Distributions of Residency Interviews With the Implementation of Virtual Interviews and Standardization of Interview Offer Dates.

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Journal of Surgical Education


OBJECTIVE: Virtual interviews were widely implemented alongside many other changes in the 2021 residency application process. We investigated how these many interventions may have influenced interview distributions and completions.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey distributed electronically to obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) residency applicants in February 2021. Distributions of interview invitations, interviews completed, and percent of interview offers completed were compared to the previous application cycle. The odds ratios of receiving interviews were calculated based on applicant characteristics including test scores, number of applications, and race/ethnicity.

SETTING: All OBGYN residency applicants registered through the Electronic Residency Application Service.

PARTICIPANTS: The 915 (36%) of 2577 total OBGYN applicants who responded to the survey.

RESULTS: US allopathic medical students received fewer interview offers in 2021 (median 13 [interquartile range 9-19]) compared to 2020 (median 15 [interquartile range 11-20]). There was no difference in the absolute numbers of interviews completed. A United States Medical Licensing Exam Step 1 score ≥221 resulted in more than a five-fold increase in adjusted odds of receiving at least 12 interviews for allopathic students. Black or African American US allopathic seniors had a 2.3 odds ratio for receiving at least 12 interview invitations compared to White non-Hispanic or Latino US allopathic seniors, adjusted for Step 1 score and the number of programs applied to. Interview offers released on standardized dates had a mitigating effect on completing more interviews among allopathic seniors with at least 12 interview invitations.

CONCLUSIONS: Virtual interviews did not change the overall number of interviews completed. Standardization of interview offer dates mitigated excessive virtual interviewing, yet additional measures are needed to curb interview inflation and the effects on interview distributions.


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