Family medicine residency virtual adaptations for applicants during COVID-19

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in significant changes to the US residency application process for medical school grad-uates. Due to the lack of in-person activities, family medicine programs have utilized various social media platforms to connect with their applicants. In this paper, we describe how family medicine residency programs have adapted for the 2021 application cycle by using social media platforms. METHODS: We evaluated all family residency programs listed on the Electron-ic Residency Application Service (ERAS) for the presence of departmental and residency Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. We reviewed programs’ websites and social media posts for posts regarding virtual opportunities for prospective applicants. We noted family medicine virtual subinternship opportunities on the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS). We collected data from October 17, 2020 through November 2, 2020. RESULTS: Of 675 identified family medicine residency programs, 372 (55%) had some form of social media presence. Open house opportunities were of-fered by 46 (6.8%) programs on Twitter, 60 (8.9%) programs on Instagram, and 64 (9.5%) programs on Facebook. One hundred ninety-five of 578 residency-specific accounts were created after March 1, 2020; Instagram accounts (103 of 195) represented most of these; five virtual subinternships were identified on VSAS. CONCLUSIONS: Family medicine residency programs have adapted to the challenges that came with the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing social media outreach, particularly through Instagram. This has allowed residency programs to virtually communicate with prospective applicants during an unprecedented application cycle.
  • Published In

  • Family Medicine  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Pasala MS; Anabtawi NM; Farris RL; Hamrick JV; Singh NP; Rais-Bahrami S; Smith KA
  • Start Page

  • 684
  • End Page

  • 688
  • Volume

  • 53
  • Issue

  • 8