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Selection of subspecialty fellows in anesthesia for pediatric anesthesia: a national survey of program directors in the United States

Benzon, H. A.; De Oliveira, G. S., Jr.; Jagannathan, N.; Suresh, S.

Paediatr Anaesth. 2015 Jan 13; 25(5):487-91


BACKGROUND: Several studies have investigated the selection process for medical students, residents, and fellows across different specialties. Currently, the selection criteria used by pediatric anesthesia program directors to select prospective pediatric anesthesia fellows are unknown. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the criteria used by program directors in the selection of prospective pediatric anesthesia fellows in the United States. METHODS: Survey responses were solicited from 51 pediatric anesthesia fellowship directors in the United States. Questions evaluated department demographic information, the importance of fellowship selection criteria, and program satisfaction with the Match process. RESULTS: Forty-two of 51 fellowship directors responded to the survey (a response rate of 82%). The personal statement was reported as extremely/very important for 30 of 42 (71%) program directors, while research experience and prior publications were reported as extremely/very important for 16 of 41 (39%) and 16 of 41 (39%) program directors, respectively. Programs that offered all the spots through the Match were smaller, median (IQR) number of fellows of 3 (2-6) compared to the ones that did not offer all the spots through the Match, 8 (2-12), P = 0.03. In contrast, no difference in program directors' satisfaction with the Match was detected between smaller (3 fellows), P = 0.25. CONCLUSION: A minority of pediatric fellowship program directors rated prior research experience as an important factor in the selection of prospective fellows. The lack of emphasis on research qualities for fellows is potentially concerning for the future of our specialty.

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