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Information for Fellows

Town Hall Recording

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Q: Why is this match being created? What is wrong with the previous system?

A: Until the match was formed, candidates had to submit applications, letters of reference, and supporting documentation to each individual training program. A centralized application process reduces the workload of the applicant significantly. Applicants had to contact each individual program in which they were interested and inquire whether they were accepting external candidates. The timeline for the application process was fluid and crept increasingly earlier in the year, forcing applicants to commit earlier in their training on advanced cardiac imaging. Programs would frequently receive inquiries about positions well after they had already selected fellows. A single, transparent, equitable process would ensure that all applicants can apply to all programs in which they are interested, and all programs would have access to all applicants.

Q: How many programs will participate in the match?

A: We have disseminated a survey to all programs listed through the Society of Pediatric Cardiology Training Program Directors (SPCTPD) to assess participation in the upcoming application cycle. Of the 35 active training programs, 34 responded. Of these programs, 19 (58%) responded that they will participate in the match regardless of whether or not they are keeping an internal candidate, 7 (21%) responded that they will participate unless they are keeping an internal candidate, 5 (15%) responded that they will definitely be keeping an internal candidate and therefore are not participating in the match, 2 programs were undecided, and 1 program decided they would not participate in the match. Therefore, we are expecting the vast majority of US training positions in pediatric advanced cardiac imaging open to external applications to be filled through the match.

Q: If a categorical cardiology fellow wants to stay at the same program for a 4th year in advanced cardiac imaging and the program agrees, do they have to enter the match?

A: Many programs will consider all internal and external applicants and rank them accordingly, similar to categorical cardiology fellowship. Other programs will elect to retain an internal applicant without going through the match process. The ability to do so was important to some programs we surveyed. As such, we have a provision to allow programs to accept an internal candidate outside of the match on any given year. If a program and applicant have agreed to this explicitly, that position should not be listed as available in SF Match and the applicant should not apply through SF Match. Once a position is listed as available in SF Match, it must be filled through the match. If a program has multiple positions, they may opt to fill one or more of those positions outside of the match with an internal candidate and only positions into the match for which they are considering external candidates.

Q: Will Canadian programs be participating in the match?

A: The application timeline for Canadian programs is much earlier than US programs. As such, they cannot participate in the match.

Q: Can prospective trainees apply through the match and then decide to pull out later? For example, can they decide to take a faculty position instead of the 4th year fellowship?

A: There is no obligation to train in a pediatric advanced cardiac imaging fellowship until the applicant submits a rank list. If an applicant ranks a program (rank list due in December), they are committing to attend the fellowship to which they match.

Q: How will the match handle different types of training programs (fetal cardiology,

echocardiography, MRI/CT)?

A: The PACI match will include six different tracks: echocardiography alone (including TTE and TEE), fetal cardiology + echocardiography, MRI/CT + echocardiography, fetal cardiology alone (without specific TTE/TEEE training), MRI/CT alone (without specific TTE/TEE training), and general PACI training. General PACI training describes programs which offer training in all the above modalities and allow the trainee to tailor the program to suit their needs throughout the year. Programs will specify which imaging track(s) are available at their respective institutions.

Q: Can an applicant apply to more than one PACI track?

A: Yes. Applicants will be able to see which imaging track(s) are offered by which programs and will be able to rank positions on different tracks.

Q: How will interviews be handled?

A: Interviews will be scheduled and managed directly between programs and applicants. There is an interview scheduler available through SF Match that some programs may elect to use. While some programs may elect to offer in-person interviews, most (if not all) will offer only remote interviews over video conferencing.

Q: What happens if an applicant does not match or if a program does not fill their position?

A: Programs who do not fill a position will have access to a list of applicants who do not match and applicants who do not match will have access to a list of programs who do not fill. These programs and applicants can then contact each other directly.

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