Objectives: The objective was to assess female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery (FPMRS) fellowship applicants' perspectives on the effectiveness of the virtual interview format for creating their rank lists.
Methods: This was an anonymous internet-based survey study of applicants to the FPMRS fellowships in the United States, conducted from July 21, 2020, to August 5, 2020. A 34-item questionnaire queried applicants on satisfaction with interviews, comfort with creating a rank list and time, and financial cost of interviews. Applicants were invited to complete the survey via standardized emails distributed via the REDCap secure database.
Results: Forty-two (56.7%) of 74 applicants completed the survey. The majority of respondents were somewhat satisfied or very satisfied (92.9%) with the virtual interview process and felt comfortable ranking the programs (83.3%). A total of 9.8% of respondents found virtual interviews somewhat or much better than in-person interviews with regards to being informative and helpful, whereas 61% found them to be about the same. A majority (75.6%) found virtual interviews somewhat or much less stressful compared with in-person interviews. The majority (97.5%) spent less than $2,000 during the application process compared with more than $4,000 (87.8%) that they had anticipated spending if the interviews were in person.
Conclusions: Our data revealed that FPMRS applicants overall had a positive experience with the virtual interview platform and felt comfortable creating a rank list of programs based on those interviews.
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