The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has upended the traditional 2020–2021 application season for ObGyn residency programs. In May 2020, the 2 national ObGyn education organizations, the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO) and Council on Resident Education in ObGyn (CREOG), issued guidelines to ensure a fair and equitable application process.1 These guidelines are consistent with recommendations from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Coalition for Physician Accountability. Important recommendations include:
- limiting away rotations
- being flexible in the number of specialty-specific letters of recommendation required
- encouraging residency programs to develop alternate means of conveying information about their curriculum.
In addition, these statements provide timing on when programs should release interview offers and when to begin interviews. Finally, programs are required to commit to online interviews and virtual visits for all applicants, including local students, rather than in-person interviews.
Here, we focus on identifying apps that students can use to help them with the application process—apps for the nuts and bolts of applying and interviewing and apps to learn more about individual programs.
Students must use the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) platform from AAMC to enter their information and register with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Students also must use the ERAS to submit their applications to their selected residency programs. The ERAS platform does not include an app to aid in the completion or submission of an application. The NRMP has developed the MATCH PRISM app, but this does not allow students to register for the match or submit their rank list. To learn about how to schedule interviews, residency programs may use one of the following sources: ERAS, Interview Broker, or Thalamus. Moreover, APGO/CREOG has partnered with Thalamus for the upcoming application cycle, which provides residency programs and applicants tools for application management, interview scheduling, and itinerary building. Thalamus offers a free app.
This year offers some unique challenges. The application process for ObGyn residencies is likely to be more competitive, and students face the added stress of having to navigate the interview season:
- without away rotations (audition interviews)
- without in-person visits of the city/hospital/program or social events before or after interview day
- with an all-virtual interview day.
Continue to: To find information on individual residency programs...