The pursuit of a fellowship has become increasingly popular over the past several years, with >90% of graduating orthopaedic residents applying for a fellowship position. Despite the ample literature available pertaining to the selection of orthopaedic residents, there is no similar research for the selection of fellows.
Four hundred and fifteen of 475 orthopaedic fellowship program directors in the United States were surveyed on selection criteria used to choose fellows. The survey asked fellowship directors to rank the importance of various criteria on a Likert scale of 1 through 5 points (with 1 point denoting most important and 5 points denoting least important).
The overall response rate was 193 (46.5%) of 415 orthopaedic fellowship program directors. The most important criteria in selecting an applicant for an interview were a letter of recommendation from subspecialty faculty (1.38 points), quality of residency program (2.02 points), and a letter of recommendation from the residency program director (2.12 points). The most important criteria in completing the rank order list following the interview were the interview (1.17 points), a letter of recommendation from subspecialty faculty (1.46 points), a letter of recommendation from the residency program director (2.16 points), and expressed interest in program (2.16 points).