The Burden of the Fellowship Interview Process on General Surgery Residents and Programs

Academic Article


  • Objectives This study evaluated the effect of the fellowship interview process in a cohort of general surgery residents. We hypothesized that the interview process would be associated with significant clinical time lost, monetary expenses, and increased need for shift coverage. Design An online anonymous survey link was sent via e-mail to general surgery program directors in June 2014. Program directors distributed an additional survey link to current residents in their program who had completed the fellowship interview process. Setting United States allopathic general surgery programs. Participants Overall, 50 general surgery program directors; 72 general surgery residents. Results Program directors reported a fellowship application rate of 74.4%. Residents most frequently attended 8 to 12 interviews (35.2%). Most (57.7%) of residents reported missing 7 or more days of clinical training to attend interviews; these shifts were largely covered by other residents. Most residents (62.3%) spent over $4000 on the interview process. Program directors rated fellowship burden as an average of 6.7 on a 1 to 10 scale of disruption, with 10 being a significant disruption. Most of the residents (57.3%) were in favor of change in the interview process. We identified potential areas for improvement including options for coordinated interviews and improved content on program websites. Conclusions The surgical fellowship match is relatively burdensome to residents and programs alike, and merits critical assessment for potential improvement.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Watson SL; Hollis RH; Oladeji L; Xu S; Porterfield JR; Ponce BA
  • Start Page

  • 167
  • End Page

  • 172
  • Volume

  • 74
  • Issue

  • 1