The effectiveness of virtual interviews for postgraduate orthodontic residencies in North America

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Journal of the World Federation of Orthodontists


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to collect information regarding how orthodontic program directors are conducting their resident interviews due to changes brought about by COVID-19, their beliefs about the advantages and disadvantages ofadapting to a new process, and their thoughts after the 2020 application cycle. Methods: Two surveys, an initial and follow-up, were sent to all 74 North Americanpostgraduate orthodontic residency program directors/chairs. Anonymous responseswere analyzed. Results: Thirty-five of 74 program directors responded (47.3%) to the initial survey, and 85.7% (n=30) of the program directors who responded to the initials urvey also responded to the follow-up survey. Program directors felt thought the top three advantages of virtual interviews were: 1) “Cost-effectiveness for candidates;” 2) “Saves travel time for candidates;” and 3) “safe environment from COVID-19.” They believed the top three disadvantages of virtual interviews were: 1) “Assessing interpersonal skills/personality;” 2) “Inability to explore the city;” and 3) “Lack ofpersonal interaction.” Nearly half of the program directors (46.7%) did not believe virtual interviews are as valuable as in-person interviews. Conclusions: Most respondents did not believe virtual interviews were as effective as in-person interviews.This study may be useful when considering the use of virtual interviews in the future,whether for another pandemic or if an applicant is unable to attend an in-personinterview.

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