Similar to the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) match process for residency, the San Francisco Match Program (SF Match) also has a match system for fellowships. Residents rank fellowship programs they interviewed at, and fellowship programs rank all the candidates they chose to interview. Once these lists are submitted by both the applicant and each institution, an algorithm “matches” the resident to a fellowship program.
Going into my fellowship interview trail, I knew I wanted to train at the same institution for both critical care and cardiothoracic anesthesiology. Since I officially chose to start with critical care, I was subject to the rules outlined by the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (SOCCA) which offers six instances where candidates can be offered a place outside of the traditional San Francisco Match.
- Active military service at the time of application
- Commitment to come to the institution of the critical care fellowship for more than one year
- Enrolled in an anesthesiology residency outside of the USA
- Reside outside the USA who are not eligible for ABA certification due to non US training
- Spouse/partner is applying for GME-approved post graduate training program in a medical speciality in the same region as the critical care fellowship
- Internal candidates
The reason I received an offer outside of match was instance #2 – I’ll be spending two years at the same program. 🙂 The program will rank me to match (meaning that if they have 10 fellowship positions, I will be ranked no lower than #10). On my end, I not only rank this program as #1 but rank NO other programs. After completing the agreement, I received the following email:
This is to confirm that both of you have entered into an agreement whereby Dr. (Program) will ensure your acceptance into the ACCM fellowship program (through the SF match) and Dr. (Applicant) will only be ranking (Program) in the SF Match. If your understanding is different from this, please contact me at once. Thank you and congratulations.
So this May, I’ll be matched to the one and only program I ranked for critical care. Next year, I’ll also enter the match for cardiothoracic anesthesiology and, again, only rank this program.
This is definitely a non-traditional way to match to a fellowship, so please drop me a comment if you have questions or need clarification! 🙂