Characterization of reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) fellowship applicants: guiding our mentees toward success

Franasiak J M, Kaser D J, Goodman L, Patounakis G, Juneau C, Morin S J, Neal S, Schlaff W, Scott R T,
Fertil Res Pract. 2017 doi: 10.1186/s40738-017-0045-x


Background: Advanced subspecialty training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) entails a competitive application process with many data points considered. It is not known what components weigh more heavily for applicants. Thus, we sought to study the REI fellow applicant and compare 1) those who apply but do not receive an interview, 2) those who receive an interview but do not match, and 3) those who successfully match. Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted at a single REI fellowship program from 2013 to 2017. Academic variables assessed included standardized test scores and total number of publications listed on their curriculum vitae. Logistic regression models were constructed to determine variables that were predictive of being offered an interview in our program and of matching in any program. Results: There were 270 applicants, of which 102 were offered interviews. Interviewed applicants had significantly higher mean USMLE 1 and CREOG scores, as well as total publications and total abstracts. There was no difference in Step 2 and Step 3 scores or in number of book chapters. Of those interviewed, USMLE scores remained predictive of matching in any program; however, publications and scientific abstracts were no longer predictive. Conclusions: The decision to offer applicants interviews appears to be influenced by objective standardized test scores, as well as a threshold of academic productivity. These items are less predictive of matching once the interview process begins, indicating that other factors, such as performance during the interview day, may be more heavily weighted.