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MATCH 2021 was short of the classic "in-person" component. Herein, we assess the impact of virtual interviews (VIs) on resident selection, from the perspectives of program directors (PDs) across all surgical specialties. We conducted a cross-sectional survey-based study of ACGME-accredited US residency program directors (PDs) of all surgical specialties. The survey was designed based on a review of relevant literature and inquired about the strengths, limitations, and overall utility of VIs. A total of 365 PDs responded to our survey. Almost all respondents (90%) found VIs to be less expensive than in-person interviews, while only 34% agree that VIs were less time-consuming. Only a median of 5% of interviews was complicated by technical difficulties. Most PDs found it more challenging to assess applicants' fit (75%), personality and communication skills (71%), and commitment to specialty (60%). Only 14% found VIs to be overall better for assessing residency applicants. In future cycles, most PDs are planning to host both virtual and in-person interviews (57%), while 35% and 8% will host exclusive in-person and virtual interviews, respectively. VIs are a novel way of dealing with the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Despite their cost and time benefit, they present particular challenges in evaluating residency applicants. A combination of both virtual and in-person interviews will likely be implemented in the coming cycles. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Malke Asaad, Rami Elmorsi, Andrew M Ferry, Aashish Rajesh, Renata S Maricevich. The Experience of Virtual Interviews in Resident Selection: A Survey of Program Directors in Surgery. The Journal of surgical research. 2022 Feb;270:208-213

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PMID: 34706297

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