Virtual Interviews During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Survey of Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship Applicants and Programs

Amrit K. Kamboj, Laura E. Raffals, John A. Martin, Vinay Chandrasekhara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and aims: Advanced endoscopy (AE) fellowship interviews during the 2020 application cycle were held virtually due to COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to characterize the application experience with virtual interviews. Methods: Applicants and programs participating in the 2020 AE fellowship match were prospectively sent separate 17-question surveys. Responses were collected using Research Electronic Data Capture. Results: In total, 63/104 applicants (60.6%) matched and 64/71 (90.1%) positions filled within the match. The survey was completed by 37/87 (42.5%) applicants and 71 interviewers from 43/65 (66.2%) participating programs. Most applicants (64.7%) preferred a 1:1 applicant:faculty ratio and a 20-minute interview (73.5%), which was used by programs 50.7% and 47.8%, respectively. The majority of applicants (82.4%) and interviewers (76.8%) reported overall satisfaction with virtual interviews. The biggest limitations for applicants were getting a “feel” for the program and endoscopy unit. In the future, 41.2% of applicants preferred only virtual interviews compared to 7.2% of interviewers (P< 0.01). Conversely, 14.7% of applicants preferred only in-person interviews compared to 39.1% of interviewers (P= 0.01). Half of the interviewers (50.7%) would negatively view applicants who chose a virtual option over an in-person interview if both were offered. Conclusions: The majority of AE fellowship applicants and programs reported overall satisfaction with virtual interviews during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the potential benefits, virtual interviews may have an increasing role in future residency and fellowship applications. Programs that conduct virtual interviews need to be aware of its limitations and have measures to improve the applicant experience and mitigate potential biases of interviewers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTechniques and Innovations in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Advanced endoscopy fellowship
  • Applicants
  • COVID-19
  • Fellowship
  • Gastroenterology fellowship
  • Program directors
  • Residency
  • Virtual interviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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