Main Article Content
Dermatology Residency, ERAS, COVID-19, Virtual Application Cycle, Dermatology Residency Applicants, Medical Education, social media
The COVID-19 pandemic caused substantial disruptions to medical education. We hypothesized that these disruptions may affect students applying to competitive residencies such as dermatology.
A 24-question IRB-exempt, online, anonymous survey was distributed to 240 eligible medical students via social media to assess dermatology residency applicants’ concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to collect student-proposed solutions to assist with the virtual application cycle. Eligibility consisted of US MD students applying to dermatology residency in the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 application cycles. Statistical significance was calculated using the Chi-squared procedure, T-test/ANOVA, Mann Whitney test, and Kruskil Wallis tests with post-hoc Tukey and Mann Whitney tests.
Of 240 eligible students, 77 students attempted the survey whereas 69 students completed it (response rate 32%, completion rate 89%). Salient findings include students without home dermatology departments (WHD; n=24) who demonstrated concerns about research project changes (p=0.00). Students under-represented in medicine (UIM; n=34) concerned about lack of in-person interviews (p=0.00; p=0.04). MS3 (n=14), concerned about test cost (p=0.00), and effect on test scores because of COVID-19 (p=0.03). WHD and UIM applicants showed concerns about changes in clinical experiences (p=0.03, p= 0.03, respectively). Lastly, WHD, UIM and MS3 expressed concerns about obtaining quality recommendation letters (p=0.00, p=0.04, and p=0.03, respectively).
Our findings demonstrate the various concerns shared by dermatology residency applicants because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The suggested solutions offered by participants in our study can be used to improve processes for candidates in the 2021-2022 residency application cycle.
2. Dermatology Residency Program Director Consensus Statement and Recommendations Regarding the 2020-2021 Application Cycle. https://students-residents.aamc.org/media/9526/download. Published 2020. Accessed April 12, 2021.
3. Association of the American Medical Colleges. ERAS Statistics. https://www.aamc.org/data-reports/interactive-data/eras-statistics-data. Published 2020. Accessed March 26, 2021.
4. National Resident Matching Program. 2021 Main Residency Match Results. https://www.nrmp.org/main-residency-match-data/. Published 2021. Accessed March 26, 2021.
5. National Resident Matching Program. Results and Data: 2020 Main Residency Match. https://www.nrmp.org/main-residency-match-data/. Published 2020. Accessed March 26, 2021.