Perceptions and lessons from web-based interviews for the reproductive endocrinology and infertility fellowship application cycle

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Eduardo Hariton, M.D., M.B.A., Christina A. Raker, Sc.D., Gary N. Frishman, M.D., Eve C. Feinberg, M.D.



To evaluate the experience and perceptions of reproductive endocrinology and infertility fellowship applicants and program directors (PDs) regarding the current and future use of web-based interviews (WBIs).


Cross-sectional study.


Nationwide cohort.


Reproductive endocrinology and infertility fellowship applicants and PDs participating in the 2020 application cycle.


Anonymous survey sent to applicants and PDs.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Descriptive study evaluating the experience and satisfaction of applicants and PDs with WBIs.


Forty-six percent of applicants and eligible PDs responded to our survey. Most applicants and PDs responded that WBIs were adequate for conveying a sense of a program’s strengths, faculty, diversity, clinical training, and research opportunities, but less than half responded that WBIs were adequate in providing a sense of the program’s clinical site and facilities. After WBIs, both applicants (73%) and PDs (86%) were able to rank with confidence. The cost of WBIs was significantly lower for both applicants (median: $100) and programs (median: $100) than the costs previously reported for in-person interviews. The applicants interviewed at more programs than they would have if the interviews were on-site, and Zoom was the highest rated platform used. Most applicants and PDs responded that WBIs were an adequate substitute, and that they should continue after the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Furthermore, most of the PDs were planning to continue to use WBIs in some capacity.


Both applicants and PDs had favorable experiences with and perceptions of WBIs, and most endorse the continued use of this interview modality. The findings of this study can help guide and optimize future WBI practices.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. 


Go to the profile of Eduardo Hariton
2 months ago

I am excited to hear more about people's experience with virtual interviews this past application cycle and what you are planning to change for this go around.

Also, please share this article with fellows and PDs who may find it helpful! 

Go to the profile of Erika P. New
2 months ago

Excellent article! Thank you for your contribution, and I am also curious to hear best practices and plans for improvement for the 2021 interview season.  A few years ago we found that REI applicants spent on average $5,600 for the REI Fellowship interview season in 2018. What a difference with virtual interviews last year and a reported median of $100!