Friday, July 15, 2011

The job market in gastrointestinal endoscopy

After completing a 3 year subspecialty match in gastroenterology, doctors wishing to specialize further can do a fellowship in advanced endoscopy. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is trying to organize that job market, and, at least for this year, they are doing something quite different from a standard medical match. Aside from a system of prescribed dates (First date to offer an interview: 4/1/2011; First date to offer a position 7/15/2011: Fellowship start date: 7/1/2012), the process is described to applicants (in a letter) as follows:

"At 12pm EDT on July 15th, all program directors will send out an email to their top
choice. The fellow will then have 1 hour to decide if they wish to take that position or
wait for other offers. Please send a return email confirming that you got the offer.
You may respond at any time during that hour, ideally as soon as you make your
decision. If you do not respond within that hour, the program director may move on to
their second choice, so please respond within the hour.

"One of 2 things will then happen once you respond:

1. If you have chosen the offer, and send an affirmative email, the program
director will then send an email ASAP to all of its other applicants to
alert them that the spot has been filled, so that other applicants will be
aware that that position at that particular institution is no longer

2. If you chose to reject the offer, please alert the program director via email
ASAP, so that the program director can then make an offer to the next
applicant on the list.

"If after the 15th (and the weekend of the 16th-17th) you do not have a position, please
go to the ASGE AEF website, and a list of programs with open positions will be
posted so that you may contact any of them if you like.

"I know that this non-electronic “match” is not ideal, but until we adopt an electronic
match (hopefully next year) we hope this format works without too many glitches."

Note that this is a system of "exploding offers", so one can expect some communication between participants before the appointed hour... (See also the discussion of similar problems I anticipate in the proposed new rules for the residency scramble (SOAP)).

Gastroenterology fellowships enjoy a successful match, so it seems reasonable to speculate that the fellowship in advanced endoscopy will turn to one after trying this.

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