Program Director Call-to-Action: Establishing Residency Program Virtual Open Houses
ASA Medical Student Component President-Elect
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
With the 2021 Match officially behind us, it is never too early to be thinking about recruiting the next class of future anesthesiologists. As the virtual platform for providing information and resources will continue to dominate the future of medical education, there is great value in improving the current techniques to recruiting applicants. The Coalition of Physician Accountability has updated guidelines for the 2021 – 2022 academic year, continuing to gauge limitations on the number of away rotations medical students will be able to participate in; putting a great deal of emphasis on virtual open houses, program director interviews, and virtual meet and greet sessions. The ASA Medical Student Component Governing Council sought to better help anesthesia applicants become better informed about programs and target their applications by developing a series of video interviews with program directors from 59 anesthesia residency programs on common questions. The emphasis of these questions and answers were to help educate applicants about the program director, what unique attributes a specific program had, how applicants are assessed, what makes a successful resident in that particular program.
The utility of both these program director interviews, and virtual open houses not only help the current anesthesia resident applicants, but also assist other students interested in learning more about a certain residency program earlier in their training. Smaller, more personalized virtual open houses throughout the residency application cycle has allowed applicants to gauge a first impression of a program on a more intimate level.
It is encouraged every anesthesia residency create a virtual open house programing in order to highlight an overview of the residency program, provide opportunities for applicants to engage with current residents and faculty, and showcase the unique aspects that the program has to offer.
The ASA Medical Student Component Governing Council highly urges residency programs to consider an accessible virtual open house experience for students to engage with and learn about the specific programs in this new era of residency applications and interviews. The addition of a recorded or live virtual open house, program director interviews addressing specific questions, and opportunities for applicants to engage with residents and faculty, will allow for recruitment of the best residency applicants and benefit the applicants greatly.