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1.  Fellow or foe: the impact of fellowship training programs on the education of Canadian urology residents 
Throughout North America, increasing emphasis is being placed on surgical fellowships. Surgical educators and trainees have raised concerns that the escalating focus on fellowships may threaten the educational mission of more novice trainees. Our objective was to collect opinions from multiple perspectives (faculty, fellows and residents) regarding fellowship structure, fellow selection and the impact of clinical fellowships on urology resident training.
We anonymously surveyed 52 members of a major academic urology training program (University of Toronto) with established fellowship training programs for their opinions regarding fellowship structure, fellow selection, and the impact on resident training and education.
The overall response rate was 88%. We identified significant differences of opinion among faculty, fellows and residents regarding fellowship structure, fellow selection and the impact on resident education. Specifically, faculty and fellows supported the addition of more fellows, felt that certain complex cases should be designated as “fellow cases” and that residents' research opportunities were not restricted. Residents felt that fellows “steal” operative cases, that performing operations with the fellow is not equivalent to performing operations with faculty alone and that fellowship candidates should perform an operation with division faculty as part of the application process. There was agreement that fellowship programs add value to residents' overall education, that fellows should participate in the call schedule and that fellows' role in the operating room needs to be better defined with respect to case volume and selection. Proficiency in technical skills, clinical knowledge, teaching and teamwork were cited as the most attractive characteristics of an effective clinical fellow.
Residency and fellowship program directors must clearly define the role of the fellow and outline the limits of surgical practice, establish clear and consistent guidelines outlining responsibilities (operative, clinical and on-call), and open lines of communication to ensure that all opinions are recognized and addressed. Finally, they must select fellows with proficient technical skills, clinical knowledge, teaching ability and work ethic to ensure that they focus on “specialized” training.
PMCID: PMC2422895  PMID: 18542725
2.  Implementing the 2009 Institute of Medicine recommendations on resident physician work hours, supervision, and safety 
Long working hours and sleep deprivation have been a facet of physician training in the US since the advent of the modern residency system. However, the scientific evidence linking fatigue with deficits in human performance, accidents and errors in industries from aeronautics to medicine, nuclear power, and transportation has mounted over the last 40 years. This evidence has also spawned regulations to help ensure public safety across safety-sensitive industries, with the notable exception of medicine.
In late 2007, at the behest of the US Congress, the Institute of Medicine embarked on a year-long examination of the scientific evidence linking resident physician sleep deprivation with clinical performance deficits and medical errors. The Institute of Medicine’s report, entitled “Resident duty hours: Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety”, published in January 2009, recommended new limits on resident physician work hours and workload, increased supervision, a heightened focus on resident physician safety, training in structured handovers and quality improvement, more rigorous external oversight of work hours and other aspects of residency training, and the identification of expanded funding sources necessary to implement the recommended reforms successfully and protect the public and resident physicians themselves from preventable harm.
Given that resident physicians comprise almost a quarter of all physicians who work in hospitals, and that taxpayers, through Medicare and Medicaid, fund graduate medical education, the public has a deep investment in physician training. Patients expect to receive safe, high-quality care in the nation’s teaching hospitals. Because it is their safety that is at issue, their voices should be central in policy decisions affecting patient safety. It is likewise important to integrate the perspectives of resident physicians, policy makers, and other constituencies in designing new policies. However, since its release, discussion of the Institute of Medicine report has been largely confined to the medical education community, led by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
To begin gathering these perspectives and developing a plan to implement safer work hours for resident physicians, a conference entitled “Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety: What will it take to implement the Institute of Medicine recommendations?” was held at Harvard Medical School on June 17–18, 2010. This White Paper is a product of a diverse group of 26 representative stakeholders bringing relevant new information and innovative practices to bear on a critical patient safety problem. Given that our conference included experts from across disciplines with diverse perspectives and interests, not every recommendation was endorsed by each invited conference participant. However, every recommendation made here was endorsed by the majority of the group, and many were endorsed unanimously. Conference members participated in the process, reviewed the final product, and provided input before publication. Participants provided their individual perspectives, which do not necessarily represent the formal views of any organization.
In September 2010 the ACGME issued new rules to go into effect on July 1, 2011. Unfortunately, they stop considerably short of the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations and those endorsed by this conference. In particular, the ACGME only applied the limitation of 16 hours to first-year resident physicans. Thus, it is clear that policymakers, hospital administrators, and residency program directors who wish to implement safer health care systems must go far beyond what the ACGME will require. We hope this White Paper will serve as a guide and provide encouragement for that effort.
Resident physician workload and supervision
By the end of training, a resident physician should be able to practice independently. Yet much of resident physicians’ time is dominated by tasks with little educational value. The caseload can be so great that inadequate reflective time is left for learning based on clinical experiences. In addition, supervision is often vaguely defined and discontinuous. Medical malpractice data indicate that resident physicians are frequently named in lawsuits, most often for lack of supervision. The recommendations are: The ACGME should adjust resident physicians workload requirements to optimize educational value. Resident physicians as well as faculty should be involved in work redesign that eliminates nonessential and noneducational activity from resident physician dutiesMechanisms should be developed for identifying in real time when a resident physician’s workload is excessive, and processes developed to activate additional providersTeamwork should be actively encouraged in delivery of patient care. Historically, much of medical training has focused on individual knowledge, skills, and responsibility. As health care delivery has become more complex, it will be essential to train resident and attending physicians in effective teamwork that emphasizes collective responsibility for patient care and recognizes the signs, both individual and systemic, of a schedule and working conditions that are too demanding to be safeHospitals should embrace the opportunities that resident physician training redesign offers. Hospitals should recognize and act on the potential benefits of work redesign, eg, increased efficiency, reduced costs, improved quality of care, and resident physician and attending job satisfactionAttending physicians should supervise all hospital admissions. Resident physicians should directly discuss all admissions with attending physicians. Attending physicians should be both cognizant of and have input into the care patients are to receive upon admission to the hospitalInhouse supervision should be required for all critical care services, including emergency rooms, intensive care units, and trauma services. Resident physicians should not be left unsupervised to care for critically ill patients. In settings in which the acuity is high, physicians who have completed residency should provide direct supervision for resident physicians. Supervising physicians should always be physically in the hospital for supervision of resident physicians who care for critically ill patientsThe ACGME should explicitly define “good” supervision by specialty and by year of training. Explicit requirements for intensity and level of training for supervision of specific clinical scenarios should be providedCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should use graduate medical education funding to provide incentives to programs with proven, effective levels of supervision. Although this action would require federal legislation, reimbursement rules would help to ensure that hospitals pay attention to the importance of good supervision and require it from their training programs
Resident physician work hours
Although the IOM “Sleep, supervision and safety” report provides a comprehensive review and discussion of all aspects of graduate medical education training, the report’s focal point is its recommendations regarding the hours that resident physicians are currently required to work. A considerable body of scientific evidence, much of it cited by the Institute of Medicine report, describes deteriorating performance in fatigued humans, as well as specific studies on resident physician fatigue and preventable medical errors.
The question before this conference was what work redesign and cultural changes are needed to reform work hours as recommended by the Institute of Medicine’s evidence-based report? Extensive scientific data demonstrate that shifts exceeding 12–16 hours without sleep are unsafe. Several principles should be followed in efforts to reduce consecutive hours below this level and achieve safer work schedules. The recommendations are: Limit resident physician work hours to 12–16 hour maximum shiftsA minimum of 10 hours off duty should be scheduled between shiftsResident physician input into work redesign should be actively solicitedSchedules should be designed that adhere to principles of sleep and circadian science; this includes careful consideration of the effects of multiple consecutive night shifts, and provision of adequate time off after night work, as specified in the IOM reportResident physicians should not be scheduled up to the maximum permissible limits; emergencies frequently occur that require resident physicians to stay longer than their scheduled shifts, and this should be anticipated in scheduling resident physicians’ work shiftsHospitals should anticipate the need for iterative improvement as new schedules are initiated; be prepared to learn from the initial phase-in, and change the plan as neededAs resident physician work hours are redesigned, attending physicians should also be considered; a potential consequence of resident physician work hour reduction and increased supervisory requirements may be an increase in work for attending physicians; this should be carefully monitored, and adjustments to attending physician work schedules made as needed to prevent unsafe work hours or working conditions for this group“Home call” should be brought under the overall limits of working hours; work load and hours should be monitored in each residency program to ensure that resident physicians and fellows on home call are getting sufficient sleepMedicare funding for graduate medical education in each hospital should be linked with adherence to the Institute of Medicine limits on resident physician work hours
Moonlighting by resident physicians
The Institute of Medicine report recommended including external as well as internal moonlighting in working hour limits. The recommendation is: All moonlighting work hours should be included in the ACGME working hour limits and actively monitored. Hospitals should formalize a moonlighting policy and establish systems for actively monitoring resident physician moonlighting
Safety of resident physicians
The “Sleep, supervision and safety” report also addresses fatigue-related harm done to resident physicians themselves. The report focuses on two main sources of physical injury to resident physicians impaired by fatigue, ie, needle-stick exposure to blood-borne pathogens and motor vehicle crashes. Providing safe transportation home for resident physicians is a logistical and financial challenge for hospitals. Educating physicians at all levels on the dangers of fatigue is clearly required to change driving behavior so that safe hospital-funded transport home is used effectively. Fatigue-related injury prevention (including not driving while drowsy) should be taught in medical school and during residency, and reinforced with attending physicians; hospitals and residency programs must be informed that resident physicians’ ability to judge their own level of impairment is impaired when they are sleep deprived; hence, leaving decisions about the capacity to drive to impaired resident physicians is not recommendedHospitals should provide transportation to all resident physicians who report feeling too tired to drive safely; in addition, although consecutive work should not exceed 16 hours, hospitals should provide transportation for all resident physicians who, because of unforeseen reasons or emergencies, work for longer than consecutive 24 hours; transportation under these circumstances should be automatically provided to house staff, and should not rely on self-identification or request
Training in effective handovers and quality improvement
Handover practice for resident physicians, attendings, and other health care providers has long been identified as a weak link in patient safety throughout health care settings. Policies to improve handovers of care must be tailored to fit the appropriate clinical scenario, recognizing that information overload can also be a problem. At the heart of improving handovers is the organizational effort to improve quality, an effort in which resident physicians have typically been insufficiently engaged. The recommendations are: Hospitals should train attending and resident physicians in effective handovers of careHospitals should create uniform processes for handovers that are tailored to meet each clinical setting; all handovers should be done verbally and face-to-face, but should also utilize written toolsWhen possible, hospitals should integrate hand-over tools into their electronic medical records (EMR) systems; these systems should be standardized to the extent possible across residency programs in a hospital, but may be tailored to the needs of specific programs and services; federal government should help subsidize adoption of electronic medical records by hospitals to improve signoutWhen feasible, handovers should be a team effort including nurses, patients, and familiesHospitals should include residents in their quality improvement and patient safety efforts; the ACGME should specify in their core competency requirements that resident physicians work on quality improvement projects; likewise, the Joint Commission should require that resident physicians be included in quality improvement and patient safety programs at teaching hospitals; hospital administrators and residency program directors should create opportunities for resident physicians to become involved in ongoing quality improvement projects and root cause analysis teams; feedback on successful quality improvement interventions should be shared with resident physicians and broadly disseminatedQuality improvement/patient safety concepts should be integral to the medical school curriculum; medical school deans should elevate the topics of patient safety, quality improvement, and teamwork; these concepts should be integrated throughout the medical school curriculum and reinforced throughout residency; mastery of these concepts by medical students should be tested on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) stepsFederal government should support involvement of resident physicians in quality improvement efforts; initiatives to improve quality by including resident physicians in quality improvement projects should be financially supported by the Department of Health and Human Services
Monitoring and oversight of the ACGME
While the ACGME is a key stakeholder in residency training, external voices are essential to ensure that public interests are heard in the development and monitoring of standards. Consequently, the Institute of Medicine report recommended external oversight and monitoring through the Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The recommendations are: Make comprehensive fatigue management a Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal; fatigue is a safety concern not only for resident physicians, but also for nurses, attending physicians, and other health care workers; the Joint Commission should seek to ensure that all health care workers, not just resident physicians, are working as safely as possibleFederal government, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, should encourage development of comprehensive fatigue management programs which all health systems would eventually be required to implementMake ACGME compliance with working hours a “ condition of participation” for reimbursement of direct and indirect graduate medical education costs; financial incentives will greatly increase the adoption of and compliance with ACGME standards
Future financial support for implementation
The Institute of Medicine’s report estimates that $1.7 billion (in 2008 dollars) would be needed to implement its recommendations. Twenty-five percent of that amount ($376 million) will be required just to bring hospitals into compliance with the existing 2003 ACGME rules. Downstream savings to the health care system could potentially result from safer care, but these benefits typically do not accrue to hospitals and residency programs, who have been asked historically to bear the burden of residency reform costs. The recommendations are: The Institute of Medicine should convene a panel of stakeholders, including private and public funders of health care and graduate medical education, to lay down the concrete steps necessary to identify and allocate the resources needed to implement the recommendations contained in the IOM “Resident duty hours: Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety” report. Conference participants suggested several approaches to engage public and private support for this initiativeEfforts to find additional funding to implement the Institute of Medicine recommendations should focus more broadly on patient safety and health care delivery reform; policy efforts focused narrowly upon resident physician work hours are less likely to succeed than broad patient safety initiatives that include residency redesign as a key componentHospitals should view the Institute of Medicine recommendations as an opportunity to begin resident physician work redesign projects as the core of a business model that embraces safety and ultimately saves resourcesBoth the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should take the Institute of Medicine recommendations into consideration when promulgating rules for innovation grantsThe National Health Care Workforce Commission should consider the Institute of Medicine recommendations when analyzing the nation’s physician workforce needs
Recommendations for future research
Conference participants concurred that convening the stakeholders and agreeing on a research agenda was key. Some observed that some sectors within the medical education community have been reluctant to act on the data. Several logical funders for future research were identified. But above all agencies, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the only stakeholder that funds graduate medical education upstream and will reap savings downstream if preventable medical errors are reduced as a result of reform of resident physician work hours.
PMCID: PMC3630963  PMID: 23616719
resident; hospital; working hours; safety
3.  Quality Control in Neuroradiology: Impact of Trainees on Discrepancy Rates 
Prior studies have found a 2%–8% clinically significant error rate in radiology practice. We compared discrepancy rates of studies interpreted by subspecialty-trained neuroradiologists working with and without trainees.
Subspecialty-trained neuroradiologists reviewed 2162 studies during 41 months. Discrepancies between the original and “second opinion” reports were scored: 1, no change; 2, clinically insignificant detection discrepancy; 3, clinically insignificant interpretation discrepancy; 4, clinically significant detection discrepancy; and 5, clinically significant interpretation discrepancy. Faculty alone versus faculty and trainee discrepancy rates were calculated.
In 87.6% (1894/2162), there were no discrepancies with the original report. The neuroradiology division had a 1.8% (39/2162; 95% CI, 1.3%–2.5%) rate of clinically significant discrepancies. In cases reviewed solely by faculty neuroradiologists (16.2% = 350/2162 of the total), the rate of discrepancy was 1.7% (6/350). With fellows (1232/2162, 57.0% of total) and residents (580/2162, 26.8% of total), the rates of discrepancy were 1.6% (20/1232) and 2.2% (13/580), respectively. The odds of a discrepant result were 26% greater (OR = 1.26; 95% CI, 0.38–4.20) when reading with a resident and 8% less (OR = 0.92; 95% CI, 0.35–2.44) when reading with a fellow than when reading alone.
There was a 1.8% rate of clinically significant detection or interpretation discrepancy among academic neuroradiologists. The difference in the discrepancy rates between faculty only (1.7%), fellows and faculty (1.6%), and residents and faculty (2.2%) was not statistically significant but showed a trend indicating that reading with a resident increased the odds of a discrepant result.
PMCID: PMC4337866  PMID: 22300933
4.  Fellows as teachers: a model to enhance pediatric resident education 
Medical Education Online  2011;16:10.3402/meo.v16i0.7205.
Pressures on academic faculty to perform beyond their role as educators has stimulated interest in complementary approaches in resident medical education. While fellows are often believed to detract from resident learning and experience, we describe our preliminary investigations utilizing clinical fellows as a positive force in pediatric resident education. Our objectives were to implement a practical approach to engage fellows in resident education, evaluate the impact of a fellow-led education program on pediatric resident and fellow experience, and investigate if growth of a fellowship program detracts from resident procedural experience.
This study was conducted in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where fellows designed and implemented an education program consisting of daily didactic teaching sessions before morning clinical rounds. The impact of a fellow-led education program on resident satisfaction with their NICU experience was assessed via anonymous student evaluations. The potential value of the program for participating fellows was also evaluated using an anonymous survey.
The online evaluation was completed by 105 residents. Scores were markedly higher after the program was implemented in areas of teaching excellence (4.44 out of 5 versus 4.67, p<0.05) and overall resident learning (3.60 out of 5 versus 4.61, p<0.001). Fellows rated the acquisition of teaching skills and enhanced knowledge of neonatal pathophysiology as the most valuable aspects of their participation in the education program. The anonymous survey revealed that 87.5% of participating residents believed that NICU fellows were very important to their overall training and education.
While fellows are often believed to be a detracting factor to residency training, we found that pediatric resident attitudes toward the fellows were generally positive. In our experience, in the specialty of neonatology a fellow-led education program can positively contribute to both resident and fellow learning and satisfaction. Further investigation into the value of utilizing fellows as a positive force in resident education in other medical specialties appears warranted.
PMCID: PMC3169169  PMID: 21912479
resident education; fellow teaching; pediatrics
5.  The Radiology Fellowship Application and Selection Process in the United States: Experiences and Perceptions from Both Sides 
Objective. Our purpose was to investigate radiology fellowship directors' and recent fellows' experiences and perceptions with regard to the fellowship application and selection process and to compare these experiences and perceptions. Materials and Methods. Institutional review board approval was obtained. We conducted an online survey of the memberships of three radiology subspecialty societies between October 2009 and December 2009 to learn about radiologists' views regarding various aspects of radiology fellowships. Results. In the process of selecting fellows, program directors and recent fellows consider performance during the radiology residency and the quality or prestige of the residency program as the most important objective factors, and the personal interview, letters of recommendation, and personality as the most important subjective factors. 25% of the program directors were in the match, and 41% of the recent fellows were in the match. Most (48%) of program directors favored a match, but most (56%) of the recent fellows disfavored participating in a match. Both program directors and recent fellows expressed satisfaction with the fellowship application and selection process. Conclusion. There was no majority support for a fellowship match among program directors and recent fellows and less support among recent fellows. Recent fellows appear more satisfied with the current selection and application process than program directors.
PMCID: PMC3403493  PMID: 22848822
6.  Different tracks for pathology informatics fellowship training: Experiences of and input from trainees in a large multisite fellowship program 
Pathology Informatics is a new field; a field that is still defining itself even as it begins the formalization, accreditation, and board certification process. At the same time, Pathology itself is changing in a variety of ways that impact informatics, including subspecialization and an increased use of data analysis. In this paper, we examine how these changes impact both the structure of Pathology Informatics fellowship programs and the fellows’ goals within those programs.
Materials and Methods:
As part of our regular program review process, the fellows evaluated the value and effectiveness of our existing fellowship tracks (Research Informatics, Clinical Two-year Focused Informatics, Clinical One-year Focused Informatics, and Clinical 1 + 1 Subspecialty Pathology and Informatics). They compared their education, informatics background, and anticipated career paths and analyzed them for correlations between those parameters and the fellowship track chosen. All current and past fellows of the program were actively involved with the project.
Fellows’ anticipated career paths correlated very well with the specific tracks in the program. A small set of fellows (Clinical – one or two year – Focused Informatics tracks) anticipated clinical careers primarily focused in informatics (Director of Informatics). The majority of the fellows, however, anticipated a career practicing in a Pathology subspecialty, using their informatics training to enhance that practice (Clinical 1 + 1 Subspecialty Pathology and Informatics Track). Significantly, all fellows on this track reported they would not have considered a Clinical Two-year Focused Informatics track if it was the only track offered. The Research and the Clinical One-year Focused Informatics tracks each displayed unique value for different situations.
It seems a “one size fits all” fellowship structure does not fit the needs of the majority of potential Pathology Informatics candidates. Increasingly, these fellowships must be able to accommodate the needs of candidates anticipating a wide range of Pathology Informatics career paths, be able to accommodate Pathology's increasingly subspecialized structure, and do this in a way that respects the multiple fellowships needed to become a subspecialty pathologist and informatician. This is further complicated as Pathology Informatics begins to look outward and takes its place in the growing, and still ill-defined, field of Clinical Informatics, a field that is not confined to just one medical specialty, to one way of practicing medicine, or to one way of providing patient care.
PMCID: PMC3445299  PMID: 23024889
Clinical informatics training; clinical informatics; fellowship tracks; informatics fellowship training; informatics teaching; pathology informatics fellowship; pathology informatics training; pathology informatics
7.  Robotic Surgery Training in Gynecologic Fellowship Programs in the United States 
Background and Objectives:
The increasing use and acceptance of robotic platforms calls for the need to train not only established surgeons but also residents and fellow trainees within the context of the traditional residency and fellowship program. Our study aimed to clarify the current status of robotic training in gynecologic fellowship programs in the United States.
This was a Web-based survey of four gynecology fellowship programs in the United States from November 2010 to March 2011. Programs were selected based on their geographic areas. A questionnaire with 43 questions inquiring about robotic surgery performance and training was sent to the programs and either a fellow or the fellowship director was asked to complete. Participation was voluntary.
We had 102 responders (18% respond rate) with an almost equal response rate from all four gynecologic fellowships, with a median response rate of 25% (range 21–29%). Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) and Gynecologic Oncology (Gyn Onc) fellowships had the highest rate of robotic training in their fellowship curriculum—95% and 83%, respectively. Simulator training was used as a training tool in 74% of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS); however, just 22% of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellowships had simulator training. Eighty-seven percent of Gyn Onc fellows graduate with >50 robotic cases, but this was 0% for Reproductive Endocrinology Infertility fellows.
Our study showed that the use of a robotic system was built into fellowship curriculum of >80% of MIS and Gyn Onc fellowship programs that were entered in our study. Simulator training has been used widely in Ob&Gyn fellowship programs as part of their robotic training curriculum.
PMCID: PMC4154438  PMID: 25392648
Robotic surgery; Ob&Gyn; Fellowship; Training
8.  Preparedness of Ob/Gyn residents for fellowship training in gynecologic oncology 
Residency training in obstetrics and gynecology is being challenged by increasingly stringent regulations and decreased operative experience. We sought to determine the perception of preparedness of incoming gynecologic oncology fellows for advanced surgical training in gynecologic oncology. An online survey was sent to gynecologic oncologists involved in fellowship training in the United States. They were asked to evaluate their most recent incoming clinical fellows in the domains of professionalism, level of independence/graduated responsibility, psychomotor ability, clinical evaluation and management, and academia and scholarship using a standard Likert-style scale. The response rate among attending physicians was 40% (n = 105/260) and 61% (n = 28/46) for program directors. Of those who participated, 49% reported that their incoming fellows could not independently perform a hysterectomy, 59% reported that they could not independently perform 30 min of a major procedure, 40% reported that they could not control bleeding, 40% reported that they could not recognize anatomy and tissue planes, and 58% reported that they could not dissect tissue planes. Fellows lacked an understanding of pathophysiology, treatment recommendations, and the ability to identify and treat critically ill patients. In the academic domain, respondents agreed that fellows were deficient in the areas of protocol design (54%), statistical analysis (54%), and manuscript writing (65%). These results suggest that general Ob/Gyn residency is ineffective in preparing fellows for advanced training in gynecologic oncology and should prompt a revision of the goals and objectives of resident education to correct these deficiencies.
•Ob/Gyn residency programs are facing an increasing number of challenges and restrictions.•Recent incoming fellows may be underprepared for training in gynecologic oncology.•Potential avenues to improve Ob/Gyn residency training are presented.
PMCID: PMC4442653  PMID: 26076160
Electronic survey; Fellowship training; Gynecologic oncology; Residency training
9.  Developing Future Faculty: A Program Targeting Internal Medicine Fellows' Teaching Skills 
The increased demand for clinician-educators in academic medicine necessitates additional training in educational skills to prepare potential candidates for these positions. Although many teaching skills training programs for residents exist, there is a lack of reports in the literature evaluating similar programs during fellowship training.
To describe the implementation and evaluation of a unique program aimed at enhancing educational knowledge and teaching skills for subspecialty medicine fellows and chief residents.
Fellows as Clinician-Educators (FACE) program is a 1-year program open to fellows (and chief residents) in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa.
Program Description
The course involves interactive monthly meetings held throughout the academic year and has provided training to 48 participants across 11 different subspecialty fellowships between 2004 and 2009.
Program Evaluation
FACE participants completed a 3-station Objective Structured Teaching Examination using standardized learners, which assessed participants' skills in giving feedback, outpatient precepting, and giving a mini-lecture. Based on reviews of station performance by 2 independent raters, fellows demonstrated statistically significant improvement on overall scores for 2 of the 3 cases. Participants self-assessed their knowledge and teaching skills prior to starting and after completing the program. Analyses of participants' retrospective preassessments and postassessments showed improved perceptions of competence after training.
The FACE program is a well-received intervention that objectively demonstrates improvement in participants' teaching skills. It offers a model approach to meeting important training skills needs of subspecialty medicine fellows and chief residents in a resource-effective manner.
PMCID: PMC3179239  PMID: 22942953
To determine which residency characteristics are associated with performance during endocrinology fellowship training as measured by competency-based faculty evaluation scores and faculty global ratings of trainee performance.
We performed a retrospective review of interview applications from endocrinology fellows who graduated from a single academic institution between 2006 and 2013. Performance measures included competency-based faculty evaluation scores and faculty global ratings. The association between applicant characteristics and measures of performance during fellowship was examined by linear regression.
The presence of a laudatory comparative statement in the residency program director’s letter of recommendation (LoR) or experience as a chief resident was significantly associated with competency-based faculty evaluation scores (β = 0.22, P = 0.001; and β = 0.24, P = 0.009, respectively) and faculty global ratings (β = 0.85, P = 0.006; and β = 0.96, P = 0.015, respectively).
The presence of a laudatory comparative statement in the residency program director’s LoR or experience as a chief resident were significantly associated with overall performance during subspecialty fellowship training. Future studies are needed in other cohorts to determine the broader implications of these findings in the application and selection process.
PMCID: PMC4816208  PMID: 26437219
selection criteria; fellowship; performance
11.  Prevalence and Cost of Full-Time Research Fellowships During General Surgery Residency – A National Survey 
Annals of surgery  2009;249(1):155-161.
Structured Abstract
To quantify the prevalence, outcomes, and cost of surgical resident research.
Summary Background Data
General surgery is unique among graduate medical education programs because a large percentage of residents interrupt their clinical training to spend 1-3 years performing full-time research. No comprehensive data exists on the scope of this practice.
Survey sent to all 239 program directors of general surgery residencies participating in the National Resident Matching Program.
Response rate was 200/239 (84%). A total of 381 out of 1052 trainees (36%) interrupt residency to pursue full-time research. The mean research fellowship length is 1.7 years, with 72% of trainees performing basic science research. A significant association was found between fellowship length and post-residency activity, with a 14.7% increase in clinical fellowship training and a 15.2% decrease in private practice positions for each year of full-time research (p<0.0001). Program directors at 31% of programs reported increased clinical duties for research fellows as a result of ACGME work hour regulations for clinical residents, while a further 10% of programs are currently considering such changes. It costs $41.5 million to pay the 634 trainees who perform research fellowships each year, the majority of which is paid for by departmental funds (40%) and institutional training grants (24%).
Interrupting residency to perform a research fellowship is a common and costly practice among general surgery residents. While performing a research fellowship is associated with clinical fellowship training after residency, it is unclear to what extent this practice leads to the development of surgical investigators after post-graduate training.
PMCID: PMC2678555  PMID: 19106692
12.  An evaluation of procedural training in Canadian respirology fellowship programs: Program directors’ and fellows’ perspectives 
In recent years, there has been a rapid growth in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed by respirologists.
To assess the number and type of procedures performed in Canadian respirology training programs, for comparison with the American College of Chest Physicians minimum competency guidelines, and to assess fellow satisfaction with procedural training during their fellowships.
Internet-based surveys of Canadian respirology fellows and respirology fellowship program directors were conducted.
Response rates for program director and respirology fellow surveys were 71% (10 of 14) and 62% (41 of 66), respectively. Thirty-eight per cent of respirology fellows reported the presence of an interventional pulmonologist at their institution. Flexible bronchoscopy was the only procedure reported by a large majority of respirology fellows (79.5%) to meet American College of Chest Physicians recommendations (100 procedures). As reported by respirology fellows, recommended numbers of procedures were met by 59.5% of fellows for tube thoracostomy, 21% for transbronchial needle aspiration and 5.4% for closed pleural biopsy. Respirology fellows in programs with an interventional pulmonologist were more likely to have completed some form of additional interventional bronchoscopy training (80% versus 32%; P=0.003), had increased exposure to and expressed improved satisfaction with training in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, but did not increase their likelihood of achieving recommended numbers for any procedures.
Canadian respirology fellows perform lower numbers of basic respiratory procedures, other than flexible bronchoscopy, than that suggested by the American College of Chest Physicians guidelines. Exposure and training in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic procedures is minimal. A concerted effort to improve procedural training is required to improve these results.
PMCID: PMC2687562  PMID: 19399309
Bronchoscopy; Education; Needle biopsy; Pulmonary training; Respirology
13.  Clinical fellowship training in pathology informatics: A program description 
In 2007, our healthcare system established a clinical fellowship program in pathology informatics. In 2011, the program benchmarked its structure and operations against a 2009 white paper “Program requirements for fellowship education in the subspecialty of clinical informatics”, endorsed by the Board of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) that described a proposal for a general clinical informatics fellowship program.
A group of program faculty members and fellows compared each of the proposed requirements in the white paper with the fellowship program's written charter and operations. The majority of white paper proposals aligned closely with the rules and activities in our program and comparison was straightforward. In some proposals, however, differences in terminology, approach, and philosophy made comparison less direct, and in those cases, the thinking of the group was recorded. After the initial evaluation, the remainder of the faculty reviewed the results and any disagreements were resolved.
The most important finding of the study was how closely the white paper proposals for a general clinical informatics fellowship program aligned with the reality of our existing pathology informatics fellowship. The program charter and operations of the program were judged to be concordant with the great majority of specific white paper proposals. However, there were some areas of discrepancy and the reasons for the discrepancies are discussed in the manuscript.
After the comparison, we conclude that the existing pathology informatics fellowship could easily meet all substantive proposals put forth in the 2009 clinical informatics program requirements white paper. There was also agreement on a number of philosophical issues, such as the advantages of multiple fellows, the need for core knowledge and skill sets, and the need to maintain clinical skills during informatics training. However, there were other issues, such as a requirement for a 2-year fellowship and for informatics fellowships to be done after primary board certification, that pathology should consider carefully as it moves toward a subspecialty status and board certification.
PMCID: PMC3327041  PMID: 22530179
Pathology informatics fellowship; clinical informatics; clinical informatics fellowship; pathology informatics; pathology informatics teaching; clinical informatics teaching
14.  Education of pediatric subspecialty fellows in transport medicine: a national survey 
BMC Pediatrics  2017;17:13.
The transport of critically ill patients to children’s hospitals is essential to current practice. The AAP Section on Transport Medicine has raised concerns about future leadership in the field as trainees receive less exposure to transport medicine. This study identifies the priorities of pediatric subspecialty fellows, fellowship directors and nursing directors in transport medicine education.
Internet based surveys were distributed to fellows, fellowship directors and nursing directors of transport teams affiliated with ACGME-approved fellowships in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (NPM), Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (PCCM), and Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM). Data collection occurred November 2013 to March 2014.
Four hundred and sixty-six responses were collected (357 fellows, 82 directors, 27 nursing directors): Six curricular elements were ranked by respondents: Transport Physiology (TP), Medical Control (MC), Vehicle Safety (VS), Medicolegal Issues (ML), Medical Protocols (MP) and State and Federal Regulations (SFR). Fellows and fellowship directors were not significantly different: TP (p = 0.63), VS (p = 0.45), SFR (p = 0.58), ML (p = 0.07), MP (p = 0.98), and MC (p = 0.36). Comparison of subspecialties found significant differences: PEM considered TP less important than NPM and PCCM (p < 0.001, p < 0.001), VS less important than NPM (p = 0.001). PEM viewed SFR and MC more important than PCCM (p = 0.006, p = 0.002); ML more important than PCCM and NPM (p = 0.001, p < 0.001). PCCM ranked MC more important than NPM (p = 0.004). Nursing directors considered TP less important than NPM and PCCM (p < 0.001, p = 0.002).
When ranking curricular elements in transport medicine, fellows and fellowship directors do not differ, but comparison of subspecialties notes significant differences. A fellow curriculum in transport medicine will utilize these results.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12887-017-0780-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5237255  PMID: 28086760
Fellow education; Transport medicine; Pediatric critical care medicine; Neonatal-Perinatal medicine; Pediatric emergency medicine
15.  Resident and fellow experiences after the introduction of endovascular aneurysm repair for abdominal aortic aneurysm 
Journal of vascular surgery  2011;54(3):881-888.
This study assessed trends in open and endovascular repair (EVAR) of intact and ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) in the Medicare population and evaluated recent trends in AAA repair at vascular fellowship training programs.
We identified all Medicare beneficiaries with a diagnosis of AAA who underwent repair or had a primary diagnosis of rupture (1995–2008). Cohorts were compared by type of repair (open vs EVAR) and presentation (intact vs ruptured AAA). Demographics of age, sex, and race were evaluated. We used unique hospital identifier codes to compare trends and 30-day mortality between hospitals that participate in vascular surgery fellowship training and those that do not. American Council on Graduate Medical Education data, only available for the years 1999 to 2008, were further used to better understand the changes in number of EVAR and open repairs of AAA performed each year for vascular fellows and general surgery residents, over time.
We identified 449,122 patients (76% men), with 376,355 intact AAAs (84%) and 72,767 ruptured AAAs (16%). Mean age was 75.1 years. Use of EVAR for intact AAA rose to from 35% in 2001 to 63% in 2005 and comprised 78% of repairs by 2008. During the same period, the number of ruptured AAAs decreased by 40% overall, with nonoperative ruptured AAAs decreasing by 29% and EVAR increasing to 31% of rupture repairs. Hospitals training vascular fellows were quicker to adopt EVAR (2-year lag time) for intact AAA and had higher rates of EVAR for ruptured AAA (41.1% vs 29.2%; P = .001) than did hospitals without fellows. Mortality rates for open repairs of intact (4.0% vs 5.0%; P = .01) and ruptured AAA (34.1% vs 41.0%; P = .031) were lower at fellowship hospitals. The average number of open AAA repairs performed by vascular fellows dropped 50% (44.1 to 21.6/year) from 1999 to 2008.
Contrary to the expectation of a plateau, use of EVAR for intact AAA continues to rise at fellowship and nonfellowship hospitals. Use of EVAR for rupture is being used more often at fellowship programs. The decline in open repairs performed by vascular fellows, and at fellowship and non-fellowship hospitals, may have important implications for future attending experience.
PMCID: PMC4385217  PMID: 21620615
16.  Content and Accessibility of Shoulder and Elbow Fellowship Web Sites in the United States 
Increasing numbers of training physicians are using the Internet to gather information about graduate medical education programs. The content and accessibility of web sites that provide this information have been demonstrated to influence applicants’ decisions. Assessments of orthopedic fellowship web sites including sports medicine, pediatrics, hand and spine have found varying degrees of accessibility and material. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accessibility and content of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) fellowship web sites (SEFWs).
A complete list of ASES programs was obtained from a database on the ASES web site. The accessibility of each SEFWs was assessed by the existence of a functioning link found in the database and through Google®. Then, the following content areas of each SEFWs were evaluated: fellow education, faculty/previous fellow information, and recruitment.
At the time of the study, 17 of the 28 (60.7%) ASES programs had web sites accessible through Google®, and only five (17.9%) had functioning links in the ASES database. Nine programs lacked a web site. Concerning web site content, the majority of SEFWs contained information regarding research opportunities, research requirements, case descriptions, meetings and conferences, teaching responsibilities, attending faculty, the application process, and a program description. Fewer than half of the SEFWs provided information regarding rotation schedules, current fellows, previous fellows, on-call expectations, journal clubs, medical school of current fellows, residency of current fellows, employment of previous fellows, current research, and previous research. Conclusions: A large portion of ASES fellowship programs lacked functioning web sites, and even fewer provided functioning links through the ASES database. Valuable information for potential applicants was largely inadequate across present SEFWs.
PMCID: PMC4910806  PMID: 27528833
17.  Evaluation of a web-based portal to improve resident education by neonatology fellows 
Medical Education Online  2014;19:10.3402/meo.v19.24403.
Integration of web-based educational tools into medical training has been shown to increase accessibility of resources and optimize teaching. We developed a web-based educational portal (WBEP) to support teaching of pediatric residents about newborn medicine by neonatology fellows.
1) To compare residents’ attitudes about their fellow-led education in the NICU pre- and post-WBEP; including assessment of factors that impact their education and usefulness of teaching tools. 2) To compare fellow utilization of various teaching modalities pre- and post-WBEP.
We queried residents about their attitudes regarding fellow-led education efforts and various teaching modalities in the NICU and logistics potentially impacting effectiveness. Based on these data, we introduced the WBEP – a repository of teaching tools (e.g., mock code cases, board review questions, journal articles, case-based discussion scenarios) for use by fellows to supplement didactic sessions in a faculty-based curriculum. We surveyed residents about the effectiveness of fellow teaching pre- and post-WBEP implementation and the type of fellow-led teaching modalities that were used.
After analysis of survey responses, we identified that residents cited fellow level of interest as the most important factor impacting their education. Post-implementation, residents described greater utilization of various teaching modalities by fellows, including an increase in use of mock codes (14% to 76%, p<0.0001) and journal articles (33% to 59%, p=0.02).
A web-based resource that supplements traditional curricula led to greater utilization of various teaching modalities by fellows and may encourage fellow involvement in resident teaching.
PMCID: PMC4110380  PMID: 25059834
WBEP; NICU; resident education; fellow-led teaching
18.  Women’s Health Training in Gastroenterology Fellowship: A National Survey of Fellows and Program Directors 
Digestive diseases and sciences  2011;56(3):751-760.
Background and Aims
The Gastroenterology Core Curriculum requires training in women’s digestive disorders; however, requirements do not necessarily produce knowledge and competence. Our study goals were: (1) to compare perceptions of education, fellow-reported levels of competence, and attitudes towards training in women’s gastrointestinal (GI) health issues during fellowship between gastroenterology fellows and program directors, and (2) to determine the barriers for meeting training requirements.
A national survey assessing four domains of training was conducted. All GI program directors in the United States (n = 153) and a random sample of gastroenterology fellows (n = 769) were mailed surveys. Mixed effects linear modeling was used to estimate all mean scores and to assess differences between the groups. Cronbach’s alpha was used to assess the consistency of the measures which make up the means.
Responses were received from 61% of program directors and 31% of fellows. Mean scores in perceived didactic education, clinical experiences, and competence in women’s GI health were low and significantly differed between the groups (P < 0.0001). Fellows’ attitudes towards women’s GI health issues were more positive compared to program directors’ (P = 0.004). Barriers to training were: continuity clinic at a Veteran’s Administration hospital, low number of pregnant patients treated, low number of referrals from obstetrics and gynecology, and lack of faculty interest in women’s health.
(1) Fellows more so than program directors perceive training in women’s GI health issues to be low. (2) Program directors more so than fellows rate fellows to be competent in women’s GI health. (3) Multiple barriers to women’s health training exist.
PMCID: PMC3652315  PMID: 21267780
Women’s health; Gastroenterology fellowship; Training guidelines
The general surgery results of the West African College of Surgeons (WACS) post-graduate fellowship examination could not be regarded as satisfactory when compared with the results of similar post-graduate examinations in some developed countries. For example the pass rate of the West African College of Surgeons examination was usually under 40% whereas the pass rate in oral examination in a similar post-graduate examination, the American Board of Surgery was 84% in 2006, 73% in 2012. The first time pass rate in general surgery of final year general surgery residents at the American Board of Surgery qualifying and certifying examinations were 74% - 78% between 2000 and 2007.
Aim & Objectives
To identify the factors responsible for the high failure rate at the general surgery fellowship examinations of the West African College of Surgeons.
Study design:
Descriptive study .We studied and analyzed the West African College of Surgeons examination results for April 2012, October 2012, April 2013 and October 2013 with emphasis on the results, the conduct of the examination and the opinion from fellows about the examiners.
Well structured questionnaires were sent to fellows who had passed all the various fellowship examinations of the West African College of Surgeons in general surgery to indicate their opinion about the examination, and the examiners.
University College Hospital, Ibadan, and Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria.
The first part of the study dealt with an analysis of each section of the examination prospectively studied over a 2-year period. This consisted of four sets of examination results. The second part was a questionnaire-based study administered to Fellows who had passed the WACS final fellowship examination in general surgery. The questionnaire had three sections: primary, part 1 and part 2 and included basic demographics, date at attempts in each grade of the examinations and the outcome. It also included the views of the respondents on the conduct of the examination and outcome. The data were analyzed using Microsoft Excel.
A total of 720 candidates with age range of 28 – 39 years and a mean of 33.2 years sat for the Part 1 Fellowship examinations in 2012 and 2013 with an average of 180 candidate per examination. At the Part 2 fellowship examination, 84 candidates with the age range of 31 – 42 year and a mean of 36.5 years sat the Part 2 Fellowship examination with an average of 21 candidates for each Part 2 examination in general surgery during the same period. The examinations held in April and October of each year. While an average of 28.8% of the candidates passed, an average of 71.2% of the candidates failed the Part 1 Fellowship examinations in 2012 and 2013. The aggregate clinical score was responsible for failure in 59.5% of the candidates. In the Part 2 Fellowship examination in general surgery during the same period, 31.5% of the candidates passed while an average of 68.5% of the candidates failed per examination. The aggregate clinical score was responsible for 53.3% of the candidates who failed the Part 2 examination. Furthermore, 60 – 69.7% of the candidates had a favourable opinion about the conduct of the examination, 54.5 – 63.6% rated the professionalism of the examiners high, even though the pass rate at the first attempts of the various grades of the examination by the respondents was about 50 percent.
The clinical part of the examination is a major factor responsible for the high failure rate in the general surgery fellowship examinations of the West African College of Surgeons. In order to mitigate this, residents in training should be exposed to the clinical management of a wide range of cases in the discipline with majority of the operations performed by them under the direct supervision of their consultants.
PMCID: PMC4866722  PMID: 27182508
West African Fellowship Examination; General surgery; High failure Rate; Opinion; Conduct and the examiners; More clinical exposure
20.  A survey of current and past Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellows regarding training 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:72.
The objectives of this study were to characterize the satisfaction of Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellows with their training and to understand how opinions about training have changed over time.
Anonymous survey studies were conducted with questions designed to include areas related to the 6 ACGME core competencies. Surveys for current fellows were distributed by fellowship directors, while surveys for graduates were mailed to all individuals with Pediatric Infectious Diseases certification.
Response rates for current fellows and graduates were 50% and 52%, respectively. Most fellows (98%) and graduates (92%) perceived their overall training favorably. Training in most clinical care areas was rated favorably, however both groups perceived relative deficiencies in several areas. Current fellows rated their training in other competency areas (e.g., systems-based practice, research, and ethics) more favorably when compared to past graduates. Recent graduates perceived their training more favorably in many of these areas compared to past graduates.
Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellowship training is well regarded by the majority of current and past trainees. Views of current fellows reflect improved satisfaction with training in a variety of competency areas. Persistent deficiencies in clinical training likely reflect active barriers to education. Additional study is warranted to validate perceived deficiencies and to establish consensus on the importance of these areas to infectious diseases training.
PMCID: PMC3188472  PMID: 21943353
fellowship; training; infectious diseases; pediatrics; education
21.  Determinants of internal medicine residents' choice in the canadian R4 Fellowship Match: A qualitative study 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:44.
There is currently a discrepancy between Internal Medicine residents' decisions in the Canadian subspecialty fellowship match (known as the R4 match) and societal need. Some studies have been published examining factors that influence career choices. However, these were either demographic factors or factors pre-determined by the authors' opinion as possibly being important to incorporate into a survey.
A qualitative study was undertaken to identify factors that determine the residents choice in the subspecialty (R4) fellowship match using focus group discussions involving third and fourth year internal medicine residents
Based on content analysis of the discussion data, we identified five themes:
1) Practice environment including acuity of practice, ability to do procedures, lifestyle, job prospects and income
2) Exposure in rotations and to role models
3) Interest in subspecialty's patient population and common diseases
4) Prestige and respect of subspecialty
5) Fellowship training environment including fellowship program resources and length of training
There are a variety of factors that contribute to Internal Medicine residents' fellowship choice in Canada, many of which have been identified in previous survey studies. However, we found additional factors such as the resources available in a fellowship program, the prestige and respect of a subspecialty/career, and the recent trend towards a two-year General Internal Medicine fellowship in our country.
PMCID: PMC3146947  PMID: 21714921
22.  Academic training in radiation safety awareness and practice among Iranian residents/fellows 
Heart Asia  2014;6(1):137-141.
To determine the current state of radiation safety awareness and practice among Iranian radiology/cardiology residents.
In this cross-sectional study, 725 Iranian cardiology/radiology fellows/residents (685 residents and 40 fellows) were studied. Radiation safety awareness and practice were assessed using a 13-item survey questionnaire. Based on academic trainings provided in their medical centres, the subjects were divided into two groups (trained vs untrained).
Trained residents/fellows had better performance compared with untrained ones regarding awareness of radiation dealing instructions, knowing safety experts of their centres (43.8% vs 20.1%, p<0.001) and their contact information (38.4% vs 11.4%, p<0.001), date of the last CBC (complete blood count) checking (15.1% vs 2.5%, p<0.001), use of lead glass (61.6% vs 41.8%, p=0.003), apron (94.5% vs 90%, p=0.016) and radiation shield (71.2% vs 46.2%, p<0.001).
Awareness/practice of Iranian cardiology/radiology residents/fellows about radiation exposure safety issues is not acceptable currently. Those who received formal training courses at their academic centres about the safety measures had significantly better knowledge compared with those who did not. It is suggested that radiation safety training be offered at the beginning of residency/fellowship for residents/fellows in a comprehensive and uniform way throughout medical universities.
PMCID: PMC4832740  PMID: 27326189
23.  Training Internists to Meet Critical Care Needs in the United States: A Consensus Statement from the Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC) 
Critical care medicine  2014;42(5):1272-1279.
Multiple training pathways are recognized by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for internal medicine (IM) physicians to certify in critical care medicine (CCM) via the American Board of Internal Medicine. While each involves 1 year of clinical fellowship training in CCM, substantive differences in training requirements exist among the various pathways. The Critical Care Societies Collaborative convened a task force to review these CCM pathways and to provide recommendations for unified and coordinated training requirements for IM-based physicians.
A group of CCM professionals certified in pulmonary-CCM and/or IM-CCM from ACGME-accredited training programs who have expertise in education, administration, research, and clinical practice.
Data Sources and Synthesis
Relevant published literature was accessed through a MEDLINE search and references provided by all task force members. Material published by the ACGME, American Board of Internal Medicine, and other specialty organizations was also reviewed. Collaboratively and iteratively, the task force reached consensus using a roundtable meeting, electronic mail, and conference calls.
Main Results
Internal medicine-CCM–based fellowships have disparate program requirements compared to other internal medicine subspecialties and adult CCM fellowships. Differences between IM-CCM and pulmonary-CCM programs include the ratio of key clinical faculty to fellows and a requirement to perform 50 therapeutic bronchoscopies. Competency-based training was considered uniformly desirable for all CCM training pathways.
The task force concluded that requesting competency-based training and minimizing variations in the requirements for IM-based CCM fellowship programs will facilitate effective CCM training for both programs and trainees.
PMCID: PMC4165588  PMID: 24637881
training; critical care medicine; internal medicine; fellowship education; requirements; workforce
24.  Global health leadership training in resource-limited settings: a collaborative approach by academic institutions and local health care programs in Uganda 
Due to a limited health workforce, many health care providers in Africa must take on health leadership roles with minimal formal training in leadership. Hence, the need to equip health care providers with practical skills required to lead high-impact health care programs. In Uganda, the Afya Bora Global Health Leadership Fellowship is implemented through the Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) and her partner institutions. Lessons learned from the program, presented in this paper, may guide development of in-service training opportunities to enhance leadership skills of health workers in resource-limited settings.
The Afya Bora Consortium, a consortium of four African and four U.S. academic institutions, offers 1-year global health leadership-training opportunities for nurses and doctors. Applications are received and vetted internationally by members of the consortium institutions in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and the USA. Fellows have 3 months of didactic modules and 9 months of mentored field attachment with 80% time dedicated to fellowship activities. Fellows’ projects and experiences, documented during weekly mentor-fellow meetings and monthly mentoring team meetings, were compiled and analyzed manually using pre-determined themes to assess the effect of the program on fellows’ daily leadership opportunities.
Between January 2011 and January 2015, 15 Ugandan fellows (nine doctors and six nurses) participated in the program. Each fellow received 8 weeks of didactic modules held at one of the African partner institutions and three online modules to enhance fellows’ foundation in leadership, communication, monitoring and evaluation, health informatics, research methodology, grant writing, implementation science, and responsible conduct of research. In addition, fellows embarked on innovative projects that covered a wide spectrum of global health challenges including critical analysis of policy formulation and review processes, bottlenecks in implementation of national HIV early infant diagnosis and prevention of mother-to-child HIV-transmission programs, and use of routine laboratory data about antibiotic resistance to guide updates of essential drug lists.
In-service leadership training was feasible, with ensured protected time for fellows to generate evidence-based solutions to challenges within their work environment. With structured mentorship, collaborative activities at academic institutions and local health care programs equipped health care providers with leadership skills.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12960-015-0087-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4650924  PMID: 26581196
Global health; Health leadership; Training; Resource-limited settings; Sub-Saharan Africa; Uganda; Collaboration
25.  Training satisfaction for subspecialty fellows in internal medicine: Findings from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Learners' Perceptions Survey 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:21.
Learner satisfaction assessment is critical in the design and improvement of training programs. However, little is known about what influences satisfaction and whether trainee specialty is correlated. A national comparison of satisfaction among internal medicine subspecialty fellows in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a unique opportunity to examine educational factors associated with learner satisfaction. We compared satisfaction across internal medicine fellows by subspecialty and compared factors associated with satisfaction between procedural versus non-procedural subspecialty fellows, using data from the Learners' Perceptions Survey (LPS), a validated survey tool.
We surveyed 2,221 internal medicine subspecialty fellows rotating through VA between 2001 and 2008. Learners rated their overall training satisfaction on a 100-point scale, and on a five-point Likert scale ranked satisfaction with items within six educational domains: learning, clinical, working and physical environments; personal experience; and clinical faculty/preceptor.
Procedural and non-procedural fellows reported similar overall satisfaction scores (81.2 and 81.6). Non-procedural fellows reported higher satisfaction with 79 of 81 items within the 6 domains and with the domain of physical environment (4.06 vs. 3.85, p <0.001). Satisfaction with clinical faculty/preceptor and personal experience had the strongest impact on overall satisfaction for both. Procedural fellows reported lower satisfaction with physical environment.
Internal medicine fellows are highly satisfied with their VA training. Nonprocedural fellows reported higher satisfaction with most items. For both procedural and non-procedural fellows, clinical faculty/preceptor and personal experience have the strongest impact on overall satisfaction.
PMCID: PMC3121724  PMID: 21575269

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