The Cost Of Residency Interviews

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The path to become a physician is strenuous, time-consuming, and expensive. Even if you were fortunate enough to avoid the student loans that plague so many doctors after earning their MD, you are bound to rack up some debt while going through residency interview season.

Every winter and spring, fourth year medical students in the US spend millions of dollars during the process of interviewing for residency programs. According to the AMA the average medical student applies to 36.4 residency programs, although not all applications will result in an interview. Lodging and transportation costs are high, and on average, most medical students will spend between $1,000-$4,000 on residency interviews depending on their desired specialty and number of programs applied to .

While only 8.6% of medical students reported spending $7,000 or more on residency interviews, that statistic jumps to almost 20% for surgery program applicants, who tend to apply to a greater number of programs in order to maximize the probability of matching for these highly competitive programs. Interestingly enough, while surgery applicants apply to more programs (average = 58.2) than any other residency type, radiology applicants tend to accumulate a greater number of residency interviews (average = 16.9) than any other specialty.

For medical students looking to keep residency interview spending low, the best bet is to apply to specialties such as family/internal medicine or pediatrics. More than two-thirds of applicants for these programs reported spending less than $3,000 on interviews, with around 50% of applicants spending less than $2,000.

Ariel Jacoby
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