Use of computerized interview scheduling program for pediatric surgery match applicants

Caroline Q. Stephens, Nicholas A. Hamilton, Ann E. Thompson, Sanjay Krishnaswami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background Pediatric surgery fellowship applicants and programs coordinate over 20 interviews per cycle. We hypothesized that replacing e-mail and phone communication with a computerized-scheduling program (CSP) could benefit both parties. Methods We used a CSP to schedule 2016 interviews. Time to schedule and e-mail communication per applicant was compared to 2015, when traditional scheduling was used. Additionally, 2016 interviewees were surveyed about their experience with the CSP vs. traditional means. Analysis was performed using descriptive statistics and a Student's T-test. Results We found a significant decrease in mean scheduling time from 14.4 to 1.7 h (p < 0.001) and in e-mails exchanged from 3.4 to 1.0 (p < 0.0001). Survey respondents reported 92% satisfaction with the CSP, and 87% found it easier to schedule interviews. Applicants also reported quicker finalization of interview dates (96%), improved access to interview slots (71%), and easier coordination of additional services and time off (63%). Notably, the mean longest time reported to schedule interviews using traditional methods was 7 days (range 1–30). Overall, 84% supported widespread adoption of CSPs. Conclusions Using CSPs improved the scheduling process for the significant majority of interviewees, and our program. If widely adopted, this could greatly improve the efficiency of pediatric surgery interview scheduling. Level of evidence N/A.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1056-1059
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Cost
  • Fellowship
  • Interview
  • Match
  • Pediatric surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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