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Review Examines Winning Elements in Spine Fellowships

FRIDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- Although, ultimately, job choice is multifactorial, when evaluating spine fellowship applicants, there are objective factors in an applicant's application that are associated with a significantly higher likelihood of the individual choosing to pursue an academic position after fellowship completion, according to research published in the March 1 issue of Spine.

Daniel K. Park, M.D., of the William Beaumont Hospital in Southfield, Mich., and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of 203 consecutive applications of candidates granted an interview for a spine surgical fellowship from 2005 to 2010 to identify application criteria associated with a greater likelihood of the candidate choosing an academic job after completing their fellowship.

The researchers found that, overall, several factors were identified, including the candidate having made five or more national presentations, having completed a research fellowship, having attended a top-20 medical school, having stated a desire in the personal statement to become an academic surgeon, and having letters of reference that clearly stated the candidate's intention to pursue an academic career upon fellowship completion. Of these, the strongest predictors were completion of a research fellowship, top-20 medical school graduation, and stated desire for an academic career in the candidate's personal statement.

"In conclusion, there are objective factors within spine fellowship applications associated with a higher likelihood of taking an academic job," the authors write. "Analyzing these factors may help selection committees evaluate spine fellowship applicants consistent with the academic missions of their programs."

One or more authors received benefits from a commercial party related to the subject.

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