Key Factors for Successfully Matching a Pediatric Urology Fellowship
Bradley A. Morganstern, MD, Adam Howe, MD, Wayland Wu, MD, Casey Seideman, MD, Lane S. Palmer, MD.
Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, Hofstra Northwell School, New Hyde Park, NY, USA.
The process of matching in a pediatric fellowship program is subject to many factors, some beyond one's control. There are very little data besides mentor influence, prior experiences and hospital ratings guiding this decision. We sought further understand the factors that affect fellows satisfaction in choosing a program as an effort to help future applicants achieve a successful match.
A 9-item web based survey was emailed to current 2nd year fellows and recent graduates of pediatric urology fellowships. We probed number of programs applied to, rate of interview acceptance and ranking programs for match, factors affecting applying to and ranking programs, overall satisfaction with the match outcome, and perceived ability to accurately judge relevant factors. Descriptive statistics and chi square analyses were performed to assess for significant decision making factors for applicants who where happy with their match.
59 of 103 physicians (57%) responded to the survey. The majority of fellows applied to between 6-10 (41%) and 11-20 (31%) programs with 61% accepting all interviews offered as well as ranking all programs where they interviewed. Primary factors to NOT apply to a program include family considerations and disinterest in location while cost and time limitations played little role. The primary factors in formulating a rank list were faculty, program reputation (good/bad) and clinical volume. Location, basic science research opportunities, and whether clinical year was first were least influential. Applicants who cited reputation as a key factor in making their rank list, did so regardless of costs associated with interviewing and attending a program (p<0.05). Individuals felt they were accurately able to use their “gut feeling” when ranking programs based on reputation (p=0.04). Forty-six percent matched their first choice. Significant correlations were observed between happiness with their match and perceived ability to correctly assess their program prior to attending (p=0.05). Appropriately judging factors such as family considerations, location,, program reputation, clinical year volume and “gut feeling” prior to matching were key factors for happiness (all p<0.05).
Matching into a pediatric urologic fellowship is a critical milestone in one’s career. Faculty, program reputation and clinical volume play key roles in ranking programs while happiness once matched is contingent on accurately assessing programs based on key factors such as family considerations, location, program reputation, faculty, clinical year volume and “gut feeling.”
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