The introduction of a national process to match Canadian medical students to postgraduate year-one (PGY-1) positions in psychiatry created for the first time a cohort of subjects whose choices of a particular training program could be evaluated and compared with American peers. The primary goal of this study was to determine the factors affecting the students' selection of the specific postgraduate programs in which they would train and to compare the findings with those in the American literature.
A self-administered questionnaire was sent to 110 trainees who began training in July 1994 identified in the 16 Canadian university departments of psychiatry.
Canadian trainees, like their American counterparts, relied heavily on nonprogrammatic factors in program choice, but differed in emphasizing vocational prospects after residency.
When competing for enrollment within a reduced pool of applicants, program directors need to recognize how programs are evaluated, what factors are controllable, and how best to market the individual assets of their programs.