Reimagining the Rheumatology Fellowship Interview: Using Participatory Design-Thinking Process to Create a More Applicant-Centered Experience.
- Kumar B
ACR open rheumatology[ACR Open Rheumatol] 2023 Nov; Vol. 5 (11), pp. 600-608. Date of Electronic Publication: 2023 Sep 19.
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- Objective: Design thinking is a creative problem-solving process used to better understand users' needs and experiences so that a product or service can be improved. Its emphasis on empathy, iterative prototyping, and participatory collaboration make it an ideal methodology for innovation in medical education. We apply this framework to the virtual rheumatology fellowship interview process so that interviews can become more applicant centered.
Methods: This educational quality improvement project uses a design-thinking framework to identify opportunities and challenges for rheumatology fellowship applicants. The investigators use the 5-step process (Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test) and incorporate rapid qualitative analysis of semistructured interviews to innovate the interview experience. The iterative and collaborative nature of this process has empowered participants to codesign an applicant-centered interview experience.
Results: Interviews with fellowship applicants (n = 9), fellow physicians (n = 4), and faculty members (n = 3) identified three major dynamics of the interview process: (1) Is it a safe environment to ask questions? (2) How do I exchange information effectively? and (3) How do I fit all these data into the bigger picture? Creative brainstorming techniques at a series of three workshops yielded four prototypes emphasizing customization, hybridization, facilitation, and preparation. A finalized applicant-centered interview template was devised in preparation for the 2023-2024 application season.
Conclusion: Design thinking has yielded insights into three important dynamics that drive applicant experiences. These insights allow for a redesign of processes so that virtual interviews can be more applicant centered. This framework allows for further iterations and modifications as the needs of applicants and programs evolve over time.
(© 2023 The Authors. ACR Open Rheumatology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American College of Rheumatology.)
- Academic Journal
- ACR open rheumatology
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