Beyond interviews: Involve residents in the selection process

Residency Program Insider, April 12, 2005

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Dear residency program colleague:

In the March 1 issue of "Residency Program Connection," I discussed the benefits of involving current residents in all aspects of the resident selection process. This week I'll explain how residents in Tufts Affiliated Hospitals' OB/GYN residency program, Boston, MA, contribute to the program's resident selection process.

Screening committees
For programs in which competition for interview slots is fierce and many applicants apply, screening committees comprised of resident representatives can be extremely valuable.

Informal gathering
The OB/GYN residents at Tufts Affiliated Hospitals gather with the applicants the evening before each of the program's five applicant interview days. This social meeting is held at one of the current resident's home and all residents not working are invited to attend. We think letting the residents and applicants meet in an environment that does not include the stress of the actual interviews gives the applicants a better chance to get a feel for what working in our program would really be like.

Interview day
The next step is the actual interview day. As part of Tuft's interview orientation, administrative chief conclude the hour-long orientation by speaking about life at Tufts from the residents' perspective. They focus on their own experiences, what they like about the program, and what they think makes our program different from other programs. During the interview day, four residents conduct formal interviews that follow the same protocol as those conducted by faculty.

Ranking process
Residents meet the day of the Council on Residency Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) exam to share their thoughts about each applicant. To preserve confidentiality about the ultimate selection process, the current residents are represented by the two administrative chiefs at the final rank meeting. These chief residents are able to adequately convey the thoughts of all current residents, but because they graduate by the time the new residents arrive, confidentiality is preserved. They also do not pass back specific feedback to the other residents.

The last step in the OB/GYN program is follow-up. We attempt, within the confines of the match regulations, to maintain contact with some of the candidates that we are most interested in, Chelmow says. This feedback is frequently carried out by residents that "bonded" with the applicant during audition rotations, the interview day, or during second-look visits.

That's all for this week!

All the best,

David Chelmow, MD, FACOG
Director, Tufts Affiliated Hospitals
OB/GYN Residency Program
Associate Professor OB/GYN
Tufts-New England Medical Center

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