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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Novel Collaboration to Reduce the Travel-Related Cost of Residency Interviewing

  • Author(s): Shappell, Eric
  • Fant, Abra
  • Schnapp, Benjamin
  • Craig, Jill P
  • Ahn, James
  • Babcock, Christine
  • Gisondi, Michael A
  • et al.

Introduction: Interviewing for residency is a complicated and often expensive endeavor. Literature has estimated interview costs of $4,000 to $15,000 per applicant, mostly attributable to travel and lodging. The authors sought to reduce these costs and improve the applicant interview experience by coordinating interview dates between two residency programs in .

Methods: Two emergency medicine residency programs scheduled contiguous interview dates for the 2015-2016 interview season. A survey was used to assess applicant experiences interviewing in and attitudes regarding coordinated scheduling. Data on utilization of coordinated dates were obtained from interview scheduling software. The target group for this intervention consisted of applicants from medical schools outside that completed interviews at both programs.

Results: Of the 158 applicants invited to both programs, 84 (53%) responded to the survey. Scheduling data was available for all applicants. The total estimated cost savings for target applicants coordinating interview dates was $18,600. The majority of target applicants reported that this intervention increased the ease of scheduling (84%), made them less likely to cancel the interview (82%) and saved them money (71%).

Conclusions: Coordinated scheduling of interview dates was associated with significant estimated cost savings and was reviewed favorably by applicants across all measures of experience. Expanding use of this practice geographically and across specialties may further reduce the cost of interviewing for applicants.

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