Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Virtual interviewing increased the number of interviews by (and of) candidates for medical residencies

 Here's an article on virtual interviewing of candidates for medical residencies (about which, see also this post about Erling Skancke's work on interviewing):

Beshar I, Tate WJ, Bernstein D. Residency interviews in the digital era, Postgraduate Medical Journal Published Online First: 05 October 2021. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2021-140897

"Halfway through the interview cycle, however, questions were raised about system-level equity of virtual interviewing. In December 2020, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released an open letter citing ‘a maldistribution in residency interview invitations’, with the ‘highest tier applicants hav(ing) so many interviews’.15 The letter, addressed to both programme directors and students, called on programmes ‘to recruit a diverse pool of residents’ and encouraged students ‘to release[e] some interviews if you are holding more than needed, allowing your fellow students to access those interview opportunities’.15 Medical school deans began encouraging competitive students to forgo interviews. In the words of the Dean of students at the UC College of Medicine: ‘They need to identify a reasonable number to have a successful match and release others so their peers who need them can have them’.6 By some estimates, programmes invite the same pool of highly qualified applicants, with just 7%–21% of the applicant pool filling 50% of the interview slots in some specialties.16 Meanwhile, a survey of plastic surgery programme directors demonstrated nearly one in three increased the number of interview offers per available residency spot.

"At our institution—Stanford School of Medicine—and as applicants of the 2020–2021 cycle ourselves—we saw the effect of this firsthand. We administered a survey to all students participating in the match process in both the 2019 (in-person) and 2020 (virtual) years. In the survey, respondents identified the residency programme or programmes to which they applied as well as the number of interviews they attended. Of Stanford’s 2019 and 2020 graduating classes, 83.7% (n=72) and 62.3% (n=62), respectively, completed our survey.

"Of the 2019 applicants, 97.2% (n=70) reported residency interviews that required airline travel, compared with 0% of the 2020 applicants. The median number of interviews for the 2019 applicants was 8, compared with 14 for the 2020 applicants. Across the 2 years analysed, all fields showed an increase in the number of interviews accepted (table 1). Of the four fields with the most applicants, the largest per cent change was in anaesthesia (244%), followed by ophthalmology (216%), internal medicine (144%) and psychiatry (128%), respectively. On average, across all specialties, the number of accepted interviews changed by 160%.

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