American Association of Plastic Surgeons

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The Plastic Surgery Residency Interview: A Survey of Residents and Program Directors
Lindsay J. Allred, MD1, Ryan E. Rebowe, MD1, Michael Harrington, MD2, Amanda Gosman, MD3, Lisa R. David, MD1.
1Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston Salem, NC, USA, 2University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA, 3UC San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to examine the integrated plastic surgery residency interview process through a survey of residents and program directors. Through shared insight, we hope to improve the process.
METHODS: Two online surveys were conducted regarding the interview process and disseminated to residents and program directors. An additional program director survey was administered regarding the ACAPS interview and match guidelines. Responses were analyzed.
RESULTS: Online respondents included 127 applicants/residents and 53 program directors. The ACAPS survey was completed by 106 program directors. Applicants most often cancelled interviews due to conflict with another interview, scheduling accommodation varies. Applicants prefer residents only at the dinner and value resident interviewers. One-on-one interview style is preferred. Ethical questions are common, clinical questions or tasks are uncommon. Most time is spent by applicant answering questions. In ranking programs, most valuable are rotations, the interview, and time with residents. Applicants most value fit and quality of life. Program directors most value rotations, letters, interview performance and academic performance. Match violations are decreasing and infrequently bother applicants. Approximately 25% of applicants and program directors would like post-interview communication. Post-interview communication occurs mainly between residents or coordinators, most pertains to program information or applicant updates; some regards ranking. Applicants prefer communication with coordinators and residents, faculty prefer program directors be contacted.
CONCLUSION: Successful matching is integral to an optimal experience for both parties. We identified key differences in perceptions which we hope will allow programs and applicants to more effectively navigate the interview process.


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