Ethical violations and discriminatory behavior in the MedPhys Match.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this survey study is to investigate behaviors in conflict with the ethical standards of the Medical Physics Residency (MedPhys) Match (MPM) process as stated in the MPM rules (a) and with the nondiscrimination regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (b), in addition to other behaviors that may in other ways erode the fairness of the system. METHODS: A survey was sent to all applicants and program directors registered for the 2015 and 2016 MPM. Survey questions asked about application, interview, and postinterview experiences, match results, and overall satisfaction with the process. RESULTS: Thirteen percent of 2015 respondents and 20% of 2016 respondents were asked by at least one program how highly they planned to rank them or which program they would rank first. Thirty-seven percent of 2015 and 40% of 2016 program directors indicated that candidates communicated to the program their rank intent, with 22.0% in 2015 and 12.5% in 2016 being told that their program would be ranked first. Twenty-three percent of 2015 respondents indicated being asked by at least one program during the interview about children or plans to have children; including 19% of males and 33% of females. In 2016, these values were 28% overall, 22% male, and 36% female. Fifty-seven percent of 2015 respondents who were asked this question indicated being uncomfortable or very uncomfortable answering, including 27.3% of males and 88.9% of females. In 2016, 42.9% of all respondents indicated being uncomfortable or very uncomfortable answering, including 10.0% of males and 80.0% of females. CONCLUSIONS: In the first two years of the MPM, there were widespread instances of ethical violations and discriminatory questioning during the interview process. Educating both interviewers and candidates on the MPM rules and general EEOC guidelines should decrease these instances and increase the fairness of the residency selection process.
Hendrickson, KRG; Juang, T; Rodrigues, A; Burmeister, JW
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