A program website question for those who just matched or are applying this year

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Sep 29, 2012
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I'm currently looking into overhauling our program's residency website to be more user friendly. For those that matched or are currently in the process of preparing to apply, how important was a residency program's website in shaping your opinion of that program? What do you look for specifically when you research and what do most programs lack as far as important information for you? Thanks.

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I applied this past year.

I don't hold it against a program if they have a difficult to navigate and/or information-poor website. Usually the interview day materials are more than adequate in answering most questions, and I didn't typically turn down any interviews based on a lack of information on the program online. I probably didn't even look at a website until I got an interview invitation.

That being said, here are some things I found helpful on program websites:
- Obviously, a good introduction to program leadership so I know who's who on the interview day.
- Resident names, pictures, and where they went to school is great to have. It's nice to find alumni from your school and be able to contact them or try to spot them on interview day.
- Details about the curriculum and call schedule are nice, but it probably ends up not being that helpful in the grand scheme of things. The exception would be, however, to make note of whether call is resident-run or if there is 24-hour attending coverage. That's one thing in a program's curriculum that I actually took into account when ranking programs (I didn't want 24-hour attending coverage). Sometimes the interview day materials covered that and sometimes they didn't, and at the end of the season, even if I asked but didn't write it down, it all tended to fly out of my head.
- Having a list of fellowship destinations is nice, but the information is probably not that useful to applicants because most academic programs all have great fellowship lists anyway.
- A page on perks and resident life is always nice. Gives you a basic image of how the program takes care of their residents. Like, a picture of everyone at a local sports team outing is a plus for me. Even if it's staged it gives me a general sense of resident camaraderie.

I would say Michigan's site was my favorite as it answered virtually all of my questions.
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