Virtual Recruitment in Surgical Residency Programs

Hanna E. Labiner, Cristan E. Anderson, Nell Maloney Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The Covid-19 pandemic forced residency programs to drastically change their interview processes and adopt virtual interviewing for the 2020–2021 match cycle. Recent Findings: While virtual interviewing decreased cost and increased convenience for applicants and programs involved in the match, it also introduced several potential disadvantages. Maximizing technological capabilities was an area of utmost concern at the start of the interview cycle, and multiple medical education organizations quickly recommended ways to move to virtual process, and to prevent and troubleshoot technical problems. However, other issues were less straightforward, such as how to address new sources of bias introduced by virtual interviewing, and how to ensure that programs and applicants could make informed decisions about their rank lists after only limited virtual interactions. Additionally, the increased convenience of interviewing raised concerns that students would accept more interviews, disrupting the established calculus programs used to determine how many interviews to offer per spot available. Summary: In this review, we examine the benefits and disadvantages of virtual interviewing, review recommendations from the current literature on how to improve the process, and discuss what we learned from our own experience at an academic general surgery residency program over the course of this unprecedented interview season.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number25
JournalCurrent Surgery Reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


  • NRMP Match
  • Remote interview
  • Residency interview
  • Virtual interview


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