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R. A. Adelman, J. E. Kempton, N. A. Afshari, M. B. Shields; Comparison of the Criteria for Selecting Retina versus Anterior Segment Ophthalmology Fellows. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):2050.
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To compare the criteria used in the selection of fellows by retina fellowship program directors versus glaucoma and cornea and external disease fellowship directors.
A questionnaire, consisting of sixteen selection criteria, was sent to fellowship directors at 50 glaucoma, 60 cornea and external disease, and 70 retina programs in the United States and Canada listed in the San Francisco Matching Program. The directors were asked to prioritize selection criteria on a scale of 1 to 9 and to write-in additional criteria they considered to be most important in the selection process. The average value and standard deviation for each of the 16 criteria were calculated
Forty-four glaucoma, 51 cornea and external disease, and 59 retina program directors responded. The applicant’s ability to work and communicate with colleagues and patients received the highest priority in the glaucoma and retina groups (8.48 and 8.49, respectively) and scored high in the cornea and external disease group (8.25). However, the impression gained in the interview was the most important to the cornea and external disease directors (8.44). Whether an applicant had a PhD/MPH (4.29 to 4.57) and other advanced degrees (3.90 to 3.97) were the least important in all three subspecialties. The most important criteria in the write-in responses were letters of recommendation and calls from colleagues in glaucoma (27.3%), the interview process in cornea and external disease (26%), and personality in retina (25.4%).
There is similarity in selection criteria for fellows between directors of both anterior and posterior segment fellowships. This study showed all 16 criteria were within the standard deviation of each other. The write-in responses mirrored the prioritization of the 16 criteria giving an internal validity to the study. Given the responses from these three specialties, it may be expected that other specialties in ophthalmology would prioritize fellow selection criteria in a similar way.
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