To assess whether pandemic-related restrictions with video-based interviewing increased geographic clustering of urology applicants matching at a residency program near where they were raised or attended medical school.
We utilized publicly available data from the urology match to compare dispersal patterns between applicants matching during the COVID-19 application cycle (2021) and those matching in the 5 prior application cycles (2016-2020). Variables included home state, undergraduate institution, medical school, and residency. Latitudes and longitudes were obtained for each institution and home state. The primary endpoint was distance (miles, as the most direct path) between medical school and residency program. We also assessed dispersal patterns by American Urological Association section.
Of the 1,965 applicants matching to a urology program between 2016-2021, medical school was identified for 1,956 (99.7%) applicants, undergraduate program for 1,551 (79%) applicants, and home state for 1,351 (69%) applicants. Comparing the COVID-19 application cycle to the 5 prior application cycles, there was no significant difference in the median distance between medical school and residency, undergraduate university and residency, or home state and residency. Similarly, there was no significant difference in the proportion of applicants matching at their home institution, matching from medical schools without a home urology program, matching from medical schools with a historically low volume of urology applicants (<1 matched applicant per year), or matching from a D.O.

Virtual interviewing and the loss of in-person clinical rotations did not significantly alter dispersal patterns or hamper an applicant’s ability to match at program outside their geographic region.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.