Interviewing Dermatology Applicants in a Virtual Setting: A Perspective after 2020-2021 Match Perspective after Match

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Sydney A Weir BS
Reagan Hattaway BS
Nikhi Singh BS
Timothy King MD PhD
Lauren C.S. Kole MD


Match, Residency, Medical Education, COVID19




The COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected the 2020-2021 residency application cycle. In 2020, residency programs across the country, including dermatology residency training programs, created social media accounts and implemented virtual open houses. It is unclear whether these methods effectively evaluated and recruited applicants. We aimed to assess the impact of visiting rotations, pre-interview events, and virtual interviews through the lens of dermatology program directors and medical students who matched into dermatology in 2021.  


A survey consisting of multiple-choice and open-ended questions was distributed to all 138 dermatology residency program directors in the United States on May 4, 2021, by email.


With a program director (PD) response rate of approximately 13%, the data obtained from the survey is limited. However, 68% of PDs were in agreeance that the absence of a student’s away rotation would limit their ability to gauge an applicant. Further, the most offered virtual pre-interview event was a Q&A session with residents. However, virtual open houses were the most highly rated virtual pre-interview event (average effectiveness score 6.8 out of 10).


Residency programs and applicants adapted to the virtual application cycle through enhanced virtual interaction, and these opportunities appeared to impact the application cycle in nuanced ways.  While this study was limited by a low response rate, it may provide a framework for the continued use of virtual opportunities in the wake of a global pandemic.


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