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Original Investigation |

Trends in US Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship Training

Ali Espinel, MD1; Marian Poley, BS1; George H. Zalzal, MD1; Kenny Chan, MD2; Diego Preciado, MD, PhD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Children’s National Health System, Washington, DC
2Department of Otolaryngology, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015;141(10):919-922. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2015.1570.
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Importance  Interest in pediatric otolaryngology fellowship training is growing. The workforce implications of this growing interest are unclear and understudied.

Objectives  To analyze trends in pediatric otolaryngology training, determine where fellows who graduated over the past 10 years are currently practicing, and test the hypothesis that graduates from Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)–accredited programs were more likely to have academic tertiary positions with faculty appointments.

Design, Setting, and Participants  We conducted a web-based analysis of pediatric otolaryngology fellowship graduates. The names of all 274 applicants who were matched to pediatric otolaryngology fellowships from May 31, 2003, to May 31, 2014, were obtained from the SF Match website. Accreditation status of each program for each match year was obtained from the ACGME website. We then performed an Internet search for the current practice location of each matched applicant. Analysis was conducted from January 1, 2015, to May 1, 2015.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Practice setting per year of fellowship match and accreditation status of program.

Results  For the 2003 to the 2014 match years, there was an increase from 5 to 22 accredited pediatric otolaryngology fellowship programs overall; simultaneously, the number of yearly matched applicants increased from 14 to 35. More graduates with ACGME accreditation practice at academic settings compared with graduates without ACGME accreditation although the difference was not statistically significant (67.1% vs 50.7%; P = .15). Graduates from accredited programs, however, were significantly more likely to practice at a hospital-based setting compared with those from nonaccredited programs (81.7% vs 65.5%; P = .003). Fellows trained in the last 10 years are relatively well distributed across the country.

Conclusions and Relevance  The number of pediatric otolaryngology fellowship applicants as well as total number of matched applicants and ACGME-accredited positions has risen in the last 10 years. It appears that a higher proportion of fellows trained in accredited programs work in academic positions in hospital-based practices. The long-term effect on the pediatric otolaryngology workforce of training more fellows in accredited fellowships remains to be seen.

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