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BMC medical education


BACKGROUND: During the 2020-21 residency interview season, interviews were conducted through virtual platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this study is to assess the general perceptions of applicants, residents and attendings at a single, large, metropolitan orthopaedic residency with regards to the video interview process before and after the interview season.

METHODS: Surveys were sent to all orthopaedic applicants, residents, and attendings before the interview season. Applicants who received interviews and responded to the first survey (46) and faculty who responded to the first survey (28) were sent a second survey after interviews to assess how their perceptions of video interviews changed.

RESULTS: Initially, 50% of applicants (360/722) and 50% of faculty and residents (28/56) responded before interview season. After interviews, 55% of interviewees (25/46) and 64% of faculty and residents (18/28) responded. Before interviews, 91% of applicants stated they would prefer in-person interviews and 71% were worried that video interviews would prevent them from finding the best program fit. Before interviews, 100% of faculty and residents stated they would rather conduct in-person interviews and 86% felt that residencies would be less likely to find applicants who best fit the program. Comparing responses before and after interviews, 16% fewer applicants (p = 0.01) perceived that in-person interviews provide a better sense of a residency program and faculty and residents' perceived ability to build rapport with interviewees improved in 11% of respondents (p = 0.01). However, in-person interviews were still heavily favored by interviewees (84%) and faculty and residents (88%) after the interview season.

CONCLUSIONS: In-person interviews for Orthopaedic Surgery Residency are perceived as superior and are preferred among the overwhelming majority of applicants, residents, and interviewers. Nevertheless, perceptions toward video interviews improved in certain domains after interview season, identifying potential areas of improvement and alternative interview options for future applicants.

Medical Subject Headings

COVID-19; Humans; Internship and Residency; Orthopedic Procedures; Orthopedics; Pandemics

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