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From Ashes to Answers: Using Social Media to Guide Virtual Interview Solutions

Objective: \"In 2020, residency programs launched virtual interviewing in response to COVID-19. Applicants experienced challenges with the new virtual process. The creation of effective virtual interview processes is vital for student and ObGyn program success. Reddit is a popular website composed of user-aggregated content and is utilized by many young adults in the U.S. We qualitatively analyzed posts to a 2020-2021 subreddit, “Name and Shame


Methods:  to identify themes around ObGyn applicant experiences during virtual interviews. We will share common applicant concerns regarding virtual residency interviews and identify ways programs can optimize their interview day.


Results: We compiled 731 anonymous posts from the “2020-21 OB GYN Residency Applicant Spreadsheet” google spreadsheet posted to the 2020-2021 Residency Interview Spreadsheet megathread on the r/medicalschool subReddit. Three qualitatively trained evaluators coded the posts using an inductive approach to establish codes then themes.


Conclusion/ Discussion: We identified four themes across the posts. First, applicants commented on the logistics and structure of the interviews. They appreciated notifications when an interview was going to start or end and short, structured interview days. Second, applicants discussed interviewers and their conduct. This included which faculty/residents were involved, the types of interviews – behavioral versus traditional, group versus individual – and the types of questions – medical knowledge, diversity, and personal – and their perceived engagement of interviewers. Third, applicants discussed difficulties in assessing program culture and applicant fit. Finally, we found poster support and accountability with applicants encouraging each other, providing insight into their own institutions, and asking for clarification on posts.


Related APGO Publications/Modules: , Applicants faced novel interview challenges with virtual interviewing in 2020-2021. With the prospect of ongoing virtual residency interviews, our findings provide areas in which programs can improve applicant experience

Topics: Faculty Development Seminar, 2023, Faculty, Residency Director, Residency Coordinator, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, GME,

General Information

Faculty,Residency Director,Residency Coordinator,
Systems-Based Practice & Improvement,
Clinical Focus

Author Information

Shanaya Hebgen, BS; Laura Jacques, MD

Additional Materials

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