NYMC Faculty Publications

Evaluation of the Virtual Interviews for Resident Recruitment Due to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions: A Nationwide Survey of US Senior Medical Students

Author Type(s)


Journal Title

Family Medicine

First Page


Last Page


Document Type


Publication Date



Obstetrics and Gynecology


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Due to COVID-19, residency programs could not conduct in-person interviews during the 2020-2021 match and were forced to implement a virtual format. We conducted a nationwide survey of US senior medical students to evaluate their perception of the virtual interview process and to solicit their recommendations for future virtual interview best practices. METHODS: This study was administered to US fourth-year medical students currently participating in the residency match using Survey Monkey during March 2021. Students were contacted through their respective student affairs deans. Surveys solicited demographic information, 26 4-point Likert-scale questions, and four free-response questions. RESULTS: A total of 357 surveys were completed. Most respondents stated that they could confidently represent themselves to the program (71.7%) using a virtual platform. However, only 11.6% stated that they could confidently assess a program's facility using a virtual platform. Although most respondents (58.26%) found that virtual meet and greets helped them better assess their fit for the program, less than half (46%) confidently believed they could assess their fit into the program after the conclusion of the virtual interview. Regarding potential disparities introduced by virtual interviews, 40.6% believed that the virtual interviews introduce greater inequalities into the match process. Two-thirds of respondents (239, 66.95%), believed that there should be a limit on the number of interview offers an applicant can accept, with the maximum number of interviews per specialty capped at 25.7 (10-150). Finally, just over two-thirds (69.47%), claimed they could confidently prepare their rank-order list at the conclusion of the interview. CONCLUSIONS: Most respondents found virtual interviews financially beneficial, however difficulty in assessing fit was a challenge. Best practice recommendations from the respondents include shorter interviews, more engaging resident-led social hours without faculty present, and preinterview packages to include video representations of the program facilities.