Using virtual reality as a replacement for hospital tours during residency interviews

Juan Pablo Zertuche, Jeremy Connors, Aaron Scheinman, Neil Kothari, Kristin Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Residency programs invest a significant amount of time and resources on the recruitment process, and maintaining efficiency and cost-effectiveness are very important. Virtual Reality (VR) has become an adaptive substitute for ‘real life’ experiences and its use during the interview season could help save time and resources. Objective: With the intention to maximize the interview day and provide a cost-effective alternative to facility tours, a Med-Peds residency training program introduced a VR tour of their children’s hospital during recruitment. Design: The Med-Peds program replaced an in-person facility tour of the children’s hospital with a VR tour. Applicants were asked to complete an anonymous, voluntary survey on their VR experience at the end of the interview season, and rank features of the interview day in order of importance. Results: There were 33 respondents out of 54 interviewees. Approximately two thirds (63–66%) agreed that VR was non-inferior and superior to in-person facility tours, and that the use of VR had a favorable impact on their perception of the program. However, almost 50% of the applicants had some difficulty using VR technology. Conclusion: Use of VR facility tours as an alternative to in-person tours of affiliate training facilities during a residency interview day is a viable and innovative option that can save time and money and favorably impact the applicant’s impression of the program. More research is necessary to assess whether VR tours can replace in-person tours at the main teaching site, however, while social distancing measures are in place, VR tours may become necessary for programs moving forward. Abbreviations: Med-Peds: Internal Medicine-Pediatrics; VR: Virtual Reality; AAMC: Association of American Medical Colleges; IRB: Institutional Review Board.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1777066
JournalMedical Education Online
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


  • Hospital tours
  • applicant interview day
  • medical facility tours
  • residency training
  • virtual interviews
  • virtual reality


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