Emergency Ultrasound Section Forum
General EUS Topics
EUS Fellowship 11/1 Deadline Feedback
As per the EUS fellowship board: "The spirit of the Nov 1 deadline was to allow all programs to be on an even playing field and avoid the need to place undue pressure on applicants to accept any offer from any individual program. The process was to allow the applicants time to visit the programs they wish and make the decision that is best for them."
I would like fellowship directors to use this thread to post any positive or negative experiences you had with the 11/1 deadline this year so we can make this a smoother process in the future.
Looking forward to a healthy discussion
Thanks for posting and I think it deserves discussion.
The good things about the Nov 1st date - gives time for applicants to submit their CVs, and interview at sites and/or at ACEP (which is where we do most of our interviews) and gives a start date for when the applicant expects offers to start coming in. All programs are on the same page and have an agreed upon date to start offering, alleviating the pressure on the applicant who previously would get an offer earlier but who has not interviewed at other programs.
The bad that came with it - applicants were placed under pressure to give a response quickly (within the hour sometimes) and when east coast time varies from west coast time, this can become quite unfortunate for the west coast programs who are getting phone calls and emails starting at 9pm PST Oct 31 and through the night and early morning from applicants stating they need to know their status within the hour or within the next few hours due to other programs response deadlines.
The rushed response puts unnecessary pressure on the applicant and provides quite a predicament for the west coast programs, and I imagine all other programs.
1. A match system - the stresses of the applicant and the programs are alleviated to a great extent. A rank list is made and as we all remember and love - we dont put anyone on the list who we dont want to have. A computer does the match for everyone.
2. Giving the applicant more time to decide, possibly 24-72 hours to decide - the stress of the applicant is alleviated but the programs will still be stressed in potentially waiting for applicants to make their decision. It would be on the applicant to let programs know ASAP if they decided on another program so that the program can move forward.
Another important aspect is to get a list of programs and applicants who have not matched and filled so that we can all help our colleagues in filling a spot and all the applicants in getting a well-deserved spot.
In the past, some of the northern California programs came together to decide on interview dates (so that the applicant can make travel arrangements accordingly and not have to fly out multple times) and on offer dates. this year was Nov 3rd, but we realized we had to quickly adjust that as starting midnight Oct 31st EST, offers were being made and our applicants were needing a response.
Thankfully, there are solutions to this and we are already better than we were with it all a year ago.
As a future applicant I thought I could join the discussion. Hopefully, that's acceptable.
Trying to find any "nearly perfect solution" is never an easy task. I'd like to commend the EUS fellowship board for its noble initiative aimed at protecting the applicants. I can imagine some might feel "pressed against the wall" by an offer on their first interview. On the other hand, what if after the interview an applicant wants to extend an offer to a particular place (before Nov 1)? To avoid chaos and offers to multiple places at once this could be "one-at-a-time-button" on the www.eusfellowships.com website. If you click "send offer" to program A, all other programs turn inactive e.g. for 3 workdays. If program A likes the applicant (having seen all the other applications), they have 3 days to react and offer a contract... If they are not sure, they just don't extend the early offer... This way applicants know they are still in the pool for after Nov 1, unless the applicant finds some other place or the program fills and becomes "inactive" on the applicant's list... This way it becomes a "gradual elimination process"... Those who know what they want get to settle it early, and those who aren't sure have a few less choices to scratch their head about... Less flying, less frustration, less time wasting... If you are an applicant, and you know what you want - take initiative, be the early bird!
To remove the pressure from the programs, they could opt out from accepting early offers... Or opt in after interviewing their most desired candidates... Once the program opens for early offers, all candidates would get an email or something like that...
In all honesty, I would strongly prefer NOT to have some computer-based "match" algorithm decide on my fate once again. To my knowledge many residents share this point of view. Doing anything to the analogy of residency match seems to turn people off when considering further training. The "non-match" and more "job-like" approach is one of the attractive aspects of EUS fellowship application process.
Just my $.02 - ideas we could brainstorm about. "All-at-once" deadlines seem to put a lot of unnecessary strain on any well-meant system.
If anyone's having difficulty posting to the forum, please feel free to send comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll post for you. Here's a post from Ninfa Mehta at SUNY Downstate/Kings County Hospital:
"I think this system did not work well for the applicants. We did not offer positions out until the afternoon of November 1st at which point many of the applicants were already forced into making a decision by other programs. They were not given sufficient time to make an educated decision and were pressured into making a decision because they were nervous that they may not get offers from other programs. We were also told by an applicant that we were his first choice and that another program told him that we had already offered out spots and had filled our spots so they did not think that he should wait on us. They forced him to make a decision within hours of their 12am offer and then he was unable to accept a spot with us. Other applicants told us that they received emails at 12am stating that they were one of many offered spots and that the first "x" candidates to accept would get the spot, also putting them in a position to accept in fear that they would not get a spot somewhere else. In all honesty this was supposed to help the candidates in being able to choose the program that they felt would be the best fit for them instead this left them scared, and forced into a decision that maybe they didn't think was the best for them.
In my opinion, what this did was create an artificial quasi-match like situation that turned out to be worse than a match. In the past, we did rolling acceptances just like a normal attending job interview situation which worked out well for us and the applicants. Typically, our program was filled toward the end of November, and applicants were given a reasonable time to accept or decline offers (about 2 weeks or more). This year, we were forced to extend an offer at the first hour that I felt was professionally acceptable on Nov. 1 - 8am - which was a lot later than other people were contacted. In addition, we were forced to give the first choice applicant a short deadline to get back to us, given that our 2nd and 3rd choices would likely be snapped up right away without us even talking to them.
I think this process should either be rolling, like any other job interview with no deadline, or should be an actual match process in order to avoid the 12am hustle you have unintentionally created with this deadline.
In addition, it was impossible to tell who on our list had accepted offers and who had not without calling them. A post match list of people who had not matched would have been helpful as well for many programs to have, especially if you end up having an extra spot that opens up later in the year.
Kerri Layman, MD RDMS FACEP
Ultrasound Fellowship Director
MedStar Georgetown University
Washington Hospital Center
Having seen this evolve over the last ten years I believe this year was a marked improvement over the last few years, most importantly for the applicants. I do think it could be improved by moving later, preferably at least 11/15, and noon EST.
Nov. 1st, with ACEP in late Oct, limited our ability to schedule to fit in interviews with all interested candidates, which an additional two weeks would help.
'Rolling admissions', the situation we had prior to this year, creates a situation that favors weaker programs at the expense of the applicants, who may be pressured to accept a position before being able to fit in interviews at all programs they are interested in.
Barring an actual match, which I am not opposed to if logistics could be worked out, I don't think other restrictions on when offers/ acceptances can be made would help as they are likely both unenforceable and unlikely to improve things.
As an ultrasound community we should be interested in ensuring that rising fellows have a chance to explore all programs that are of interest, and to find a home in the one that is the best fit for the applicant and program. This means providing adequate time for interviews.
On offer day I would expect programs to call their top picks close to the earliest time. If a program calls their first pick, and that is the program the applicant wants then everything works. In a letter to our applicants this year the week prior I asked them to be ready to make a decision on Nov 1 and also pledged to give them an hour or two after an offer, as well as my cell phone if they had an offer but would prefer our program.
Barring a match there is no perfect solution, but a definite (and later) first offer date/time coupled with transparency and open communication is the second best solution.
Yale University School of Medicine
This was mostly a mess.
This was in essence, a "scramble." Ibelieve we replaced this initial problem with a new one. Hopefully, we can makesome adjustments to make this process more like a match, less like a scramble,and less chaotic for all involved.
-12am offers are just too much. I guess we need a12 noon “start time.”
-Nov 1 is a little too early. If it does turninto a scramble, I think we need more time between ACEP and the offer period.
-Hour deadlines from programs are too strict. ButI’m not sure how to fix this issue. The only option I see is to adopt a matchsolution (which would require a lot of admin) or perform an open match, wherethe programs and applicants post lists of their choices so that there is publicoversight.
Things I will do differently next year regardlessof the decisions of the EUS board.
Tell myapplicants where they are on my list. I believe open communication is thesolution to many of the issues we have.
Work veryhard to steal any potential fellows at the University of Kentucky.
Thank you for all of the responses to this post.
I know the EUS fellowships board is working hard to incorproate your feedback and streamline this process in the future.