American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting

American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting

Source:

Rhee PC. What I look for in the application and interview. Both presented in IC07-L at: American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting; Oct. 1-3, 2020 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Rhee reports he receives consulting fees TriMed Inc. and Integra LifeSciences. Regal reports no relevant financial disclosures.
October 03, 2020
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Speakers: Hand fellowship applications during COVID-19 pandemic are opportunity to shine

Source:

Rhee PC. What I look for in the application and interview. Both presented in IC07-L at: American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting; Oct. 1-3, 2020 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Rhee reports he receives consulting fees TriMed Inc. and Integra LifeSciences. Regal reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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Hand surgeons provided helpful suggestions for matching to the best hand fellowship possible using a virtual application process during the American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting.

As the COVID-19 pandemic precludes traveling to interviews for hand surgery fellowships, Steven M. Regal, MD, and Peter C. Rhee, DO, MS, said would-be fellows should instead take that time to develop an outstanding application.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the Association of American Medical Colleges have recommended all interviews and business be conducted virtually due to the pandemic, according to Regal. “I believe all programs will be adhering to that this year,” he said.

Regal, who moderated the symposium, said, “All programs require a personal statement.”

The personal statement portion of the application is a way for applicants to “tell us your story” and highlight distinctive traits and interests to distinguish themselves from other applicants, he said.

“In general, a shorter personal statement is better than a longer one,” Regal said.

“But try to put something in there that makes you stand out [and] that we can bring up during in the interview that makes you a better candidate than your co-residents.”

Rhee, who is at Mayo Clinic – Rochester, discussed what he looks for in the virtual interview. Rhee has reviewed numerous hand fellowship applications during his career and noted this is the Mayo Clinic’s 34th year with a hand fellowship. “We’ve trained a lot of people,” he said noting 141 applications were received in 2019, which led to 32 interviews held in Rochester, Minnesota, from which four fellows were selected.

He suggested hand fellowship applicants go to the institution’s website to see the type of individuals who trained there in the past. Rhee said they may find it is not always an academic superstar that is being sought, but an individual who will become the “best hand surgeon who will go on and serve their patients. Knowing that is helpful.”

“We just want compassionate, ethical, technically sound surgeons when they leave the fellowship program,” Rhee said.

Applicants should try to distinguish themselves in their application.

“Take time to time to work and shore up your application,” Rhee said.

He described the personal statement’s importance as a way to better understand who each applicant is as a person. Fellowship applicants should highlight hobbies and other facts beyond their academic qualifications on their application that will make them shine, he said.

“Your job is to somehow make it personal and unique,” Rhee said.

He also suggested using the extra time available now, during the pandemic, to get the curriculum vitae organized.

References:

  • Regal SM. Tips on putting together a great applications and the logistics of scheduling interviews.