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Trainee and Fellowship Sections Collaborate to Upgrade Fellowship Resources on the NCS Website

By Currents Editor posted 06-17-2021 14:10

  
Shweta Goswami, MD, University of Florida
Sasha Yakhkind, MD, University of Pennsylvania

Every year, neurology residents combine the wisdom of their mentors, their experience, their passion, and their personalities to guide them in the decision of sub-specialization. In 2017, 90% of neurology residents planned to complete fellowship before going into practice (1), and the process of application into subspecialty training is nuanced and evolving. Neurocritical care fellowship is part of the United Council for Neurologic Specialties (UCNS), and the match process has been completed through the San Francisco Match (SFMatch) since 2009 (2), a year after the first program was accredited (3). 

As members of the Trainee Section leadership, we are asked how to apply and where to look for fellowships by residents every year. In answering these questions, we identified several flaws in the current system. UCNS and the SFMatch listed not only different contact information for programs, but also different programs altogether. In attempting to find accurate information on each specific program’s website, we found that most of the information, including program director/coordinator names and contact information, had not been updated in several years. 

Together with the NCS fellowship committee and executive team, we resolved to address this gap by creating NCS’s own comprehensive list of every neurocritical care fellowship program. Even in the setting of the imminent transition to ACGME accreditation, we still wanted to be the go-to resource for FAQs from residents deciding to go into the field. 

With the help of additional members of the NCS trainee section, we created a survey that we sent to every fellowship program and included basic questions such as “What does a typical ICU team consist of in your facilities?” and “From which residency backgrounds do you accept fellows?” The purpose of this survey was two-fold: to allow future neurocritical care fellows to have up-to-date access to basic information regarding each fellowship program, and to allow fellowships programs the opportunity to more accurately advertise themselves. The survey was ultimately completed by 42 fellowship programs, something that became a priority as the pandemic surged and paused in-person fellowship interviews. 

The answers to the surveys currently reside within the Neurocritical care society website’s section for trainee resources as a document link under each fellowship on a map. NCS is actively working on upgrading the website to a cleaner and easier to navigate web space. The goal is to have the NCS website serve as the go-to conduit between neurocritical care fellowship programs and future trainees as the field continues to grow and evolve.



References 

  1. Mahajan A, Cahill C, Scharf E, Gupta S, Ahrens S, Joe E, et al. Neurology residency training in 2017: a survey of preparation, perspectives, and plans. Neurology. 2019;92:76–83.
  2. SF Match. Neurocritical Care Fellowship. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://sfmatch.org/SpecialtyInsideAll.aspx?id=17&typ=1&name=Neurocritical%20Care
  3. Dhar R, Rajajee V, Finley Caulfield A, et al. The State of Neurocritical Care Fellowship Training and Attitudes toward Accreditation and Certification: A Survey of Neurocritical Care Fellowship Program Directors. Front Neurol. 2017;8:548. Published 2017 Nov 3. doi:10.3389/fneur.2017.00548

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