Emergency Medicine (EM) fellowships are becoming increasingly numerous and there is a growing trend among EM residents to pursue postgraduate fellowship training. There is scant data published on the prevalence of postgraduate training amongst EM physicians. We aim to describe the prevalence and regional variation of fellowships amongst EM residency leadership
We conducted an online anonymous survey which was sent to the EM Council of Residency Directors (CORD) membership in October 2014. The survey was a brief questionnaire, which inquired about fellowship, secondary board certification, gender, and length in a leadership position of each member of its residency leadership. Responses to the survey were separated into four different geographic regions. The geographic regions were defined by the same classification used by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Residency leadership was defined as program director (PD), associate PD and assistant PD. Residencies who did not complete the survey were then individually contacted to encourage completion. The survey was initially piloted for ease of use and understanding of the questions with a select few EM PDs.
Responses were obtained from 145 out of the 164 ACGME accredited EM residencies (88%). The fellowship prevalence amongst PD, Associate PD, and Assistant PDs was 21.4%, 20.3%, and 24.9% respectively. The most common fellowship completed was a fellowship in toxicology. Secondary board certification among PD, associate PD, and assistant PD was 9.7%, 4.8%, and 2.9% respectively. 82% of PDs have at least five years in residency leadership. 76% of PDs were male, and there was a near even split of gender amongst associate PDs and assistant PDs. The Western region had the highest percentage of fellowship and or secondary board certification amongst all levels of residency leadership.
Conclusions: There is a low prevalence of fellowship training and secondary board certification amongst EM residency leadership with the most common being toxicology. Assistant PD’s who the majority had less than 5 years residency leadership experience had the highest percentage of fellowship training. There is a regional variation in the percentage of residency leadership completing postgraduate training.