A recent increase in podiatric medicine fellowships has occurred as the field continues to progress. Research regarding selection criteria from a fellowship director's perspective for potential fellows is lacking. This study aimed to examine objective and subjective selection criteria that directors consider when selecting applicants for the interview and when ranking prospective fellows after the interview.
We electronically surveyed American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons fellowship directors with preselected criteria for granting applicants an interview and for compiling their ranking list after the interview. A Likert scale from 1 (most important) to 5 (least important) was used to prioritize each criterion, an average rating was calculated, and the results were placed in order of importance.
The most important selection criteria for granting an interview were quality of residency program (1.985), a written personal statement of reasons for attending that fellowship (2.063), and publications/presentations produced as a resident (2.267). The most important criteria in completing the ranking order after the interview were assessment of applicant's personality (1.111), interview performance (1.173), and expressed interest in program (1.563).
Knowledge of the selection criteria that fellowship directors seek in applicants can assist those who desire to further their training. The selection criteria that program directors seek differed between being selected for the interview, which combined both objective and subjective criteria, and when compiling their rankings after the interview, which included only subjective criteria. Results show more emphasis on subjective selection criteria when directors select applicants for an interview and when ranking applicants after the interview.