Development, implementation, and uptake of a novel Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) residency recruitment committee strategy in the era of COVID-19
Keywords:Covid-19, education, medical residency
Introduction: Given restrictions on electives outside of medical students’ home institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the objective of this study was to create a novel recruitment strategy for the University of Ottawa’s (uOttawa) urology residency program.
Methods: A steering committee was formed and created a threepart recruitment strategy that included a new uOttawa urology website, a residency program social media campaign (Twitter and Instagram), and a virtual open house (VOH). Descriptive data from the website and Instagram and Twitter accounts were collected. Attendees of the VOH completed a mixed-methods survey, which collected quantitative and qualitive responses assessing aspects of the VOH and virtual resource use.
Results: From August 1 to December 31, 2020, the uOttawa urology website had 1707 visits. The Twitter account had a total of 29 000 views with 1000–5000 views per tweet. Thirty-one candidates attended the VOH. Survey responders reported that the most frequently used resources to gain knowledge of the program were the website (81%) and Twitter account (71%). The most helpful and informative resources were the uOttawa urology website, the VOH, and direct conversations with residents arranged through the website. Despite not having completed an elective, 26 students (84%) felt they had an understanding of what it might feel like to train in the program. Suggestions by students for future initiatives included one-on-one virtual meetings, another VOH, and more information on selection processes.
Conclusions: A multifaceted, virtual recruitment strategy can be implemented to improve candidate understanding and engagement with residency programs while visiting elective opportunities remain limited.
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