Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, PhD

Committee Chair

Gross, Jacob

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Huecker, Martin

Committee Member

Huecker, Martin

Committee Member

Shaw, M. Ann

Committee Member

Shuck, Brad

Committee Member

Sun, Jeffrey

Author's Keywords

medical education; residency specialties


An important goal for undergraduate medical education program leaders is to prepare their medical students to successfully match during the National Residency Match Program (Gauer & Jackson, 2017). Due to the recent increase in applications submitted during the residency process, it is critical for medical education programs to better understand the factors and attributes of those medical students who are successfully matching (Liang, Curtin, Signer, & Sawoia, 2017). As there is a larger number of medical students now enrolled than positions available for residency, the number of unmatched seniors is expected to rise (Bumsted, Schenider, & Deiorio, 2017). Additionally, the nation is facing physician shortage areas and an insufficient quantity of primary care physicians, so it is vital to understand which variables associated with medical students can predict matching into certain specialties and/or geographic regions. Previously, researchers have used statistical methods to predict matching outcomes, but that research has only focused on a small portion of the voluminous factors. There is limited research evidence to determine which of the numerous factors taken during the admissions process and throughout the undergraduate medical education experience are the best indicators of predicting match outcomes. The purpose of this study was to better understand which variables best predict whether or not fourth year medical students a) successfully matched, b) matched into a competitive specialty, c) matched into an in-state residency, d) matched into primary care, and e) matched into primary care in the state of Kentucky. Results indicate there were specific variables that can be used in combination to predict the matching outcomes outlined above. By having a better understanding of which variables predict these outcomes, medical education students as well as medical education institutions and stakeholders can have a better idea of what drives matching outcomes.