Brain Injury Medicine Fellowship Applicant Survey: Trends in the Brain Injury Medicine Fellowship Application Process Between 2016 and 2019

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2020 Oct 2. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001611. Online ahead of print.


There is a lack of research regarding trends in the Brain Injury Medicine (BIM) fellowship match process. The objectives of this study are to 1) identify recent trends in the BIM fellowship application process, 2) provide meaningful information to future fellowship candidates, and 3) provide fellowship programs information on fellowship candidates' values. A cross-sectional study was conducted, in which a survey was sent to BIM applicants involved in the match process from 2016 to 2019. A total of 69 surveys were distributed with a response rate of 72.5%. The median number of interviews attended increased from 3 (range 1-10) in 2016 to 9 (range 3-19) in 2019. Most interviews occurred from September to November, with a majority occurring in October. The three top factors applicants considered when evaluating fellowship programs included geographic location, Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accreditation, and program "well-roundedness." In 2016, BIM fellowship applicants ranked a median of 3 fellowships (range 1-9), which increased to 8 (range 2-18) in 2019. While the number of BIM fellowship applicants has recently trended down, future fellowship applicants may need to consider an increasing applicant pool as fellowship becomes a prerequisite for BIM board certification.