This article was originally published here
Am Surg. 2022 May 24:31348221103658. doi: 10.1177/00031348221103658. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to drastic changes in residency recruitment. The majority of General Surgery residency interviews for the 2020-2021 interview cycle have been restructured into a virtual format. The purpose of this study is to assess the perception that candidates for general surgery residency have of virtual interviews.
METHODS: A secure, anonymous, web-based survey was developed, tested, and distributed via email to all applicants who applied to the University of California, Irvine General Surgery Residency Program for Match 2021.
RESULTS: 1239 general surgery candidates were invited after Match Day 2021 to complete the survey, and 167 (13.5%) completed the survey and were included in the final analysis. Applicants received and accepted a median of 10 (interquartile range [IQR], 5-18) and 9 (IQR, 5-15) interviews. Using a Likert scale, applicants revealed that they were most satisfied with the introduction and overview of the program (72.5%) and interactions with faculty (70.6 %). Candidates were dissatisfied with social gatherings before the interview (66.9%) and hospital visits (66.2%). When evaluating the programs, they had the most difficulty discerning the culture of the program and the autonomy of the residents. Most applicants (54%) were satisfied with the virtual format and 52% felt the virtual format should continue.
DISCUSSION: The majority of applicants were satisfied with virtual interviews and could foresee the format continuing in the future.