Fellowship Fever! How Can Faculty Help?

July 21, 2021

James Kruer, MD Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program

ERAS is open for fellowships!

NGMC has a healthy list of PGY-3 Internal Medicine residents, plus our Chief Resident Dr. Rachana Mendpara, whose applications are in – hoping to get noticed and invited to interview. Here are a few tips when it comes to fellowships!

Networking Works!

There are hundreds, sometimes thousands of files in the pool that programs have to go through. One thing that could help is networking support from faculty. If you as a faculty member has a connection to a fellowship program director, fellowship coordinator, specialty faculty that participates in the selection committee, or a place you’ve trained, a little friendly “touch base” with a request that they take a look at your graduate’s files could make a difference.

Cold Calling – Does it Work?

Cold calling works, but be sure to frame it about how this applicant can help them or their program. While none of us have been trained in “cold calling” it actually works! Below is a list of outreach from most effective to the least effective:

  1. Dialing the person from your cellphone, be sure to leave a message too!
  2. Sending a text about the person.
  3. Sending an email.

Everyone Can Make a Difference, Not Just Folks in the Specialty

At NGMC, we’ve trained in residency in each of the Internal Medicine specialty departments, so we all have some degree of familiarity with the “who’s who” at our prior work and training institutions. Through various means, you might know someone who needs to hear from you about one of our residents who’s applying to their program. For example, Dr Phil Gross most recently trained in hospital medicine at Emory, but he still knows many of the fellowship directors. His outreach to speak in favor of a hardworking resident on his service could be very valuable.

The Time to Reach Out is Now through Wednesday, July 28 

In almost all programs, coordinators are opening ERAS to see how many and what locations they are getting applications from. Most program directors and selection committees will begin their filter and read slowly but quickly ramping up over the next week. Some will start immediately, others wait a few days for the last LOR’s to make their way through the ERAS mailbox. Sending a message or a call now is the ideal time because the program can open the file and look at it while you talk or when they get a break.

Resident Outreach is Not as Useful

At this point in the game, the residents have had months to prepare their files and put their best face forward. Programs don’t appreciate calls from applicants. Studies show they do value hearing from PD’s, APD’s and faculty with key insights. It’s up to the advocates during this week especially!

Some Programs Actually Respond to Your Emails!

The majority will not, true, however some will take the email and pull the file to have it reviewed by the committee – regardless if they respond to your contact or not.

Last but Not Least, say Thank You!

Thank Everyone you speak with for doing you the favor of considering the applicant/resident and programs are not required to take input from the public. Stay on everyone’s good side because the cycle starts again next year! With time, you will find that breakthroughs happen particularly as faculty attend national meetings and shake hands with fellowship directors. Networking at meetings helps build relationships for these future favors. When you have a chance to meet in person do say hello.

To learn more about our Internal Medicine faculty, visit https://www.ngmcgme.org/programs/internal-medicine/faculty/