Residency Recruitment Season for 2022-23

AACPD Statement on Residency Recruitment Season for 2022-23

May 23, 2022

The Coalition for Physician Accountability (CoPA) previously recommended virtual interviews in the 2021-2022 residency recruitment cycle. While this recommendation was beneficial due to the COVID pandemic, the purpose of the recommendation was actually to support equity. Virtual interviews decrease costs to programs and applicants and decrease time away from important medical school rotations during the recruitment season. The CoPA recommendations for virtual interviews have not changed. The AAMC and NRMP have recently provided additional guidance in support of virtual interviews.

The Association of Anesthesiology Core Program Directors (AACPD) Council recently surveyed our membership regarding the format of the upcoming recruitment season. Forty eight of 99 (48.5%) respondents prefer virtual interviews followed by in-person “Second Looks”, 30 of 99 (30.3%) prefer virtual only, and 21 of 99 (21.2%) prefer in-person only without a second look. Therefore, in total, 78 of 99 (78.8%) are in favor of virtual interviews.

Based on the CoPA, AAMC, and NRMP recommendations, the results of our survey, and the belief that equity should be prioritized in recruitment, the AACPD recommends that programs conduct virtual interviews with the possibility of an in-person visit. Individual programs are strongly discouraged from conducting both virtual and in-person interviews in the same season, as this has the potential to introduce significant bias.

The concern with in-person second look visits is that applicants may feel pressure to attend in order to demonstrate their interest. The ideal solution is for the NRMP to separate rank order list deadlines for programs and applicants. The Organization of Program Director Associations (OPDA) has petitioned the NRMP to make this change, and the AACPD will do the same. If the NRMP does not change rank order list deadlines, we recommend that any program hosting an in-person visit after virtual interviews do so without the participation of anyone who will participate in making the rank list.

The AACPD does not have the authority to mandate or enforce these recommendations. We understand that each program has unique needs and may opt not to follow these recommendations, but we believe that a unified approach to recruitment is in the best interest of applicants to our programs. The AACPD Council respects and supports Sponsoring Institutions and program directors in making these difficult decisions.

Association of Anesthesiology Core Program Directors Council