Objective: To determine the impact of specialty-specific guidelines for standardized interview offers on residency applicant behavior towards excessive interviewing. Design: In 2019 to 2020, the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics and the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) outlined standard dates for residency interview offers. A cross-sectional survey of applicants queried adherence to standardized interview offers, the number of interviews offers received, interviews completed, and application characteristics. Based on data that applicants in OBGYN with a mean number of 12 contiguous ranks are highly likely to match, factors associated with accepting an excessive percentage of interview offers were investigated in applicants with at least 12 interviews, using multiple logistic regression. Setting: All OBGYN applicants were sent an anonymous electronic survey distributed through the Electronic Residency Application Service in February 2020, with the subset of US MD senior respondents selected for this analysis. Participants: There were a total of 1292 US MD senior applicants into OBGYN in 2020, with 505 (39%) providing their interview information through the survey. Three hundred and sixty (71%) of US MD senior respondents received at least 12 interviews. Results: Applicants receiving at least 12 interview offers completed a median of 83% of their interviews, and excessive interviewing was defined as completing greater than this median percentage. Receiving most interview offers on standardized interview offer dates resulted in less excessive interviewing despite controlling for number of programs applied to, applying as a couple, and United States Medical Licensing Exams Step 1 score. Conclusions: The standardization of interview offer dates may mitigate interview inflation by altering applicant behavior. This promising pilot data suggests that applicants may be able to make more informed decisions about which interview offers to accept when all offers are received on predetermined dates.
- Systems-Based Practice