Conducting Virtual Simulated Skills Multiple Mini-Interviews for General Surgery Residency Interviews

Sarah Lund, Nizamuddin Shaikh, Vicky J.H. Yeh, Mohamed Baloul, Rafael de Azevedo, Alvaro Peña, Mark Becknell, Florencia Que, John Stulak, Mariela Rivera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We describe the feasibility of transitioning simulated skills assessments during general surgery interviews from an in-person to virtual format. Design/Setting: Technical and nontechnical skill multiple mini-interviews (MMIs) were performed virtually and assessed for 109 applicants during virtual general surgery interviews over 2 days at a tertiary academic medical center. Results: We demonstrate the feasibility of virtually assessing general surgery residency applicants’ technical and non-technical skills. Using a virtual MMI format during general surgery interviews, we assessed communication, emotional intelligence, anatomical knowledge, interpretation of medical tests, knot tying, and suturing. Four tasks (communication, emotional intelligence, anatomical knowledge, and interpretation of tests) were assessed synchronously by trained general surgery interns. Applicants submitted a recording of themselves performing knot tying and suturing tasks, which were asynchronously assessed after the interview day. Applicants rated the MMI experience highly (4.3/5) via postinterview day survey and the majority of applicants felt that station objectives were met in the virtual format. Conclusions: We report a successful experience implementing technical and nontechnical virtual MMIs with capacity for 120 applicants during general surgery residency interviews. In the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to assess surgical leaners virtually is essential. Virtual skills assessments may provide a more comprehensive picture of applicants and enable residency programs to better assess residents when gathering in person is not feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1786-1790
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • COVID-19
  • general surgery residency
  • multiple mini-interviews
  • virtual assessments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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