How to Prep Your Graduate Medical Education Programs for a Virtual Interview Season
// By Althea Fung //
Jason Reminick, MD, MBA, MS was stranded.
In the fall of 2012, the then fourth-year medical student was gearing up for a series of residency interviews when Hurricane Sandy, a Category 3 hurricane, came barreling through the Northeast, making it impossible for him to attend his in-person interviews in New York City.
“All the bridges and tunnels in Manhattan were shut down. The subway was shut down. You really couldn’t get off of the island. Many of the hospitals were damaged by the storms, so interviews were canceled,” he says. “When I eventually made it out to an interview on Long Island the next week, one of the candidates had paid $600 for a cab from Staten Island to Suffolk County because the residency program wouldn’t reschedule his interview. That story really sat with me.”
Hearing similar stories about the interview process that year spurred Reminick to found Thalamus, a graduate medical education (GME) interview scheduling system, with his mentor in medical school and residency program director Suzie Karan, MD, FASA. Thalamus helps programs schedule interviews, build individual candidate and faculty schedules, conduct virtual interviews, and score and rank applicants. It integrates with ERAS and SF Match so data can flow between the systems.
“We put our heads together to come up with a streamlined system for the interview process, thinking about the potential for another unique interview year,” he says.
The 2020-2021 interview season will be another example of a unique interview year. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has advised that residency and fellowship programs forgo in-person interviews and instead interview prospective trainees virtually.
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