Virtual Interviews May Fall Short for Pediatric Surgery Fellowships: Lessons Learned From COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2.

Research paper by Ruth R Lewit, Ankush A Gosain

Indexed on: 02 Nov '20Published on: 01 Nov '20Published in: Journal of Surgical Research


As a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, many Pediatric Surgery Fellowship programs were forced to convert their normal in-person interviews into virtual interviews. This study sought to determine the perceived value of virtual interviews for Pediatric Surgery Fellowship. An anonymous survey was distributed to the applicants and faculty at a university-affiliated, free-standing children's hospital with a Pediatric Surgery fellowship program that conducted one of three interview days using a virtual format. All applicants who responded to the survey had at least one interview that was converted to a virtual interview. Faculty (75%) and applicants (87.5%) preferred in-person interviews over virtual interviews; most applicants (57%) did not feel they got to know the program as well with the virtual format. Applicants and faculty felt that virtual interviews could potentially be used as a screening tool in the future (7/10 Likert) but did not recommend they be used as a complete replacement for in-person interviews (3.5-5/10 Likert). Applicants were more likely than faculty to report that interview type influenced their final rank list (5 versus 3/10 Likert). Faculty and applicants preferred in-person interviews and did not recommend that virtual interviews replace in-person interviews. As the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic continues, more virtual interviews will be necessary, and innovations may be necessary to ensure an optimal interview process. Survey. N/A. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.