The 2021 Podiatric Residency Candidate and Program Virtual Interview Experience During COVID with Multispecialty Reflections and Recommendations for a Successful Virtual Match.

Danae L. LowellAmerican Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Council on Teaching Hospitals; Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center; VA Site Director for Mercy Health Regional Medical Center, Cleveland, OH.

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Susan K. ClaffeyOffice of Graduate Services, American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine, Rockville, MD.

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Moraith G. NorthOffice of Graduate Services, American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine, Rockville, MD.

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Kerry J. SweetAmerican Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine; AACPM Council on Teaching Hospital; Podiatry Section, Veterans Affairs Health Care System Puget Sound, Seattle WA.

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Nichol L. SalvoPodiatry Section, Atlanta Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Decatur, GA.

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Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic impacted all facets of health care in the United States, including the disruption of professional training for podiatry residents and students. In March 2020, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recommended pausing then modifying all clinical rotations. The podiatric community followed suit. In-person restrictions, cancellations of clerkships, limited clinical experiences, virtual didactic programs and reduced surgical cases for students and residency programs occurred for many months during the ongoing pandemic. These adaptations impacted the ability of podiatric students to complete clinical rotations and clerkships, which are pivotal to their academic curriculum and residency program application and selection.

Methods: A survey was conducted by the Council of Teaching Hospitals (COTH) and sent out by the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM). The 2021 post-interview surveys were sent out to all participants in the 2021 CASPR application and match cycle, both programs and candidates.

Results: The COTH presents results and comments from the 2021 virtual interview experience and residency match. Data and anecdotal comments from the 2021 post-interview survey conducted by COTH, sent out by AACPM, are presented here.

Conclusions: Results from the surveys of program directors and candidates show a preference by both groups for in-person interviews despite the personal time demands and increased costs associated with travel.

Corresponding author: Danae Lowell, DPM, Chair, American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Council on Teaching Hospitals, Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, VA Site Director for Mercy Health Regional Medical Center, 10701 East Boulevard Cleveland, OH 44106. (E-mail: danae.lowell@va.gov)