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Society For Clinical Vascular Surgery

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Integrated Vascular Surgery Residency Interviews During COVID-19: Perspectives And Trends From Applicants
Maria Coluccio, MD1, Linda Harris2.
1Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA, 2University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA.

OBJECTIVES:
In agreement with AAMC guidelines, last yearís integrated vascular surgery (I-VS) residency interviews were conducted virtually. As programs prepare for future application seasons, program stakeholders would benefit from knowledge on applicantís perspectives and trends during the virtual interview process, especially as current plans remain virtual due to the ongoing pandemic. This study aims to collect data about the virtual interview process from the applicant perspective and to quantify these variables in order to improve the interview process for future cycles.
METHODS:
An online survey was emailed to all medical students accepted into I-VS residencies during the 2020-2021 application cycle. Residents were identified through SVSís March 29th newsletter of accepted applicants, or through the programís social media platforms.
RESULTS:
Out of the 79 I-VS applicants, 38 responded (48%). The average number of programs interviewed was 25-30 (31%, range: <5 to 31+) Over half of respondents interviewed at more programs than they would have had interviews been in person, with 14% ranking a program in their top 5 that they would not have interviewed at if offered with in person interviews. The majority of applicants (55%) preferred remote interviews but would like the option to visit in-person at top choices, compared to all remote interviews (21%) or all in person (18%). Applicants felt comfortable with the ability to assess residency programs and interact with current residents in virtual interviews,79% and 69% respectively agreeing or strongly agreeing. Resources identified as somewhat or very helpful for ranking included: pre-recorded faculty and resident videos (87%), virtual educational conferences (M&M, journal clubs)(87%), and social media platforms (82%). Only 54% found informational sessions prior to interviews helpful.
CONCLUSIONS: This study illuminates how medical students applying to vascular surgery embrace the virtual interview process, finding the process adequate for assessing programs and their preferred method for interviewing. Questions on how or whether to allow in-person visitation in conjunction with virtual interviews remains an issue in parity. Resources they found most useful included virtual educational experiences, social media platforms and pre-recorded videos from faculty and trainees, while informational sessions were less impactful. These opportunities should be considered by program directors when preparing for the upcoming year interview cycles.


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