Program Director Opinions of Virtual Interviews: Whatever Makes my Partners Happy

Jonathan D. D'Angelo, Anne Lise D. D'Angelo, Kellie L. Mathis, Eric J. Dozois, Scott R. Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the processes and outcomes of 2021 colon and rectal surgery match season: one of the first National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) match to conduct uniformly virtual interviews for all programs and candidates due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since this if the first-year interviews were held entirely virtual for a (NRMP) match season, we sought to determine: (1) How did program directors (PDs) in this year's fellowship conduct their virtual interviews? (2) Were any of these conduct decisions associated with the PD satisfaction with the resulting match? (3) What is the PDs opinion of how interviews should occur next year if COVID-19 is not a factor? Design and Setting: The authors sent an anonymous survey to the PDs of all programs participating in the 2021 colon and rectal surgery residency match directly following match day 2020. Participants: Forty-one colon and rectal residency PDs (70% response rate) responded to the survey (78% Male) representing a range of experience (M = 7.61, SD = 5.66, years as PD at current institution), and program type (77.5% Academic, 7.5% Independent Academic Medical Center, 15% Nonacademic). Results: While programs utilized several different platforms, conducted various forms of training for their faculty, and provided applicants with different types of information, interview day(s) across the specialty are reported to have proceeded smoothly. PDs as a whole were very satisfied with their match results this year (M = 4.65, SD = .66), and this satisfaction was not impacted by virtual interview decisions or processes. However, only 55% of PDs agree or strongly agree that next year's interviews should be virtual regardless of COVID-19, a judgement solely influenced by the opinion of other program faculty on virtual interviews, regardless of satisfaction with match or comfort with technology. Conclusion: While PDs report high satisfaction with virtual interview processes and outcomes, there is less agreement that colon and rectal surgery residency interviews should move to a solely virtual platform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e12-e18
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • Interviews
  • Match
  • Residency
  • Surgery
  • Virtual Interviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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