Factors Affecting the Decision to Pursue Vitreoretinal Fellowship Training

Haft P, MD, Gedde SJ, Budenz DL, Schiffman JS, and Lee Y

Abstract


Purpose: To identify factors influencing graduating ophthalmology residents to pursue vitreoretinal fellowship training. Method: An anonymous survey was sent to each graduating ophthalmology resident in the United States in February 2003. Demographic data and information relating to residency training, career goals, and factors influencing career choices were collected from the surveys. Results: Surveys were completed by 222 (50.8%) residents, including 135 (60.8%) who were pursuing fellowships. Among residents applying for subspecialty training, 48 (35.6%) selected vitreoretinal fellowships and 87 (64.4%) chose other subspecialties. Residents selecting vitreoretinal fellowships were more likely to be male (P=0.035), have more uveitis faculty (P=0.006), perform more retina/vitreous procedures (P=0.025), publish a paper (P=0.003), participate in basic science research (P=0.044), and have elective time (P=0.012) during residency compared with residents seeking fellowships in other subspecialties. Additionally, residents entering vitreoretinal fellowships made the decision to pursue fellowship training earlier (P<0.001) and were more likely to intend to practice in a university setting (P=0.011). Challenging diagnostic problems (P<0.001), peer interactions (P=0.015), working with new technology (P<0.001), earning potential (P=0.012), prestige (P=0.020), interest in an academic career (P=0.001), and research experience (P=0.001) were rated as more important, and working hours was rated as less important by residents seeking vitreoretinal fellowships than those choosing other subspecialty fellowships. Conclusions: A variety of factors are involved in the decision to pursue fellowship training. There are differences in how these factors are weighed among residents seeking vitreoretinal fellowships and other subspecialties.

Journal of Academic Ophthalmology 2008: 1: 11-19. (c) Journal of Academic Ophthalmology

View full article in the Virtual JAO Online.

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