The American Laryngological Association has initiated a formal match program for candidates and institutions interested in participating in Laryngology Fellowship Training. Participation is voluntary. The match program is run through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). The formal NRMP for Laryngology Fellowships was begun in 2011 for the 2012/13 fellowship year and has run smoothly for the last 2 years. Both applicants and program directors report the match process has been advantageous.
For people interested in finding a Laryngology Fellowship, they should begin exploring the process during the middle of their third year of residency (PGY-3). CVs and letters of recommendation are sent to potential programs at the beginning of their fourth year (PGY-4), and interviews are done in the fall and early winter of that same year (PGY-4). Rank lists are then submitted in January of the fourth year.
Applications and interview processes are individualized by each program. A centralized process of application has not been established.
The purpose of the match program is to:
1. Allow applicants and programs to consider all options before accepting positions or applicants into a program
2. Create an impartial venue for matching applicants and programs with their top choices
3. Establish a uniform date of appointment and reverse the trend for applicants and programs to interview and accept positions earlier and earlier during residency training.
For the 2013/14 fellowship year the match process has been completed and the process is underway for the 2014/15 match.
Also on this website are suggested Guidelines for Laryngology Fellowship Training and recommendations from the ALA Council on potential content for fellowship training. The ALA recognizes that not all fellowship programs will cover all of the subject matters with equal emphasis. The purpose of the Fellowship Guidelines is to to inform otolaryngology residents, interested fellowships candidates and the potential program directors of the entire breadth of Laryngology. Since the field is broad and it is not possible for Laryngologists to have equal emphasis in all areas, fellowship applicants are encouraged to understand their areas of interest and seek out fellowship programs with emphasis in those areas.
Important Dates for the 2014/15 Match
September 26, 2012: Registration for programs and applicants opens
December 12, 2012: Ranking opens for applicants and programs
January 9, 2013: Quota deadline for programs (Programs must submit final information for quotas and withdrawals)
January 23, 2013: Ranking deadline for residents and programs
February 6, 2013: Match Day
February 6, 2013 Programs begin sending letters of appointment to signature by match appplicant.
July 1, 2014: Start of Fellowship Program
History of Laryngology Fellowship Match Program
Specialized post-residency training in laryngology began in the United States in 1992 with a limited number of programs. Since the inception of Fellowship training in Laryngology, the number of programs has expanded to more than 20. These programs train over 24 candidates annually. Due to the competitive nature of these fellowships, candidates and programs found themselves interviewing and filling positions earlier and earlier during the course of post-graduate training. To feel secure in finding Laryngology Fellowship positions, candidates needed to announce their intentions for training during their PGY 2 year. Interviews were conducted during the beginning of their PGY 3 year and acceptances made. This system of early matching prevented many interested residents from considering careers in Laryngology and forced Fellowship Programs to accept residents early before having the opportunity to interview all interested candidates. To counteract this devolving trend and to allow fellow candidates adequate training time in all areas of otolaryngology so they were better prepared to make an informed career decision, and to allow programs to interview all interested applicants, the concept of a uniform date of acceptance and/or match program surfaced.
The initial discussions regarding this process began with the ALA council in 2006. The outcome of those discussions was to develop the Laryngology Fellowship Guidelines. These Guidelines for Laryngology Education serve as a resource for resident physicians interested in laryngology and for practicing laryngologists considering developing a fellowship program at their institution. The guidelines are currently available on the ALA website. Through further discussions the concept of a formal match program for fellowship training gained support from a majority of fellowship directors.
Through the work of Marvin Fried (ALA president 2009/10), Clark Rosen (ALA member 2005), Al Merati (ALA member 2007), and others, discussions were initiated between various match programs. Discussions with the leadership of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) seemed most promising and on the early morning of April 29, 2010, during the Annual Meeting of the ALA in Las Vegas, NV, a meeting was held by the ALA for fellowship directors and representatives of the NRMP. The meeting on that early morning in April was the culmination of this renewed effort. The NRMP representatives presented the benefits of using a match program, discussed a timeline for a match program, the requirements for programs to participate and the associated costs. At the end of the meeting, informal commitments were made by over 80% of the program directors present to participate in an official match to be offered through the NRMP for the academic year 2012-2013.
At the ALA council meeting, which preceded the ALA Annual Meeting, it was discussed that the ALA should appoint a representative to the NRMP to facilitate communication for the Laryngology Fellowship Match program. To avoid potential conflict of interest the Council decided that the representative should not direct a fellowship program. Because of his prior participation in the process and that he does not direct a fellowship, Dr. Fried was chosen for this position. Al Merati was asked to serve as a liaison between the ALA and the AAO-HNS Section on Residents and Fellows.
To download a pdf version of the complete presentation of the NRMP to fellowship directors click here. This presentation contains information for program directors as well as applicants.
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