competed on a very high level of team sport who were not especially good residents, and when I think of some of the absolute top people I’ve ever trained in my whole life, I’m not sure that any of them were team sport competitors,” he said.
Explore this issue:January 2013
“As a generalization, [this finding] may be helpful, but it certainly won’t help us decide definitively between candidates.”
Dr. Messner expressed a similar sentiment, saying that Stanford’s program considers participation in a team sport as part of the overall package. “The weight we give it is not overwhelming,” she said. “Just because someone has participated in a team sport doesn’t mean we’ll rank them highly, but we do consider it.”
Dr. Chole said that he and Dr. Ogden don’t currently have any concrete plans to continue this research, but they have used the data to adjust their application review process.
“We’re not rating USMLE scores as highly as we did before,” he said. “Generally, we don’t look at dean’s letters very much at all, because they don’t really tell us much and each school is quite different. We do look at scores, grades and so forth, but we don’t rate them as heavily. We’re looking more at the whole person and trying to prognosticate how they’re going to do.”
In terms of general applicability for the otolaryngology field as a whole, Dr. Chole added, “This isn’t the absolute proof of anything, but an observation. Hopefully, this is food for thought for up-and-coming otolaryngology leaders to take the baton and take this study further.”