The Cost of Getting in: Is It Time for Change in the Adult Reconstruction Fellowship Application Process?
BACKGROUND: The number of applicants to adult reconstruction fellowships (ARFs) has increased significantly in recent years, making the application process increasingly competitive. With this, applicants are applying to and interviewing at more programs which has inherent cost and time implications. The purpose of this study was to assess these implications as well as investigate applicant attitudes toward proposed changes.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional survey study of 2019 and 2020 ARF applicants (n = 278) to a single institution. A 10-question survey was distributed to applicants regarding the application and interview process. This survey focused on application and interview volumes, financial and temporal commitments, as well as perceptions regarding potential application process changes. Descriptive statistics and chi-squared analysis were then performed.
RESULTS: Of the 110 (40%) respondents, 87% spent >$3000 and 43% spent >$5000 during the application process. Most respondents applied to ≥26 programs (84%) and both received and attended ≥11 interviews (87% and 74.5%, respectively). Applicants missed significant training time for interviews (99% missed at least 1 week, 62% two weeks, and 15% three weeks). Attending more interviews (
CONCLUSIONS: Applicants to ARF are applying to and interviewing at many programs resulting in significant time away from training and financial investment. Most applicants feel that a change to the system would be beneficial, although no consensus on the best solution was delineated. These data should be considered during the continued evaluation of the match process.
Wilson JM, Schwartz AM, Farley KX, Erens GA. The Cost of Getting in: Is It Time for Change in the Adult Reconstruction Fellowship Application Process? Arthroplast Today. 2021 Feb 26;8:278-282.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.artd.2021.01.008. PMID: 34095404; PMCID: PMC8167313.