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Development and Assessment of Early Utilization of the Standardized Letter of Recommendation for Use in the Radiology Residency Match

  • Caroline W.T. Carrico
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Caroline W. T. Carrico, MD, FAUR, Department of Radiology, Duke University School of Medicine, Box 3808 Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710 (C.W.T.C.)
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3808 Durham, North Carolina, 27710 (C.W.T.C)

    Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island (A.P.L.)

    University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas (K.J.)
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  • Ana P. Lourenco
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3808 Durham, North Carolina, 27710 (C.W.T.C)

    Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island (A.P.L.)

    University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas (K.J.)
    Search for articles by this author
  • Kedar Jambhekar
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3808 Durham, North Carolina, 27710 (C.W.T.C)

    Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island (A.P.L.)

    University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas (K.J.)
    Search for articles by this author
Published:March 24, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acra.2022.02.004

      Rationale and Objectives

      Letters of recommendation are essential for residency applications. Traditionally, narrative letters have been used. Standardized letters of recommendation (SLOR) have been developed and have benefits to the writer and reader. The goal was to develop an informative, meaningful, and efficient SLOR for the radiology residency Match and to assess its early use.

      Materials and Methods

      An Association of University Radiologists (AUR) Research and Education Venture Fund Grant was awarded for the development of a SLOR for use in the radiology residency Match. Grant recipients developed the letter and modifications were based on feedback from the Alliance of Medical Student Educators in Radiology (AMSER) SLOR task force and a larger task force including additional AUR and Association of Program Directors in Radiology (APDR) members. AUR and APDR members were surveyed in 2020 to assess the radiology SLOR.

      Results

      The radiology SLOR became available for use in September 2018. It highlights the top six traits or abilities deemed most valued in a resident candidate and guides the writer to develop a concrete narrative. Top perceived benefits of the Radiology SLOR are ease of reading and interpretation. Top perceived drawbacks are an impersonal format and concerns regarding program directors’ perceptions of the new SLOR. SLOR utilization increased in the second year of availability.

      Conclusion

      The radiology SLOR was developed and first used in 2018. Its use increased over two years and will likely continue to increase given the perceived benefits and increasing awareness of the SLOR.

      Key Words

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      1. Otolaryngology SLOR 2014 revision can be found at the Otolaryngology Program Directors Organization website by following this link: Microsoft Word - OTO_Standardized_Letter_of_Rec-rev 2014 v.2.docx (ymaws.com) or by going to:opdo-hns.org/resource/resmgr/oto_standardized_letter_of_r.pdf

      2. JA Kaffenberger shared the Dermatology SLOR via email communication with CWT Carrico in 2017.

      3. Standardized letter of evaluation used by emergency medicine was shared with CWT Carrico via email communication with Jeffrey N Love 2017 and by Jennifer S Jackson via email with CWT Carrico in 2021.

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