Dermatopathology Fellowship Program Information: As Elusive as the Fellowship
KA Hutchens, M Dahiya. Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL
Background: Studies have demonstrated that many medical school, resident, and fellowship applicants use the internet as a first means of accessing information about potential training programs. There is no organized match, or shared time-line, for the fellowship application process in dermatopathology. Prospective applicants must research available programs, application and interview dates, as well as length of the program (either one or two years). This study surveyed the potential adequacy of dermatopathology fellowship program websites in aiding the fellowship applicant.
Design: Current program and web addresses were obtained from the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Database (FREIDA) list of graduate medical education programs (under the dermatopathology specialty section). The hyperlink from the database was used to access individual program websites. An average of fifteen minutes was spent per webpage in order to assess ten content features important to the fellowship applicant, including curriculum, program requirements, length of program, and time-line of application process.
Results: 51.8% (28/54) of dermatopathology fellowship programs had functioning web pages accessible via the database hyperlink and, of those, 85.7% (24/28) had a detailed program description. 96.4% (27/28) listed detailed contact information for applicants. 60.7% (17/28) listed applicant requirements but only 35.7% (10/28) had an online application. 57.1% (16/28) outlined a time-line for application acceptance, interview dates, and decision notification. 71.4% (20/28) explained the training curriculum, but, only 57.1% (16/28) displayed the length of training. 32.1% (9//28) of the sites stated the number of applicants accepted. 10.7% (3/28) included such information as the number of specimens and/or patients the trainee would be expected to encounter during fellowship.
Conclusions: There is no streamlined mass application process for dermatopathology fellowships. Fellowship programs should maintain websites with current data and include pertinent program and applicant information to stream-line, and render more transparent, the dermatopathology fellowship applicant process.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 1:00 PM
Poster Session IV # 76, Tuesday Afternoon