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"Despite student perceptions that research in medical school is an essential ingredient for a successful application to residency, our findings indicate that research experience ranks low among selection criteria when all specialties are grouped together. The NRMP also found that research experience in medical school did not differ significantly among U.S. seniors who matched in their specialties of choice and those who did not.1 This was consistent across competitive and noncompetitive specialties. It should be noted, however, that in our survey, program directors in particularly competitive specialties (radiation oncology, plastic surgery, neurosurgery, and dermatology) ranked research experience highly (Table 3). It may be that when all other selection criteria are outstanding among applicants to a particular specialty, research experience or research publications may help discriminate candidates."