With the current safety guidelines and protocols, residency matching season looks a lot different.

October 16, 2020
Zoom Interview

The residency and fellowship program match process at Storm Eye Institute has had to adapt during the Covid-19 pandemic. With new safety measures and protocols, our faculty and staff will have to conduct virtual interviews, and candidates will no longer be able to visit the campus in person. This has created challenges for our program as we seek to recruit the best and the brightest to our ophthalmology resident and fellowship programs.

Residency Coordinator Ashley Caradonna stepped up to the challenge and recently conducted a virtual Q&A session between current Storm Eye residents and applicants, giving our residency candidates an opportunity for face-to-face interaction with our program. Without the usual introduction to our program, including a tour and a nice dinner in Charleston, this innovation has helped put a “face” on Storm Eye Institute for those applying to our program. It is this kind of innovation that allows our residency program to remain at the top in the nation.

Ashley recently shared some of her experiences interviewing these candidates:

“When COVID-19 hit, the question was never if we were going to continue our resident educational activities of lectures, conferences, training and teaching, it was how.

“As we approached recruitment season, it was apparent that traveling would not be allowed for medical students applying and interested in our residency program.  With that, we knew we had to use a virtual platform to introduce them to our program. We have a strong presence on social media, and I reached out to followers asking to contact me directly if interested in a ‘Meet the Residents’ Zoom meeting.

“I was overwhelmed by the response. A panel of residents and I hosted 30 medical students to an hour-long session, which gave the participants an introduction to our program, the curriculum, and didactics from our current class. In fact, the response was so strong, we have scheduled an additional meeting in a few weeks to focus more on questions and answers from our participants in a less formal setting.

“As we continue to integrate virtual learning into our program, we have allowed an equal opportunity for all students interested in Storm Eye Institute. Our residency program is resilient and has become a stronger and more cohesive unit in the face of this pandemic.

“Having the opportunity to work with our incredible program director, Dr. Matthew Nutaitis, and our residents, and see this evolution of our program come to pass, has been an honor.”

We are so proud of all our staff adapting and innovating during a year that has created so much change and chaos. Storm Eye’s ability to thrive during the pandemic is a credit to the incredible team we have!