Priorities in the Neurotology Fellowship Match: A Survey Study of Program Directors and Fellows

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Abstract

Objectives:

To ascertain motivations and priorities for neurotology fellowship applicants and program directors during the match process.

Methods:

Anonymous online survey distributed to 20 fellowship program directors and 40 current and incoming neurotology fellows. A 5-point Likert scale was used to assess the priorities of fellowship applicants and program directors in the match process.

Results:

Twenty-four of 40 (60%) current or incoming fellows and 14 of 20 (65%) program directors responded to the survey. Fellows rated surgical exposure and volume as their highest priorities. In addition to neurotology case load, fellows highly valued exposure to otologic surgery. Salary, call, and work/life balance were among the lowest rated factors among fellows. Program directors attached the highest priority to the applicant interview performance, followed by strength of letters of recommendation and quality of prior research. Ethnicity, sex, and likelihood of an applicant ranking a program highly were the lowest rated factors among program directors.

Conclusion:

Among neurotology fellows, operative case load and breadth of surgical exposure are highly valued components of accredited fellowship training. Among neurotology fellowship program directors, candidates’ performance during the fellowship interview appears to be highly valued, more so than the strength of applicants’ letters of recommendation or prior research credentials.

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