Coalition for Physician Accountability Recommendations on Virtual Interviews for 2021-2022 Recruitment Season

August 24, 2021

On August 24, 2021, a working group of the Coalition for Physician Accountability released new guidance on interviewing during the 2021-2022 application season for medical education institutions and programs considering applicants from LCME-accredited, U.S. osteopathic, and non-U.S. medical schools. The ACGME is a member of the Coalition, a cross-organizational group of national medical education organizations.


The guidance was created in response to ongoing concerns about continuing risk associated with travel for interviews arising from the COVID-19 Delta variant and its spread across the United States. Eight major national medical education organizations support an extension of the 2020-2021 recommendation on interviews, and representatives from those organizations worked together to balance the complex needs of the medical education community. The recommendations outlined below reflect their collective sense of how to proceed, and each medical school, Sponsoring Institution, specialty society, and graduate medical education program should carefully consider them and commit to working together to create an equitable, transparent, and successful selection cycle that prioritizes the safety of all.


This guidance is intended to add to, but not supersede, the independent judgment of a medical school, Sponsoring Institution, or graduate medical education program regarding the immediate needs of its patients and the preparation of its learners. Medical school deans have the authority and responsibility to make decisions regarding their medical students; and designated institutional officials and program directors have the authority to make decisions regarding residents and fellows in their Sponsoring Institutions and programs. Because students rely on predictable, common practices across schools and programs as they prepare to transition to graduate medical education, a shared response to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will reduce unnecessary confusion, stress, and inequity among students while promoting a more successful selection process for all.

Recommendation 1: All interviews should be conducted virtually for the 2021-2022 recruitment cycle due to growing concerns about the Delta variant and potential risks and disruptions from potential future variants.

Recommendation 2: The medical education community should assess the value of virtual interviews and the concerns associated with them that were evident during the 2020-2021 interview cycle.

To read the full recommendation report, visit the ACGME's Coalition for Physician Accountability page.