Navigating the Effects of COVID-19 on the 20-2021 Residency Application Cycle

Presented by Maya Hammoud, MD, MBA, Versha Pleasant, MD, MPH, and Keli Santos-Parker, PhD on September 17, 2020 at 12:00 pm

The 20-2021 residency application cycle will be distinctly different due to the effects of COVID-19 on medical education. The availability of typical application metrics might be compromised, and cancellation of away electives and implementation of virtual interviews will hinder the ability of applicants and programs to get to know each other well. This may lead to disenfranchising certain groups of applicants and may result in a suboptimal match. This session will discuss the implications of COVID-19 on the residency cycle and outline some actions applicants and programs can take to mitigate harmful effects. A student applicant and an URM house officer will be participating in the session to present their perspectives.

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Presenter Bios

Dr. Hammoud completed her MD and MBA degrees and residency training at the University of Michigan. She has had many leadership roles in the past including Assistant and Associate Deans at Michigan and Senior Associate Dean at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. Her research is in medical education with a special focus on the use of technology in education and the role of academic coaching in learner’s development.




Versha Pleasant was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia and received a BA in French, followed by an MPH at Yale University. She completed an HIV/AIDS Program Management Fellowship for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Rwanda and was later recruited to the CDC in Cote d’Ivoire to continue her work in HIV/AIDS among vulnerable populations such as commercial sex workers. After deciding to pursue a medical degree, she returned to the USA and continued health-consulting work while applying to medical school. She was accepted to the Georgetown Experimental Medical Studies Program, and subsequently matriculated to Georgetown School of Medicine where she graduated in 2016. She matched at the University of Michigan in Ob/GYN. She completed residency in 2020 and is currently a Cancer Genetics and Breast Health Fellow. She is deeply interested in health disparities, particularly in breast cancer and genetic testing barriers facing Black women.

Keli Santos-Parker is a mathematician and fourth year medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School. He will be applying to general surgery as a couple with his wife Jessica in the 2020-2021 residency application cycle. He serves as student representative to the Virtual Interviewing Task force, co-director of the surgery student interest group SCRUBS, and member of the Admissions Committee for undergraduate medical education at the University of Michigan. Keli completed his PhD in mathematics with a focus on algebraic geometry at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His current research includes mathematical modeling with collaborations in medical education, proteomics, metabolomics, morphomics, and transplant surgery.