Impactful Connections | Captivating Talks | Enlivened Reviews

An initiative dedicated to promoting equity in the residency application process

Register for the 2023 Application Cycle

The Short Talks by Aspiring Residents (STAR) Initiative

Our mission is to provide residency applicants with a platform that showcases their unique

qualities in an engaging and impactful manner while creating equitable opportunities for networking and professional growth.

Low Commitment, High Reward    

Volunteer Faculty Mentors 

Take 30-45 minutes out of your schedule to meet virtually with aspiring residents, learn more about their personal stories, and guide them on how to best represent themself in their 3-minute presentation.

STAR aims to create equitable access to valuable networking connections.

Three Minutes To Highlight Distinctiveness   

Aspiring Residents

STAR allows you to create a 3-minute video presentation highlighting one thing you would like residency programs to know about you. Presentation content will be displayed in a standardized format using PowerPoint and our free recording/editing software. Make your presentation more engaging by incorporating pictures or videos that best represent you.

Additional benefits: 

Use STAR to network by selecting a volunteer faculty mentor of your choosing and to connect with fellow applicants.

An Engaging And Valuable Evaluation Metric    

Residency Programs 

Visual content has been shown to leave a lasting impact. Break the monotony of traditional application review by learning about aspiring residents in an engaging manner.

STAR should be used as a supplemental tool to the formal application. We encourage residency programs to incorporate STAR in the interview selection process in a manner that is feasible.

2021 Pilot Testimonials 

“The STAR initiative captured the energy of people wanting to connect and energize each other.   It decentralized the traditional dynamics in the sometimes byzantine and inequitable aspects of applying to and successfully matching into a surgical specialty such as Otolaryngology - HNS. It served all the participants - not just the students - in making a better community for the next chapters of our history together.”
Albert Merati, M.D. ~ Former President of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery ~        Professor, University of Washington ~ Seattle, Washington

"STAR-OTO was an excellent experience as a medical student applying in a very abnormal year. I found otolaryngology relatively late in my third year of medical school and was eager to establish connections within the field. STAR-OTO provided me a unique opportunity to share some of my personal and research interests within medical education and establish relationships with faculty members at programs across the country. In previous years, such an opportunity may have required me to perform an away rotation or rely on faculty members at my medical school to make these connections for me. Unfortunately, not all medical students have the financial resources to complete away rotations or access to well-connected faculty members to establish these relationships. STAR-OTO streamlined this mentorship process, gave me a platform to showcase unique aspects of my academic portfolio, and strengthened my community of mentors within Otolaryngology.

Taylor Standiford, M.D. ~ Resident Physician, UCSF~ San Francisco, CA

"Being a mentor was meaningful because of the opportunity to coach someone starting with something tangible. Learning about my mentee by having them show me their research and other interests was much more engaging than the usual small talk. I also enjoyed seeing how presentations and thought processes matured over time.”

Jennifer Villwock, M.D. ~ Associate Professor, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kansas University ~ Chief of Otolaryngology, Kansas City Veterans Affairs Hospital~ Kansas City, KS

“The STAR platform encourages relationships beyond the bounds of one’s home institution and offers the capacity for valuable feedback and mentorship for medical students. It also allows students to concisely present elements of their personal stories and important academic achievements, empowering them with a tool to display their personalities and abilities. As qualitative metrics are just as important as quantitative measures in assessing students, STAR offers a unique additional element of the evaluation process – one that students have immense control over. “

Priyesh Patel, M.D. ~ Associate Program Director, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center~ Nashville, TN 

Ready to Participate in the STAR Program?