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To characterize how class rank and other criteria are used to evaluate applicants for veterinary internship and residency positions.


Program directors for 572 internship and residency programs.


A survey was sent to program directors asking them to score the importance of 7 items (cover letter, letters of reference, curriculum vitae, veterinary class rank, grade point average, grades for classes specifically related to the internship or residency specialty area, and interview) they could use in evaluating applicants for an internship or residency and to rank those 7 items, along with an open item asking participants to list other criteria they used, from most to least important.


Responses were obtained for 195 internship and 222 residency programs. For both internship programs and residency programs, mean importance scores assigned to the 7 items resulted in the same ordering from most to least important, with letters of reference, interview, curriculum vitae, and cover letter most important. Rankings of the importance of the 7 items, along with an “other” item, were similar for internship and residency programs; the most important item was a candidate's letters of reference, followed by the interview, cover letter, and curriculum vitae.


Results suggested that although most veterinary internship and residency programs consider class rank and overall grade point average when evaluating applicants, these 2 items were not the most important. For both internship and residency programs, the most important items were an applicant's letters of reference, followed by the interview, cover letter, and curriculum vitae.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association