Match 2021 Virtual Interviewing Resources

This year more than ever, you may have questions about our interview process. 

We'll continue to update this page with resources to take you through the 2021 Match Process.

Our virtual open house provided an overview of our residency program and learner opportunities, as well as information about our virtual interview process. 

View the Zoom recording.

Michigan Anesthesiology interview with ASA Medical Student Group.png

Dr. Norah Naughton, senior associate chair for education and residency program director, and Dr. Emily Peoples, associate program director and internship director, spoke with ASA Medical Student Group President-Elect Abigail Schirmer about our residency program and how to navigate the virtual interview process. 

Watch the interview
Download the audio file

Zoom tips for medical students

All U-M Anesthesiology Residency Program interviews will take place on the Zoom platform for Match 2021. Although you are likely quite facile with Zoom and its many features (and can probably teach us a thing or two!), below we offer some tips and tricks to optimize your interview experience:

  • Pick your location. We know home life has become much more lively for many during COVID-19 with housemates and family all trying to carve out a space for virtual learning and working. As best as you can, choose a quiet spot free from distractions with good lighting and a reliable internet connection. You may want to check with your medical school to see if you can reserve a room on campus. 

  • Test your technology. You’ve probably spent more than a few hours on Zoom already. But if not, sign in to familiarize yourself with the platform. Prior to the interview, check to make sure your speakers and microphone are working correctly.

  • Give your full attention to the interview. Act as though you are interviewing in person. You wouldn’t scroll through your phone or check a text message during an in-person interview, so don’t allow for these distractions virtually either — double check that you’ve turned off notifications on your computer and muted your phone before you start. 

  • Be an engaged listener. It can be tough to connect virtually. Be sure to look directly into the camera and provide nonverbal communication (nodding your head, smiling when appropriate) when the other person is speaking. If you’re using double monitors: Run Zoom on the screen that’s connected to your camera so that you’re looking at your camera when you’re looking at the other person on Zoom.

  • Don’t panic if something goes wrong. While we have prepared diligently to deliver a smooth interviewing experience, we recognize that there may be technical difficulties to contend with for any number of reasons; we appreciate your patience if we encounter any snags! We are here to help should you encounter any challenges and are available to troubleshoot as needed. 

How many intern and CA-1 positions are available?

For Match 2021, we will be offering 28 Categorical-C and 2 Physician-R positions. The 28 Categorical positions are 4-year positions where full anesthesia training is completed at the University of Michigan, beginning in the PGY-1 (intern) year and continuing on for the PGY-2 to PGY-4 years (CA-1 to CA-3). 

The Physician-R positions are reserved for physicians who have had some prior graduate medical education training; these reserved programs offer PGY-2 positions (CA-1) that begin in the year of the Match, so thus are not available to senior medical students graduating in 2021. Physician-R candidates that join our program are often coming from another specialty or are military candidates. The 2 Physician-R candidates who enter our program through Match 2021 will complete the CA-1 class of 30 residents, joining the 28 current interns when they are promoted to CA-1s in July 2021. 

We do not offer Advanced-A positions, where a senior medical student would match separately during Match 2021 for a Preliminary-P year (PGY-1) and the Advanced-A position covering anesthesia training (PGY-2 to PGY-4).

What changes are you making to the interview process due to COVID-19? What will your interview day look like?

Our interview process for Match 2021 will be completely virtual, including applicants already located in the state of Michigan. We will be using Zoom as our platform. Each applicant will be able to choose a half-day interview session occuring in either the morning or afternoon. We will have both weekday and Saturday options available. You will have 4 interviews with members of our Recruitment Committee: a senior education leader, two faculty, and a resident. As part of the interview session, you will also have the opportunity to interact with residents who will be available to answer questions about the program and give an insider perspective of what life is like as a Michigan anesthesia resident.

Has COVID-19 affected the timing of your application cycle?

Yes, the timing of our application cycle has been pushed back a few weeks in alignment with the ERAS 2021 adjusted timeline. Applications will not be available to review until October 21, 2021, so we will not be offering any interviews in October this year. We will schedule interviews in November, December, and January.

How do you intend on handling incomplete applications with regards to COVID-19 and the impact it had on testing?

We did not require Step 2 CS or Level 2 PE results before application review prior to COVID-19, and similarly will not require them prior to interview selection for this recruitment season. We understand that the pandemic may have caused some interruptions in scheduled anesthesia rotations as well, which may have delayed accessibility to anesthesiologists for letters of recommendation.

How can I best prepare for an online interview?

  • Optimize your interview space by setting up an area that is quiet and free of distractions with a neutral background. Alternatively, you can use a virtual background if provided by the program, but these can be distracting and cause you to be partially unseen.
    • Make sure there is an outlet accessible so that you can remain plugged in if using a laptop.
    • Choose a comfortable chair that will allow you to sit comfortably for long periods without physical fatigue that could impact interview performance.
    • If you are not able to set up a suitable interview space at home, check with your medical school or faculty mentors for an available office or other workspace.
  • Download the virtual interview software and become facile with the technology and options.
    • Verify the default name that appears on your profile is accurate when you log in.
    • Learn how to mute and unmute, including any keyboard shortcuts.
    • Learn how to pause and resume your video feed.
  • Do a practice interview with a peer to check your audio output, microphone, video framing, and lighting.
    • Elevate your computer on a box or stand to adjust the camera height and angle if necessary to make the camera at eye level.
    • Check your lighting during different times of day, ensuring the major source of light is not coming from behind you to create a silhouette where your face is not readily visible. Test your entire interview look, including attire and glasses if applicable, for any potential distractions to the interviewer.
    • Decide on the best place to keep paper and pen for handwritten notes.
  • Review all materials distributed by the program before the interview begins.
  • Verify that your phone number in ERAS is accurate so it can be used as an alternate method of communication in case you have a technical problem during a scheduled interview time. Similarly, have contact information available for the program so you can reach out for contingency planning.
  • Between interviewers and during breaks, be sure to stand up and stretch. 
  • Get a good night’s sleep, take a deep breath to relax, and enjoy learning about all of the wonderful opportunities and programs available!

I’m not from Michigan or the Midwest. How can I make my interest in the program clear?

We interview applicants from all across the country and match residents in a nationwide distribution every year as well. That being said, there is a limitation to the number of applicants a program can select to interview, as well as limitations on your time to participate in interviews. If you really want to interview at a program that is in a different geographic area than your current and previous locations as visible in your ERAS application, we encourage you to customize your personal statement indicating your interest in the desired program.

Will you be interviewing more candidates this year in anticipation of a higher number of applications?

Yes, we plan to interview approximately 20% more applicants this year compared to previous years. 

Does the residency program have a rotation in international health?

Is there a minimum Step score for consideration?

We believe in a holistic review of applicants, with a special emphasis on demonstrated competencies in leadership, community service, academic success, research, and potential to positively impact the field of anesthesiology in the future. Applicants selected to interview have passed Step 1 and Step 2 on first attempt.

Are there opportunities for professional development in medical education, hospital administration, or research?

Yes, there are three structured programs at Michigan Medicine or within our department that the residency supports and sponsors Anesthesiology residents selected for admission: Community of Medical Educators in Training (COMET), the Healthcare Administration Scholars Program, and our Clinician-Scientist Translational Anesthesiology Research (C-STAR) program.