2021 Residency Match Changes
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual scheduling of Sub-internships, Acting-internships, and away medical school rotations in urology (Sub-Is) poses a challenge. Safety, education, and equity for students, institutions, patients, and communities, are paramount.
We acknowledge the traditional importance of external rotations for medical students in the application process for 1) experiencing the full depth and breadth of urology before committing to the specialty; 2) ongoing clinical education in the specialty; and 3) obtaining additional letters of recommendation to assist programs in the evaluation of medical student applicants.
COVID-19 has significantly altered medical education. Given differing levels of disease impact in different regions, many institutions are not allowing medical students to rotate in or out which disadvantages both students and the programs. In response, the Coalition for Physician Accountability, an association consisting of the AAMC, ACGME, NBME and other groups, as well as other medical subspecialties, have developed policies prohibiting away rotations this year. In accordance with this policy and to minimize health risks, financial burden, and to ensure the most equitable experience for all students and all programs during this pandemic, the following decisions have been made by the executive committee of the SAU:
- In accordance with National recommendations, all in-person external medical student rotations in urology will be deferred in 2020. Virtual external rotations (virtual sub-I’s) should be considered for applicants to gain further experience, exposure, and education at external programs.
- Given the importance of the applicant experience in urology prior to committing to a career path, each student should have at least 4 weeks (1 rotation) at their home institution, if possible. For students without a home program, an exception will be made and they should have at least 4 weeks (1 rotation) of urology experience at the closest ACGME accredited program in order to minimize travel and keep within regional disease demographics.
- This year, two (2) letters of recommendation will be required, including one from a urologist. Letters of recommendation should come from the students’ home institution (or nearest ACGME program if there is no home program) or from external institutions where virtual sub-I’s were performed.
With regard to medical student applicant interviews, all in-person interviews will be converted to video-based interviews for the 2020-21 season. Programs are working to prepare materials such as virtual tours, websites, videos, presentations and supplemental information to help students in their decision making.
Important Interview Process Change: Standardized Invitation and Acceptances
The SAU will implement a new format for the extension and acceptance of interview offers.
Friday, November 6, interview offers will be extended by ALL programs participating in the match. Programs are discouraged from offering interviews before this date.
Monday, November 9, students will be able to contact each program accepting or declining each of these offers. A mechanism will be in place to fill unfilled interview slots. The SAU will provide further instructions on this new process at a later date.
Changes to the Urology Match timeline and Format:
In response to a delay in the normal academic match timeline, the following changes will occur this year:
- October 21, 2020 — ERAS will open on with the preparation and release of the MSPE (Deans Letters).
- Mid-November 2020 into January 2021 — Virtual interviews will occur through
- January 12, 2021 — Resident candidate match list due
- February 1, 2021 — Match result release date
The SAU website has written resources available for Urology programs and medical students regarding the new match dates and these changes to the match. In addition, several webinars are planned discussing these changes.
In summary, these are challenging times, but together we can ensure a cohesive message for our specialty. It is our responsibility to help students navigate the immediate concerns of the impact of COVID‐19 on their medical education and career trajectory.
The SAU will continue to monitor the situation closely and issue new guidance as necessary. Feedback and further ideas as always are welcomed.