2020 has been a year of reflection and adaptation in the midst of a global pandemic and historic presidential election. Yet, orthopedic residencies must move forward in many facets including ushering in the next generation. Even for the most technologically adept, becoming accustomed to online meetings has been a difficult transition. Suddenly, we are faced with a new social dynamic and “Zoom Etiquette” is a term that is expected to be understood and implemented. Remember the text message transition era? THERE WERE SOOO MANY GROWING PAINS!!!! Student rotations have been impacted through this process and now many programs have transitioned to virtual interviews.
In Dayton, Ohio at Grandview Medical Center our interview planning process was a collaboration of residents, attendings, coordinators, and even a family member who utilized this form of online communication regularly. Ultimately, we wanted to simulate a day that felt as close to “normal” as we were accustomed to. We had to be flexible and ready to pivot to accommodate a variety of obstacles whilst providing our students the time they’ve earned with interviewers. Here I would like to share an outline of Grandview’s Zoom interview day. For the foreseeable future, it serves as our template and work in progress as we anticipate this experience will continue to become more commonplace.
- Platform: Zoom
- 17 Interviewees (multiple states represented)
- ~42 Interviewers from all over the country (Attendings, Residents, Mid-level staff, Administration, Family, and Friends)
- 12 Breakout Rooms
- 10 Minute Station Specific Rooms (Conflict Resolution, Trauma Triage, etc.)
- 5 Minute Debriefing/Transition (Student Evaluations
- Main Room
- 5 Interviewees in queue at any given time (reviewing application materials, self-care, etc.)
- Breakout Room Coordinators
- 3 Intern Residents (Time keeping, Residency Resource, etc.)
- 1 Program Coordinator
- 1 IT/Zoom Guru (Family friend familiar with Zoom Etiquette & Breakout rooms)
- Start time: 7 AM EST (don’t forget to account for time differences)
- 7:00 – 7:30 Program Presentation/Q&A
- 7:30 – 8:00 Breakout Room Organization
- 8:00 – 12:00 Interviews
- 12:00 – 12:30 Conclusion
- End Time: 1 PM EST
The day was arduous for everyone. The new process impeded on the intimate interaction and prevented the translation of critical information we all use regularly on a daily basis such as body language and eye contact; however, we did it. We learned a lot and look forward to customizing to allow for more flexibility and efficiency. Looking back, the virtual interviews seemed bizarre and foreign; yet, there are many benefits to online meetings that cannot be understated. Sharing information is easier, sessions can be recorded, your meeting settings can be customized at the click of a mouse, users can screenshare, there is a wider audience of availability for participation, and the list goes on.
I think most of all it is important to remember this day belongs to the students. They are simply the future of our residency programs and our field; we owe them the best experience that we can provide no matter what configuration. What are you doing for your interview season? How are you customizing your settings? What will your itinerary consist of? What are your goals and priorities? I welcome feedback and input, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas and let us collaborate on a new era communication.
I want to offer my special thanks to Halida Hatic for all her guidance and expertise.