Background: The demand for training in complex general surgical oncology (CGSO) fellowships currently exceeds the number of positions offered; however, there are scarce data defining the applicant pool or characteristics associated with successful matriculation. Our study described the applicant population and to determine factors associated with acceptance into the fellowship.
Study design: Data were extracted from the Electronic Residency Application System for applicants in 2015 and 2016 and stratified based on matriculation status. Applicant demographics, including medical education, residency, and research achievements, were analyzed. Academic productivity was quantified using the number of peer-reviewed publications as well as the journal with the highest impact factor in which an applicant's work was published.
Results: Data were gathered on a total of 283 applicants, of which 105 matriculated. The overall population was primarily male (63.2%), Caucasian (40.6%), educated at a U.S. allopathic medical school (53.4%), and trained at a university-based General Surgery residency (55.5%). Education at a U.S. allopathic school (OR = 5.63, p < 0.0001), university-based classification of the applicant's surgical residency (OR = 4.20, p < 0.0001), and a residency affiliation with a CGSO fellowship (OR = 2.61, p = 0.004) or National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center (OR = 3.16, p < 0.001) were found to be associated with matriculation. Matriculants published a higher number of manuscripts than nonmatriculants (median of 10 vs. 4.5, p < 0.0001) and more frequently achieved publication in journals with higher impact factors (p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: This study represents the first objective description of the CGSO fellowship applicant pool. Applicants' medical school, residency, and research data points correlated with successful matriculation.