The Fellowship Council: a decade of impact on surgical training
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The objective of this project is to document the history of the Fellowship Council (FC) and report its current impact on surgical training. The need for advanced training in laparoscopic surgery resulted in the rapid development of fellowships for which there was no oversight. Fellowship program directors began meeting in the 1990s and formally created the FC in 2004 to provide that oversight.
To obtain information with which to create a narrative of the history of the FC, the authors performed a detailed review of all available minutes from the meetings of the various iterations of the council and its committees between 2001 and 2012. Information about fellowships and meetings of the directors of fellowships prior to 2001 are based on information included in minutes of meetings after 2001.
Minimally invasive surgery fellowship program directors in collaboration with surgical societies created the FC to bring order to the application process for residents and program directors. It has evolved into an organization with mature, reliable processes for application, matching, curriculum development, accreditation, and reporting. It now receives applications from more than 30 % of graduating chief residents in general surgery. It has 223 accredited fellowship positions in the following disciplines: Minimally invasive surgery, bariatric/metabolic surgery, Flexible endoscopy, hepato-pancreato-biliary Surgery, colorectal surgery, and Thoracic surgery.
The FC provides a reliable, fair process for matching residents with fellowship programs and has successfully expanded its oversight of such programs with mature processes for accreditation, curriculum development, and reporting.
KeywordsSurgery fellowship Surgical fellowship Laparoscopic surgery fellowship MIS fellowship GI surgery fellowship History of surgical fellowships Advanced surgical training
The authors thank Ms. Yumi Hori for her assistance in obtaining pertinent historical records regarding MISFC and FC.
Hogle and Fowler have no conflict of interest.