Fellowship Candidate Factors Considered by Program Directors

Elham Beheshtian, Rozita Jalilianhasanpour, Sadaf Sahraian, David M. Yousem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The neuroradiology fellowship match has been in existence for about 20 years. However, the elements by which neuroradiology fellowship program directors evaluate candidates have not been clearly elucidated. We sought to identify the factors that program directors use to rank neuroradiology fellowship applicants. Methods: An anonymous Qualtrics online five-question survey about educational credentials, personal traits, extracurricular activities, and demographic characteristics was sent to 72 neuroradiology program directors in April 2019. Each question required ranking of 10 factors based on different characteristics of fellowship candidates. Items included gender, nationality, US Medical Licensing Examination scores, internal applicants, work and research experience, recommendation letters, residency program, medical school attended, and visa status. Program directors had the ability to list any new characteristics that were not included in the survey. Results: In all, 68 of 72 (94.4%) neuroradiology programs responded to the survey. The most important criteria by which candidates were assessed were (1) residency program attended for educational credential, (2) personality as assessed by faculty at interviews for candidate personal traits, (3) research performed for candidate's extracurricular activities, and (4) likelihood of coming to or previous experience in the fellowship geographic area. Neuroradiology program directors independently stressed residency program attended, personality assessed during the interview by faculty, internal candidate status, letters of recommendation, and research activities as their top five criteria in ranking the candidates. Conclusion: Multiple factors are weighed by neuroradiology fellowship program directors in selecting fellows, but recent experiences in residency, research, and faculty interactions are prioritized. Internal candidates have an advantage for remaining as fellows within their residency programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-288
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Fellowship
  • fellowship match
  • neuroradiology
  • program director

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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