Introduction Residency applications via virtual-interview could potentially mitigate the extensive cost and time required for customary in-person interviews. We outline the perception of medical students and residents on the use of virtual-interview for residency applications in lieu of in-person interviews. Methods We obtained 1824 responses from medical students and residents through an online questionnaire between March2019-Feb2020 in Texas-United States. The survey had 11 statements (five in favor of in-person interviews and 6 in favor of virtual interviews) that respondents could rank on a 5-point Likert scale. All statements’ scores were summed based on the response given by each participant to create a total score between 11 and 55. The perception of the two groups was analyzed using an independent sample T-test and ANOVA. Results We received a total of 1711 responses from medical students and 113 from medical residents. Respondents were more female (82.2% of medical students and 47.8% of residents), with a mean age of 22.87±3.42 years old for medical students and 28.72±4.35 years old for residents. Both groups preferred in-person interviews; however, the residents were significantly more in favor (P = 0.03). Both groups agree that virtual-interviews should be as an option, though this was considerably higher in the medical students (P = 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, “travel distance” and “type of medical school” had a significant impact on choosing the virtual-interviews in both groups (p<0.01). Conclusions In-person interviews are favored by both medical students and residents compared to virtual-interview services in normal circumstances. However, both groups agree that programs should offer the option of having virtual-interviews as an available choice. Distance to an interview location and the type of medical school were the factors that had a significant impact on perception of using virtual-interviews. Knowing about the applicants’ attitude toward residency interviews and the national circumstances are essential when preparing the interview guides. Our findings are limited by the small sample size and the low response rate. Further extensive studies are warranted to better understand the perception of residency applicants toward virtual-interviews to improve the interview process in the United States.
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