Episode 14: Retina Fellowship Applications Match Panel

Priya Sharma, Edward Wood, and Rehan Hussain

Priya Sharma, Edward Wood, and Rehan Hussain

Three recently matched fellowship applicants (Drs. Priya Sharma, Edward Wood, and Rehan Hussain) join the podcast to go in depth into the match process from start to finish. Topics covered include finding a retina mentor, choosing programs, preparing for interviews, and making a rank list. For more information see this referenced article


Outline updated 8/7/2017 by @Michael Venincasa 

[1:20] Introduction

[2:50] At what stage did you decide to apply for a retina fellowship?

[6:05] What was your timeframe for preparing and completing your applications?

[8:30] Did anyone present at/attend ASRS, Retina Society, or other meetings?

[11:45] Different programs require different specifics for applications (letter from program chair, letter from residency director, college transcripts, etc.). How did you keep track of what each specific program required?

[13:30] Jay suggests scanning important documents (transcripts and others) onto your computer early so you have it easily available when applying for fellowships, jobs, or licensures.

[15:00] Discussion about building relationships with mentors. There are not too many retina attendings in the country and most tend to know each other, so letters of recommendation go a long way in the application process.

[19:20] How did you decide on your list of programs to apply to? What factors did you look for in each program?

[22:58] Ten things to consider when weighing a program: program reputation, location, number of fellows, surgical volume, subspecialty exposure, didactics, call schedule, number of faculty, working with residents, research. (And #11: where prior fellows ended up after graduation.)

[24:26] Residency applications often offer flexibility with dates. How is the flexibility for fellowship applications?

[25:49] Did you have any pre-interview routine, or was there a certain way that you prepared?

[28:05] What were the most common questions you encountered most in your interviews?

[33:05] Jay suggests that fellowship interviews feel more colleague-to-colleague than residency interviews because attendings want to know if they can spend a large amount of time with you, and if they can provide for you the things that you need to succeed.

[33:55] What was the average number of primary/total surgeries quoted for you by programs while on the interview trail?

[39:02] With so many interviews, how do you not forget what each program brought to the table, or how did you prevent programs from “blending together?” Did you make a “running rank list?”

[44:14] What specific things did programs do that made the process more enjoyable?

[48:24] How did you ultimately choose your rank list?