BACKGROUND : The interview visit is an important component of residency and fellowship recruitment that requires a substantial expenditure of time and resources for both training programs and candidates.
OBJECTIVE : Survey aimed to study the impact of a preinterview dinner on fellowship program candidates.
METHODS : A single center preintervention and postintervention comparison study was conducted using an electronic survey distributed to all Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship candidates over 3 years (2013-2015). The interview visit in 2013 did not include a preinterview dinner (no-dinner group), while the candidates interviewing in 2014 and 2015 were invited to a preinterview dinner with current fellows on the evening before the interview day (dinner group).
RESULTS : The survey was distributed to all candidates (N = 70) who interviewed between 2013 and 2015 with a 59% (n = 41) completion rate. Ninety percent of respondents (37 of 41) reported that a preinterview dinner is valuable, primarily to gain more information about the program and to meet current fellows. Among candidates who attended the dinner, 88% (23 of 26) reported the dinner improved their impression of the program. The dinner group was more likely to have a positive view of current fellows in the program as desirable peers compared to candidates in the no-dinner group.
CONCLUSIONS : This pilot study suggests that a preinterview dinner may offer benefits for candidates and training programs and may enhance candidates' perceptions of the fellowship program relative to other programs they are considering.
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