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20 hours ago, procrastinating said:

Thoughts on virtual interviews, how it may affect applicants, and whether or not it will persist after the 2021 match?

I think you will see people attend a lot more of their interviews. And some may apply to more programs/schools because they are not restricted by the number of interviews they can afford to travel to. 

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Very good chance this will persist post the match, especially if it is deemed successful.  My understanding is that there's been a push by some within CaRMS and the CFMS for several years to go towards alternative interview models for primarily financial / equitability reasons (but also environmental, the time / stress commitment, etc.). 

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On 5/9/2020 at 6:41 AM, MSWschnoodle said:

I think you will see people attend a lot more of their interviews. And some may apply to more programs/schools because they are not restricted by the number of interviews they can afford to travel to. 

Outside of family med and maybe psych in prior years, was anyone really turning down other specialty interviews?  Given competitiveness, i dont think it will increase the interviews by all that much, except in FM/IM maybe with more people attending more of their backup interviews. 

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3 hours ago, JohnGrisham said:

Outside of family med and maybe psych in prior years, was anyone really turning down other specialty interviews?  Given competitiveness, i dont think it will increase the interviews by all that much, except in FM/IM maybe with more people attending more of their backup interviews. 

In some very small specialties probably not but I know several people who turned down multiple specialty interviews and only attended selected ones they were invited to. I didn't realize it was that rare to turn some down. I'll be interested to see what happens when all is said and done. 

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I’m a bit nervous about issues like internet connection/lagging, and find the virtual format more nerve-wracking, but overall I think this is a really good change from a cost and environmental standpoint. I’ve heard concerns over the inability to tour campuses/hospitals and get a feel for the program, but it also sounds like programs will be trying to implement virtual info sessions and resident Q&As. Hopefully everything goes smoothly :)

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What are your thoughts on how this will impact who exactly gets the interviews? Will the already-limited electives matter even more - would programs be willing to take a candidate who has done an elective in their specialty, but not their site, and who they won't get a chance to meet until the program actually commences? 

For example, if I did plastics electives at UofC, UBC, Queen's, and McGill (thus filling up the 8 week elective cap) - would all of the schools who've never met me before even want to do a virtual interview? I'm not necessarily anti-virtual, but I fear that programs won't want to sign on to train someone for 5 years if they haven't so much as seen them IRL. There's a lot to be said for body language and overall vibes that may not be easily detected virtually, especially by people who aren't used to going virtual ... I hope this isn't the case but I've heard of virtual interviews in the past as being disadvantageous and I don't want an already chancey system to be even more up-in-the-air

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Is it confirmed that next year Carms would have virtual interviews? 

If so I think this will affect a lot the types of interviews available, like the MMI for example would be very difficult to be conducted online, as well as the multi- station interviews.

Any thought about this?

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One of the later programs I interviewed at had some candidates unable to attend due to last-minute severe weather in the east coast. The program was very understanding, and despite the interview being a mini-MMI of sorts, the staff walked around with laptops, and it seemed to run smoothly. Of course, now that there is much more notice, programs will have a much longer period of time to prepare. I don't anticipate a great deal of trouble conducting interviews this way.

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3 hours ago, Dr.2020 said:

Is it confirmed that next year Carms would have virtual interviews? 

If so I think this will affect a lot the types of interviews available, like the MMI for example would be very difficult to be conducted online, as well as the multi- station interviews.

Any thought about this?

It’s confirmed. And possibly (likely?) going to persist beyond 2021. 

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On 5/12/2020 at 12:17 PM, procrastinating said:

What are your thoughts on how this will impact who exactly gets the interviews? Will the already-limited electives matter even more - would programs be willing to take a candidate who has done an elective in their specialty, but not their site, and who they won't get a chance to meet until the program actually commences? 

For example, if I did plastics electives at UofC, UBC, Queen's, and McGill (thus filling up the 8 week elective cap) - would all of the schools who've never met me before even want to do a virtual interview? I'm not necessarily anti-virtual, but I fear that programs won't want to sign on to train someone for 5 years if they haven't so much as seen them IRL. There's a lot to be said for body language and overall vibes that may not be easily detected virtually, especially by people who aren't used to going virtual ... I hope this isn't the case but I've heard of virtual interviews in the past as being disadvantageous and I don't want an already chancey system to be even more up-in-the-air

Greatest to least advantage:

Home school --> Done a site elective --> Everybody else

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On 5/9/2020 at 9:41 AM, MSWschnoodle said:

I think you will see people attend a lot more of their interviews. And some may apply to more programs/schools because they are not restricted by the number of interviews they can afford to travel to. 

Yup. I'm planning on applying to schools I probably wouldn't have applied to had it not been virtual haha.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I honestly don't think virtual interviews are gonna make a huge difference in the selection process. The importance of interviews in Canada is so variable with large programs typically putting lots of weight on them and smaller ones just doing them as a formality (a lot of schools have there rank lists made before the interview and all you have to do is not say something stupid). I did a virtual interview and it was a little weird but I got the exact same vibe as my in person interviews. 

Home school advantage is and will always be a thing. Virtual interviews don't change that at all. Electives are also still going to be important for small programs (I highly doubt a small programs will rank someone who interviews well but never did an elective over someone that does a decent job on elective). These a people staff have to work with for 5 years so there's a lot of risk in picking someone lazy or annoying. All virtual interviews are going to do is save candidates money and time (I had friends that spent close to 10K on carms). That being said there are some negatives to virtual interviews. Lack of socials (sometimes more important than the interview) which influence both program and candidate rank decisions. Not visiting places will also affect rank lists, I know visiting some schools completely changed their location on my rank list.

That being said, I think students generally know the locations they want to rank in their top 5 and would do electives or site visits there anyway. If you want to look at an example of what virtual interviews could be like, look at the urology fair. While it's not virtual, it interviews for all English programs done in a single location. 

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