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The Influence of Social Media on OB/GYN Applicants During COVID-19

Purpose: To understand the changing role of social media in OB/GYN residency recruitment and residency program selection from an applicant perspective during the era of virtual interviewing.


Background: With the need for social distancing, residency interviews transitioned to a virtual format. Prior to the pandemic, applicants who interacted with Graduate Medical Education (GME) social media accounts were more likely to apply and accept an interview at that program, and even increase that program’s place on their rank list (1).


Methods: OB/GYN residency applicants identified through the NRMP between 3/26/21-4/15/21 received an anonymous survey asking about their use of social media. Results were downloaded to Microsoft Excel for data analysis.


Results: We received 50 total responses. 47 (94%) of applicants were Instagram users. 44 respondents (88%) answered “yes” to finding social media helpful in the past year’s application process with Instagram being the most viewed. 16 (34%) reported seeing the words “resident-run” influenced their interaction with each account. If an applicant received a follow request, 11 (23%) reported feeling desired and 15 (32%) reported feeling uncomfortable. The most influential type of posts were resident bios (4.11, SD 1.03) and daily resident life (4.16, SD 1.03). 31 (66%) of respondents reported that Instagram accounts influenced their decision-making process to apply to a specific program, 27 (57%) to interview at a specific program, and 10 (21%) to rank a specific program.


Discussions: Having an active GME resident-run Instagram account influences applicants during their decision-making process; therefore, careful consideration should be enacted when curating a GME social media presence.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2022, Student, Resident, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Clerkship Coordinator, Osteopathic Faculty, Residency Director, Residency Coordinator, Professionalism, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, GME, UME,

General Information

Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Clerkship Coordinator,Osteopathic Faculty,Residency Director,Residency Coordinator,
Professionalism,Interpersonal & Communication Skills,
Clinical Focus

Author Information

Stephanie L. Kass, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University / Cooper University Hospital; Yon Sook Kim, MD

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