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October 23/30, 2018

Matching for Fellowship Interviews

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, California
  • 2Department of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California
JAMA. 2018;320(16):1639-1640. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.13080

Surgical fellowships have proliferated over the last 2 decades. Recent data suggest that the application process has become inefficient and costly, especially for candidates and programs in competitive surgical specialties.1 Although the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredits many programs, other organizations, such as the Foundation for Surgical Fellowships, the Society of Surgical Oncology, and the American Society of Transplantation, certify non-ACGME fellowships. Of 3354 graduating general surgery residents from 2009 to 2013 who responded to a survey by the American Board of Surgery, 74% (n = 2478) sought surgical specialty training.2 Candidates for surgical fellowships are matched to programs following the “deferred acceptance” matching algorithm similar to the one used by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).3 This algorithm assigns each candidate to a program such that if an applicant ranked another program over the one to which they were assigned, then that program must have ranked all their assigned trainee(s) over this candidate.

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