Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic greatly disrupted traditional social interactions between residency applicants and General Surgery programs. There is no previous research on the influence of social media in General Surgery residency recruiting.

Methods: We performed a multi-institutional survey of General Surgery residency applicants from the Northeast United States about the effect social media had on their decision to interview and rank programs, after the results of the 2021 National Resident Matching Program. The survey was sent to 311 e-mail addresses. The 22-question survey consisted of multiple choice, Likert Scale, and free text responses.

Results: 66 applicants completed the survey (minimum response rate=21.2%). Respondents cited word of mouth (53/63, 84.1%) and program website (39/63, 61.9%) as more important for learning about a program than program’s social media presence (both p

Conclusions: Although social media use is ubiquitous among applicants to general surgery residency programs, it does not have as great of an impact on rank lists compared to traditional sources of information such as word of mouth and a program’s website. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter normal everyday activities and residency and fellowship match are conducted virtually, the role of social media on the match process should be studied further.

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Supplementary Table 1

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Supplementary Table 2