Thriving in the Virtual Era: An Organized Approach to Improve Program Visibility and Virtual Residency Interview Process

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OBJECTIVE Since residency interviews became virtual due to COVID-19, and likely continue in the future, programs must find ways to improve their non-traditional recruiting methods. The objective of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of a structured, non-traditional approach on visibility and perception of the program as well as virtual interview experience. RESULTS The program's visibility was measured via social media analytics with an increase in reach on Facebook from 0/post to as high as 4200/post and engagement 2/post to nearly 600/post. Tweet Impressions from approximately 350/mo to 11,000/mo with the increase in new Followers/month by 532.5%. Increase in total number of applicants in 2021 of 16% compared to average between 2018 and 2020. Survey response rate was 66.1%; of those 53.8% of interviewees attended a virtual meet and greet session. Perceptions of interviewees on our program was exclusively positive. Specific characteristics of the program that would make students rank us higher were program's culture, people, academics, and clinical experiences they would get as residents. CONCLUSIONS The exponential increase in our program's visibility and exclusively positive program assessment suggest that a structured approach utilizing social media and virtual technologies could improve both the recruitment and the virtual interview process while maintaining positive perceptions of the program.



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