Residency

Tip of the week: How to keep residency interviews in-bounds

Residency Program Insider, March 14, 2014

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Residency interviews are employment interviews and asking applicants about age, gender, marital status, ­family planning, ethnicity, or religion can lead to discrimination lawsuits. However, almost 65% of applicants surveyed were asked about these topics during residency interviews, according to research recently published in Academic Medicine.
 
Residency Program Alert asked the experts how residency programs can avoid interview questions that are ­off-limits. Here are their ground rules for interviews:
 
Do:
  • Familiarize yourself with employment laws that govern your program, says Bruce D. Armon, Esq., a managing partner at the Philadelphia office of Saul Ewing, LLP. For more information, talk to your in-house legal counsel, the human resources department, or outside legal counsel.
  • Train everyone who interviews applicants, including faculty members and residents, says H. Gene Hern Jr., MD, MS, residency director in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland, Calif.
  • Provide interviewers with guidelines about what topics are off-limits and why, Hern says.
 
Don’t:
  • Ask questions about age, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, family planning, national origin, or disabilities, Armon says.
  • Ask leading questions, such as, "What holidays do you celebrate?" or "How many children do you want to have?" he says.
  • Ask questions that are embarrassing, or that you wouldn't want to be asked yourself, Armon says.
 
This tip is from the October 2013 issue of Residency Program Alert.



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