Videoconference Interviews for an Adult Reconstruction Fellowship: Lessons Learned

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Abstract

Background:

In 2017, approximately 90% of U.S. orthopaedic residents chose to participate in orthopaedic fellowships. The process of applying and interviewing for an orthopaedic fellowship is expensive and time-consuming for both orthopaedic residents and orthopaedic residency programs. Considerable physician man-hours are allocated to fellowship interviews and the match ranking process, and there are unintended consequences of time away from work for the resident and his or her training program. To reduce time and cost allocated to fellowship interviews, we implemented videoconference interviews for our adult reconstruction fellowship. The purpose of this article was to communicate the lessons that we learned about this innovation.

Methods:

Candidates and faculty who participated in videoconference interviews for our adult reconstruction fellowship during 2015 through 2017 were surveyed to learn more about the utility and acceptance of videoconference interviewing.

Results:

Eighty-five percent of the 47 videoconference interview candidates who responded to our survey believed that the videoconference interviews gave them a satisfactory understanding of our adult reconstruction fellowship; 85% of candidates stated that the fellowship manual and the videoconference interviews gave them a satisfactory understanding of our fellowship; 89% of candidates stated that the videoconference interview met their expectations; 85% of candidates believed that the videoconference interviews allowed them to present themselves to the program to their satisfaction; and 81% of candidates were comfortable ranking our program after the videoconference interviews. Furthermore, there was universal gratitude in the subjective comments for the convenience and low cost of the videoconference interviews. However, we are concerned that 15% of the candidates did not believe that they had the opportunity to present themselves to their satisfaction with videoconference interviews; 19% of applicants were not comfortable ranking our program after a videoconference interviews; 34% of videoconference interview candidates stated that the videoconference interviews had an unfavorable impact on their ranking of our program; and 30% of candidates believed that the videoconference interview was not a good format for fellowship interviews.

Conclusions:

This review presents what we learned about using videoconference interviews for evaluating and selecting adult reconstruction fellows. The role of videoconference interviews for selecting adult reconstruction fellows remains to be determined.

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