Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Accreditation and Influence on Perceptions of Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship Training Experience

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The American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ASPO) has set a goal of universal accreditation of fellowship programs by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) by 2014. This study offers data comparing trainee experience at accredited vs nonaccredited programs.


To evaluate perceptions of pediatric otolaryngology fellowship training experience and to elucidate differences between those who trained in ACGME-accredited fellowships vs those who did not.


Web-based survey sent to all members of ASPO, as well as recent fellowship graduate ASPO-eligible physicians. Responses were obtained in an anonymous fashion. The study population comprised 136 ASPO members who recently graduated from pediatric otolaryngology fellowship programs (36 from ACGME-accredited fellowships and 100 from nonaccredited programs).


Difference in perceived fellowship experience between graduates of accredited vs nonaccredited programs, specifically, differences in service vs education perceptions.


Overall, a majority (64%) of respondents agreed that standardizing the pediatric fellowship curriculum through ACGME accreditation is a worthwhile goal. Those who attended ACGME-accredited fellowships were more likely to favor accreditation vs non-ACGME graduates (83% vs 58%; P = .006). Graduates of ACGME-accredited programs were also more likely to agree that their fellowship provided adequate preparation for a career in academic medicine (100% vs 89%; P = .04), protected time for research (94% vs 60%; P < .001), vacation and academic time (94% vs 78%; P = .03), and opportunities to formally evaluate their superiors (72% vs 32%; P < .001). Non-ACGME graduates reported higher primary call frequency (0.8 days per week vs 0.2 days per week; P = .01), and attending physician participation in rounds (71% vs 53%; P = .05).


Most respondents were in agreement with universal ACGME accreditation. Those having trained in accredited programs cite increased allowance for research, academic and vacation time, more formal opportunities to evaluate their faculty, and decreased primary call burden.

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