Background: A new trend includes taking a dedicated year away from medical school to complete a research fellowship. There is minimal data on the benefit of a gap year. We aimed to identify if a gap year makes a dermatology applicant more successful in The Match. Methods: Dermatology applicants who applied to Mayo Clinic Arizona for the 2018–2019 application cycle and Mayo Clinic Rochester, Arizona, and Florida for the 2019–2020 application cycle were surveyed. Results: In total, 291 dermatology applicants completed the initial survey, and 236 completed the follow-up survey. Ninety applicants took a gap year, 198 applicants did not. There was no significant difference in match rates. When comparing match rates at top dermatology residency programs, 40.6% of gap-year applicants matched to these residencies versus 19.0% of no gap-year applicants (P < 0.01). Conclusion: Applicants should weigh the opportunity costs before pursuing research gap years as they may not be universally helpful. Applicants who want to match at a top dermatology program may benefit from a research gap year. This data may have limited generalizability outside of the United States.
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