Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic (COVID-19), guidelines regarding both elimination of visiting subinternships and substitution of virtual interviews for the 2021 match were adopted. We hypothesize that these changes will result in an increase in home institution match rates compared to previous years.
Program match data was obtained using information posted to residency program Instagram pages and the hashtag #PRSMatch2021. Chi square was used to assess differences between groups.
Medical school regions were categorized as West, Midwest, South, and Northeast and compared to match program region.
Matched candidates to integrated plastic surgery residencies RESULTS: A total of 181/187 (96.8%) integrated plastic surgery matched candidates were identified. Compared to historical controls, there was a statistically significant increase in the home match rate (24.3%, p = 0.004) and statistically significant decrease in match rate for students without a home plastic surgery program (21.0%, p = 0.004). Similar to prior years, applicants were more likely to match in their own region for all regions (p < 0.001); however, there was a statistical increase in students staying in the South region for residency compared to previous years (p = 0.007).
The 2021 match cycle resulted in an increase in home program match rates, while decreasing match rates among students without a home plastic surgery program. COVID-19 polices may have resulted in disadvantages to students from diverse institutional backgrounds. Influences of virtual subinternships and virtual interviews should be further evaluated.

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