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Increasing Diversity in Residency Applicants Interviewed Through Holistic Screening
To evaluate if screening residency applications with a holistic review tool increases the diversity of the applicants invited to interview at an OB/GYN residency program.
Holistic review is a method for considering factors beyond traditional academic metrics when selecting candidates for medical school and residency positions. This process emphasizes a more personalized, comprehensive review of an applicant’s unique experiences and strengths. It considers multiple factors that “define an applicant’s whole identity, as opposed to reducing an individual to any single set of factors” such as test scores and grades. It is a promising approach for increasing the diversity of the physician workforce. Multiple medical specialties have published evidence around the use of holistic review in resident recruitment; to date there is little published on holistic review in OB/GYN.
A retrospective cross-sectional study was performed in an academic OB/GYN residency program where applications are reviewed using a screening tool to determine which applicants are invited to interview. Review was conducted using a traditional tool (2015-2018) and a holistic tool (2019). Self-reported race/ethnicity data was compared between the two groups.
The proportion of minority applicants invited to interview when comparing use of the traditional versus holistic tool increased from 34% to 56% (p=.0004). The proportion of underrepresented minority applicants when comparing use of the traditional versus holistic tool also increased from 21% to 36% (p=.0043).
Implementation of screening residency program applications with a holistic review tool increases the racial and ethnic diversity of applicants interviewed.
CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2021, Resident, Faculty, Residency Director, Residency Coordinator, Professionalism, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, GME, General Ob-Gyn,