Dr Lane et al make a number of important points. They are correct in pointing out that we are unable to know how well the candidates we chose not to rank might have performed. In ours as in most residency training programs, the principal goal of the intern selection process is to identify candidates who will succeed and achieve at their highest potential while they are in the program as well as after they leave the program. This means that we must recruit high-quality candidates, not just "rank" them. In her commentary, Dr DeAngelis asked, "Why do we waste so much time on the process?" We most certainly do not believe the recruitment and selection of potential residents is a waste of time. Rather, it is crucial to our success. The outcome of the study was not that intern recruitment and selection is a "waste of time," but rather, that many of the "objective" measures often used to rank candidates do not appear to predict clinical performance during residency and we wonder whether some of the considerable time and energy spent on this process might be spent more productively.
Borowitz SM, Saulsbury FT, Wilson WG. Does Information Collected During the Residency Match Process Predict Clinical Performance?—Reply. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(3):421. doi:10.1001/archpedi.155.3.417