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Competition for residency positions in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery has become substantially more keen during the past few years. The increase is a result of many factors, not the least of which is the growth and expansion of the specialty during the last two decades. Serious applicants are in the top quarter of their class and have rave reviews in their letters of recommendation, and many have articles in print.
Applicants are frequently in search of the small competitive edge that will make them stand out among others who are similarly qualified. One alternative is an externship at the institution(s) to which the student has applied. In theory, the student can show his or her best work, impress the faculty, and get a jump on the competition. I became interested in the cost-effectiveness of this practice when one of my advisees outlined an itinerary for three institutions, at which he
MATTOX DE. Cost-effectiveness of Otolaryngology Externships for Residency Applicants. Arch Otolaryngol. 1984;110(1):2. doi:10.1001/archotol.1984.00800270006002
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