Craniofacial Surgery Fellowship Selection Criteria: A National Program Director Survey

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Abstract

Background:

Candidate characteristics for craniofacial fellowship training still remain unknown, as no data are available in the literature. This study aims to provide information on the criteria that are used to select and rank applicants for the craniofacial surgery fellowship match.

Method:

A 38-question survey was sent in April 2015 to all craniofacial surgery fellowship program directors (n = 29) involved in the US match using QuestionPro Survey Software. The survey investigated factors used for selection of applicants, including medical school, residency training, research experience, fellowship interview, and candidate characteristics. A 5-point Likert scale was used to grade 33 factors from “not at all important” (1) to “essential in making my decision” (5); or for 5 controversial factors from “very negative impact” (1) to “very positive impact in making my decision” (5).

Results:

A total of 62% (18 out of 29) of responses were received from craniofacial surgery program directors. The most important factors were professionalism and ethics (4.7 ± 0.5), perceived commitment to craniofacial surgery (4.6 ± 0.8), interactions with faculty and staff (4.5 ± 0.5), interpersonal skills (4.5 ± 0.5), and overall interview performance (4.4 ± 0.6). Factors that have a negative impact on the selection process include graduation from a nonplastic surgery residency program (1.9 ± 0.7) or a non-US plastic surgery residency program (2.2 ± 0.6), and visa requirement (2.2 ± 0.5).

Conclusion:

This study provides data on craniofacial surgery program directors’ perception on the criteria important for fellowship applicant selection. It is our hope that program directors, residency programs, and applicants find this data useful as they prepare for the craniofacial fellowship match.

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