Travel restrictions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic reshaped interviewing for fellowships into a predominantly virtual process. How this impacts Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) resident approaches to fellowship application and Match navigation is largely unknown.
We performed a cross-sectional survey study of fourth year OB/GYN residents in the United States who participated in at least one virtual fellowship interview in 2020. We collected information regarding demographics, application strategy, perceived strengths and weaknesses of virtual interviews, and confidence with rank list creation. Descriptive statistics were used for categorical variables and responses pre- and post-Match were compared using Fisher’s exact test.
Seventy-five out of an estimated 490 applicants (~ 15% response rate) completed the survey. Of the respondents, 65.3% felt they interviewed at more programs virtually than they would anticipate completing in person, but perceived less confidence in having the necessary information (n = 45, 60%) or understanding the culture of programs (n = 59, 78.7%) to create a rank list. Cost savings were the main benefit of virtual interviews (n = 50, 66.7%), and inability to get a true “feel” for a program was the biggest limitation (n = 43, 57.3%). A majority (46.7%) advocate for a future hybrid interview process.
OB/GYN residents pursuing fellowship reported interviewing at more programs during the virtual season, but had less confidence with rank list creation. Cost savings benefits are weighed against difficulty getting a “feel” for programs virtually. Most would advocate for a future hybrid interview process.

© 2022. The Author(s).