Episode 27: In this episode, Doctor Dan pours out his heart in order to save heartache for hundreds of medical residents and students every year. This passionate topic is very controversial, so he uses statistics and the scientific method to make an argument for the existence of malignant residencies.

Listen to the 12 minute podcast here…

A video used to be embedded here but the service that it was hosted on has shut down.

Every year, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) releases minimal statistics on the overal health of the medical residency training industry.

In 2008 they provided the most recent statistics regarding the amount of medical residencies, programs and the number of medical residents who got fired.

Here is a relevant summary for our topic today:

31,609 Total Residents

–  280 Dismissed

0.9% Get “dismissed”.

Let’s give the benefit of the doubt and say that all residencies are wonderful. This will be our null hypothesis.

Then 0.9% of residents should be “bad”, right? So a program should fire about 1%.

Therefore, programs that have 10 residents accepted per year, should fire an intern once every 10 years! Programs that have 20 residents, should have one “bad apple” every 5 years., and so on…  Pretty rare!

So, why do some programs never fire and some always fire residents!

My was in a residency program that fired 1-4 people every year and they only accepted 10 per year – that’s a 10-40% fire-rate!


  • they’re choosing all the bad residents, or
  • there’s something wrong with the program itself – both possibilities are a problem with the residency!

I believe that the problem lies with the program, in most cases! So, the number of “bad” residents is much lower than 0.9%.

Forums may answer the reverse stat. Do a search in StudentDoctor.Net for malignant residencies and have fun reading!

How can I avoid choosing a bad residency?

I just developed the Anatomy of a Malignant Residency Course, subtitled:

How to choose a residency that delivers on leadership and commitment to your training:

In this comprehensive course, I cover The Players’ WANTS, FEARS, & SECRETS from every perspective in a fair and balanced way:

  • US government
  • AAMC, AACOM, & Medical Schools
  • Residencies
  • The residents

How do you define a Malignant Residency Program?

In the comprehensive course, I define leadership based on the US Army’s proven formula and apply it to health and malignant residency programs.
The course ends with 26 Questions to ask, some of them you’ve NEVER thought of. They are specifically constructed so that you can gain insider access, in a non-offensive way, to the way things really work at the program.

This course is included in Disk #2 in the CD of the Month Club and includes the 26-Point Residency Comparison CHEAT SHEET.

Specifics To Ask AHEAD OF TIME

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