Ophthalmology residency match in the COVID-19 era: Applicant and program director perceptions of the 2020-2021 application cycle.

Title

Ophthalmology residency match in the COVID-19 era: Applicant and program director perceptions of the 2020-2021 application cycle.

Creator

Venincasa MJ; Steren B; Young BK; Parikh A; Ahmed B; Sridhar J; Kombo N

Publisher

Seminars In Ophthalmology

Date

2021
2021-04-07

Description

Objective: To evaluate the experiences and preferences of ophthalmology residency applicants and program directors (PDs), with emphasis on the effect of COVID-19 as well as recent changes on the application process.Design: Cross-sectional, online surveyParticipants: All applicants to the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute ophthalmology residency program, and all United States ophthalmology residency PDs, during the 2020-2021 application cycle.Methods: An online survey was distributed to applicants and program directors of the 2020-2021 ophthalmology residency application cycle.Main Outcome Measures: Applicant demographics, application submissions, interview experiences, financial considerations, match results, and suggestions for improvement of the application process.Results: Responses were obtained from 205 applicants (34.9% response rate) and 37 PDs (30.3%). A successful match into an ophthalmology residency was achieved by 144 (83.7%) applicants. Applicants applied to (mean ± SD) 79.7 ± 22.8 ophthalmology residency programs, received 13.1 ± 8.9 invitations to interview, and attended 11.1 ± 5.8 interviews. Most applicants (N = 126; 71.2%) and PDs (N = 22; 78.6%) expressed a preference for in-person interviews over virtual interviews. If given a choice regarding the future direction for interviews, most applicants were unsure (N = 68; 38.4%) or would prefer to hold interviews virtually (N = 62; 35.0%); PDs felt that interviews should go back to being in-person (39.3%) or were unsure (28.6%). Most PDs (N = 21; 72.4%) reported an increased number of applications received by their respective programs this year compared to previous years. While applicants (N = 108; 61.0%) mostly felt that there should not be a cap on the number of applications, 19 (67.9%) PDs supported a limit on application numbers. Applicants spent an average (SD) of $2320.96 ($1172.86) on the application process this year, which is significantly less than 2018-2019 data.Conclusions: The ophthalmology residency application process was especially complex during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many applicants and PDs were glad that interviews were held virtually this year, they were less certain regarding future years. The virtual format led to a significantly lower financial burden for applicants and may lead some to prefer this format in the future; if a hybrid model is offered for virtual/in-person interviews, these two interview modes should be compared equally.

Subject

Application; COVID-19; Match; medical student; Residency

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Format

journalArticle

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Pages

1-6

ISSN

1744-5205 0882-0538

NEOMED College

NEOMED College of Medicine Student

NEOMED Department

NEOMED Student Publications

Update Year & Number

April 2021 List

Citation

Venincasa MJ; Steren B; Young BK; Parikh A; Ahmed B; Sridhar J; Kombo N, “Ophthalmology residency match in the COVID-19 era: Applicant and program director perceptions of the 2020-2021 application cycle.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed January 21, 2022, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/11621.

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