Analysis of the pediatric surgery fellowship application process using the Thalamus™ database

Saunders Lin, Jason Reminick, Ephy Love, Benedict Nwomeh, Sanjay Krishnaswami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The pediatric surgery fellowship interview process is costly and time intensive. We hypothesized that the increasing number of interviews completed by applicants and programs have become inefficient over time. Methods: We analyzed pediatric surgery fellowship program and applicant interview data between 2018 and 2020. Cancellations, program fill time, regional analysis of programs and applicants, and program rank list data were also captured. Analyses were performed using descriptive statistics and Chi-Square analysis. Results: Our dataset included 34, 41, and 45 programs, which represented 81%, 91%, and 97% of all programs in 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively. The median number of interviews completed per program remained constant, while the median number of interviews per applicant increased from 9.0 in 2018 to 13.0 in 2020. For 75% of programs, a program required only 4 or less candidates to fill their position. On average, 96% of program interviews do not result in a matched candidate. Conclusions: Programs offer interviews out of proportion to the number of positions available, and most applicants attend all interviews offered. We recommend an initial program goal of 20 interviews, which may be achieved by increased use of virtual interviews and the creation of program-level data on ideal applicant profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1095-1100
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Fellowship
  • Interview
  • Pediatric surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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