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Title: Allocation of residency training positions in Spain: contextual effects on specialty preferences
Authors: Harris, Jeffrey E.
Lopez-Valcarcel, Beatriz G. 
Barber, Patricia 
Ortún, Vicente
UNESCO Clasification: 531207 Sanidad
Keywords: Medical residency
Mixed logit
Physician income
Professional prestige
MIR system, et al
Issue Date: 2017
Journal: Health Economics 
Abstract: In Spain's `MIR' system, medical school graduates are ranked by their performance on a national exam and then sequentially choose from the available residency training positions. We took advantage of a unique survey of participants in the 2012 annual MIR cycle to analyze preferences under two different choice scenarios: the residency program actually chosen by each participant when it came her turn (the 'real') and the program that she would have chosen if all residency training programs had been available (the 'counterfactual'). Utilizing conditional logit models with random coefficients, we found significant differences in medical graduates' preferences between the two scenarios, particularly with respect to three specialty attributes: work hours/lifestyle, prestige among colleagues, and annual remuneration. In the counterfactual world, these attributes were valued preferentially by those nearer to the top, while in the real world, they were valued preferentially by graduates nearer to the bottom of the national ranking. Medical graduates' specialty preferences, which we conclude, are not intrinsically stable but depend critically on the 'rules of the game'. The MIR assignment system, by restricting choice, effectively creates an externality in which those at the bottom, who have fewer choices, want what those at the top already have.
ISSN: 1057-9230
DOI: 10.1002/hec.3318
Source: Health Economics (United Kingdom)[ISSN 1057-9230],v. 26, p. 371-386
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