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Association of Virtual Interviews With Residency Application Geographic Diversity and Match

Published:September 24, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2022.09.016

      Abstract

      Objective

      We sought to assess whether the change from in-person to virtual interviews was associated with differences in applicant and match location geography.

      Methods

      We conducted a retrospective study of all U.S. applicants to a large pediatric residency. Distances from applicants to our residency program (applicant-to-program) and residency location (applicant-to-match) were compared across demographic subgroups and eras, defined as pre-COVID (2018-2020) and COVID (2021-2022).

      Results

      Applicant-to-program distance (pre-COVID median 737 miles, IQR 265, 1254; COVID median 739 miles; IQR 268, 1284, P = .31) did not change across eras. While overall applicant-to-match distance (pre-COVID median 425 miles, IQR 88, 1142; COVID median 354 miles; IQR 80, 1084, P = .11) did not change, subgroup analysis revealed that applicant-to-match distance for those not participating in a couples match was farther during the pre-COVID era (430 vs 340 miles, P = .04).

      Conclusions

      A transition to virtual interviews was associated with shorter distance between applicants and residency location for those matching alone at a large, urban pediatric residency. While decisions about where to apply appeared unchanged, rank list decisions may have been impacted by virtual interviews for these applicants. Further study to describe geographic considerations in the virtual era are needed to inform advancement of larger workforce goals.

      Keywords

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