Outcomes of the 2021-2022 APDS General Surgery Recruitment Process Recommendations

Jennifer LaFemina, Kari M. Rosenkranz, Cary B. Aarons, Kareem Abdelfattah, Jennifer Choi, Karole T. Collier, William S. Havron, Jamie A. Hillas, Jason Lees, Jennifer A. Serfin, Kyla P. Terhune, Paul E. Wise, Douglas S. Smink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: In recent years, mounting challenges for applicants and programs in resident recruitment have catapulted this topic into a top priority in medical education. These challenges span all aspects of recruitment–from the time an applicant applies until the time of the Match–and have widespread implications on cost, applicant stress, compromise of value alignment, and holistic review, and equity. In 2021-2022, the Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS) set forth recommendations to guide processes for General Surgery residency recruitment. Objectives: This work summarizes the APDS 2021-2022 resident recruitment process recommendations, along with their justification and program end-of-cycle program feedback and compliance. This work also outlines the impact of these data on the subsequent 2022-2023 recommendations. Methods: After a comprehensive review of the available literature and data about resident recruitment, the APDS Task Force proposed recommendations to guide 2021-2022 General Surgery resident recruitment. Following cycle completion, programs participating in the categorical General Surgery Match were surveyed for feedback and compliance. Results: About 122 of the 342 programs (35.7%) participating in the 2022 categorical General Surgery Match responded. Based on available data in advance of the cycle, recommendations around firm application and interview numbers could not be made. About 62% of programs participated in the first round interview offer period with 86% of programs limiting offers to the number of slots available; 95% conducted virtual-only interviews. Programs responded they would consider or strongly consider the following components in future cycles: holistic review (90%), transparency around firm requirements (88%), de-emphasis of standardized test scores (54%), participation in the ERAS Supplemental application (58%), single first round interview release period (69%), interview offers limited to the number of available slots (93%), 48-hour minimum interview offer response time (98%), operationalization of applicant expectations (88%), and virtual interviews (80%). There was variability in terms of the feedback regarding the timing of the single first round offer period as well as support for a voluntary, live site visit for applicants following program rank list certification. Conclusions: The majority of programs would consider implementing similar recommendations in 2022-2023. The greatest variability around compliance revolved around single interview release and the format of interviews. Future innovation is contingent upon the ongoing collection of data as well as unification of data sources involved in the recruitment process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-775
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • equitability
  • general surgery
  • interviews
  • residency applications
  • resident recruitment


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