Finding a Fellowship? One Size Does Not Fit All

Picking the best program can be a trial. That’s why the right tools matter.

Jul 27, 2017 - Sameer Avasarala


A professor once told me, “Specialists know more and more about less and less.” The statement didn’t carry much weight when I heard it as a medical student. Specialization was far away, and my main goal was to understand the basics of medicine. Flash-forward to a few years later, residency was reaching its conclusion, and I found myself feeling confident with my medical knowledge; I was ready to expand on it by “knowing more” about my niche. It was time to apply for fellowship.

There was just one problem, though. I’d learned a lot, but when it came to finding a fellowship, I didn’t know quite where to begin. I imagine many others may not either.

In 2017, over 9,000 fellowship positions were offered through the National Residency Matching Program’s Fellowship Match. It’s almost certain that the thousands who applied for these positions didn’t use the same means to decide which program to target. Programs are different; sometimes subtly, sometimes vastly. Like a well-tailored suit, a perfect fit is essential. And to find that fit, you need the right tools.

In making your decision you may consider a tangle of factors, including a program’s clinical training, research training, prestige, location, etcetera. Before you let your mind race, here are two key questions that may help you more-easily navigate the process.

Where do I want to be in ten years?

This is the most important question. If you know you want a career in bench research, finding a program that has a structured research track will suit you best. If you know that you don’t want to spend countless hours in the lab, don’t waste your time in a program that requires you to spend time in a lab. I know this sounds intuitive, but it’s often not emphasized as much as it should be.

If you’re applying for a fellowship, you aren’t likely a teenager or in your early 20s -- you’re an adult who has already figured out what you like and don’t like to do. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to do a specific type of research. Favor programs that allow you to do the work you enjoy. In the end, all fellowships required some degree scholarly activity. This is your chance to dive in, but dive into a lake that you would like to explore.

What do I want out of my training?

If your goal is private practice, it’s very likely you’ll need to be the Jack of All Trades in your subspecialty. Your future patients will depend on your ability to manage a breadth of diseases under your specialty umbrella.

If you know you’re going to into an academic career, you’ll need to find a program that lets you make a name for yourself in your desired niche. Most academic centers have very specialized clinics for specific disease processes, and you’ll be expected to have a tremendous amount of depth in that disease. Your knowledge base will have to be a mile deep. One thing to keep in mind is to favor programs that already have an established clinic/track for the disease process of your interest. For example, if you want to focus your career on interventional pulmonology, it would not be in your best interest to train at a fellowship that doesn’t do these procedures. You may be surprised, but not all large academic centers provide all the services under the sun.

More to Consider

Don’t let a program’s “prestige” be the driving factor for your selection. Many of the well-regarded fellowships earned their reputations by their excellence in research in addition to the fantastic clinical training that they provide. Just because a program is not sitting on top of a ranking list does not mean they do not provide excellent training.

The above points are subjective measures. For the more objectively-minded, there are several tools that applicants use to narrow down fellowship options. Many people flock to the U.S. News and World Report rankings of hospitals. All of the hospitals that make this list are exceptional at what they do and are great places to train. The ranking methodology is primarily driven by reputation with specialists, patient survival and measures related to quality of care. Certainly, if a hospital did well in all of these, it is very likely they provide great education as well.

Doximity’s Residency Navigator is also a useful tool. Although catered to residency, it takes into account board pass rates and metrics of research for a given program. It may not specifically focus on a particular fellowship, but it gives some insight into graduate medical education as a whole at a particular institution.

These two resources should act as nothing more than guides. The most useful resource that combines the best of subjectivity and objectivity is a trusted mentor or colleague that has done their fellowship in a program you’re interested in. These people are few and far between, so make sure you hear them out if you find one.

Fellowship is potentially the most important stage of our training. Find a program that fits you, do not conform to fit it. Keep clear eyes on the end game, and you will end up at a fantastic fellowship.


Sameer Avasarala is a clinical fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the Respiratory Institute at the Cleveland Clinic and 2017-2018 Doximity Fellow.

Doximity's Workflow Tools

Jul 14, 2017 - Doximity Blog


Why use outdated pagers and fax machines during work? While these are HIPAA compliant platforms, sending/receiving documents can be a pain and hassle. Now with Doximity, MDs, NPs, PAs, and PharmDs have access to 3 powerful workflow tools that will dramatically improve productivity and will help you focus on truly important matters. We offer: Secure Texting, Efax, and Doximity Dialer at no cost.

Secure Texting
It’s as if you are texting but requires no cell phone number on a HIPAA secure messaging platform. Available on the Doximity website or Mobile App, this messaging platform, can help you reconnect with old classmates, refer patients faster, and get medical opinions from specialists anywhere in the country. How is this possible? Our messaging is HIPAA-secure in the following ways:

  • Members must be verified U.S. health care professionals and provide a HIPAA-compliant 8-12 character password
  • Messages are encrypted to military-grade standards and delivered via SSL (secure socket layer) protection
  • Biometric-login aka fingerprints for messages on mobile

Try it out here!

Doximity Dialer
Doximity Dialer is a free mobile application (on iOS and Android) that allows you to call patients using your cell phone. This means that you the healthcare professional can call patients with your personal cell phone, while displaying either your office, hospital, or any other number of your choice on the caller ID. All HIPAA-secure and compliant, with no additional charge!

Download for free in the App Store or Google Play!

Efax
Available on the Doximity Mobile App or Website, Efax can be used to send and receive faxes from your phone or computer. Essentially, Doximity gives every user a free, HIPAA-secure efax number which in turn allows you to electronically fax colleagues and sign documents. With the Doximity app you can:

  • Send efaxes for free, for life
  • Attach images and documents for secure delivery
  • Fax to and from your iPhone/Android device or computer
  • Date, sign, and annotate documents on-the-go

Try it out here!

2017-2018 Residency Navigator: Product Updates and Top 5 Most Asked Questions

Jun 29, 2017 - Doximity Blog


by Shu-Yi Zhou
Product Manager, Residency Navigator

Today, we launched 2017-2018 Residency Navigator. With ERAS open, fourth year medical students are actively researching programs while residency program directors are fielding their eager questions. During this time, we too receive a steady flow of questions and ideas from educators about our residency program research tool, Residency Navigator.

The goal of Doximity Residency Navigator is to assist medical students in the residency exploration process by providing a transparent look at graduate medical programs.

Here are the new product updates:

Program map view

Explore a national map with all programs represented as pins.

Favorites list

Add programs to a favorites list for tracking throughout the application season, and include personalized notes about each program.

People like you

Learn about residents and alumni of a particular residency program who graduated from your medical school, and explore their career paths.

Additional program data

Discover and search over 4,000 programs spanning 28 specialties, now including integrated interventional radiology.

Here are the top 5 questions we are asked about Residency Navigator:

1. What is Residency Navigator?

The Doximity Residency Navigator is an interactive tool designed to help the medical students research and compare residency training programs nationwide based on their unique career interests. We are excited to announce the launch of the 2017-2018 Residency Navigator. Our latest version includes over 4,000 residency programs spanning 28 specialties, providing medical students a more in depth look at the programs in which they’re interested.

2. Where does all the information come from?

Residency Navigator combines objective data with 275,000 nominations, ratings and reviews from over 66,000 U.S. physicians. Objective data is compiled from a variety of public sources as well as our proprietary Doximity database, which covers all U.S. physicians, regardless of membership with Doximity.

Program pages include:

Detailed program statistics

Users can filter programs by alumni subspecialization rates, time spent at affiliated hospitals, gender balance, program size, and more.

Satisfaction reviews

Current residents and recent alumni anonymously rated and reviewed aspects of their experience, like career guidance, schedule flexibility for pregnancy and other life events, program culture and clinical diversity.

Personalized search options

Students can customize their searches based on their personal interests and career goals.
Practice setting: Interactive maps highlight where alumni work, and applicants can find and filter programs by region, urban vs. rural environments, or training at large public hospitals.

Clinical reputation

Peer nominations provide insight into which programs board-certified U.S. physicians hold in the highest regard for quality of clinical training.

Research publications

Doximity's comprehensive database of physician profiles highlights programs whose alumni publish most extensively, bypassing commonly used proxies for quality of research training such as faculty grant funding.

Board pass rates

For specialties such as internal medicine, board pass rates highlight which programs teach to national exam standards. For specialties whose medical boards have yet to release pass rate data, Residency Navigator offers the percentage of board-certified alumni as surrogate.

Program pages may be refreshed throughout the year to account for updated data such as new alumni publications, fellowships, board certifications and practice settings. This may affect the Research Output, Percent Subspecialize and Percent Board Certified rates as well as their respective sort orders. For more information about these data elements please view our research methodology.

3. What do med students and current residents think about it?

"Thanks to information technology through Doximity’s Residency Navigator app for providing us all the relevant information in helping our decision making process. It collects program information for you. It also conducts program surveys through anonymous and independent reporting which eliminates conflict of interest or potential information bias."
-Navigating GME Like a Formula 1 Pro

"Doximity’s Residency Navigator is an exceptional tool that will help you filter through over 4,000 residency programs by specialty, geographic location, characteristics and training environments."
-Five Essential Resources for the Match

4. As a program director, how can I make updates to our page?

Review data accuracy: We take the accuracy of Residency Navigator data seriously. If you are a program director or coordinator and notice your program information is incorrect or missing, please let us know.

Encourage resident reviews: Your residents can write a review for your program. Eligible residents and recent alumni can contribute reviews for their residency program until early fall 2017. After logging in, eligible residents and alumni will be prompted to complete the Satisfaction Survey on the Doximity homepage.

To update your program page with a description, or if you have any other questions, you can reach our Residency Navigator team any time at residency@doximity.com.

5. How can programs share their Residency Navigator page?
You can include a badge on your email signature or your website that links directly to your Residency Navigator program page.

To add a button or a badge to your residency program page, please fill out the following form: https://goo.gl/forms/8bKgrN8D4OpMVoB52


Why We Do What We Do

Jun 26, 2017 - Doximity Blog


Here at Doximity, we believe that when the whole care coordination team is connected, patient's benefit and the medical sector works better. We vision a future where medical communication is effortless, simple and secure because we want your job to be a tad less stressful.

Thank you for your work. Thank you for your humanity. Thank you for saving lives.

Every week, we share members stories internally on how clinicians have used Doximity in their day to day practice. This is what gets us up every morning.

"Doximity has a unique platform to connect all medical professionals, including medical students and physicians. During one of my rotations in New York, I needed to get in touch with a professional who was at a different institution about a patient he had treated in the past. Unfortunately, the contact information was not posted online. After calling the hospital and attempting to get the contact information for this physician, the administrative staff refused to provide this information over the phone. Ultimately, I was able to find this physician's profile on Doximity, which included his contact information and was able to communicate with him through this approach. The information we obtained did not change the management of this patient, but this example of having a network of professional contacts is a proof-of-concept of why this is critical for communication optimization towards the improvement of patient care."
-Steven He, MD

"I remember getting in a patient from an outside hospital to Emory who was fairly sick and need of immediate surgical attention. We scanned him to find multiple prior surgical procedures with surgically transformed anatomy. The dilemma was that we did not know any of his history or have any prior surgical or imaging records to determine what needed to be done. Prior to Doximity, I would have had to obtain paper consent, fax to multiple hospitals and doctors, and wait for them to eventually fax it over to a machine in the hospital. I have used the Doximity Fax/Mail feature religiously and in my opinion is the greatest feature for information exchange for physicians getting patients treated by multiple different providers with different medical record systems. Within a matter of 30 minutes, I was able to take a picture and fax the consent and electronically obtain records on my phone to review with the surgical team for immediate decision making."
-Amar Patel, MD

You may also check out what users say about our mobile app as well.

Introducing the 2017-2018 Doximity Fellowship Class

Jun 22, 2017 - Doximity Blog


We’re excited to share that Monday, June 19 marked the first day of our 2017-2018 Doximity Fellows Program. In the weeks leading up to the program, we received hundreds of applications from some very impressive candidates. In the end, choosing only a handful sparked debates and tough decisions.

Getting to know the current group was inspiring. It includes clinicians of all walks and in all points in their careers, from med students to retired specialists. There are program directors, blog owners, world travelers, and even CNN Heroes -- everyone doing tremendous amounts to help lives and share their stories.

Thank you to all applicants and to our 2017-2018 Doximity Fellows. We look forward to your involvement and work!

The group consists of, in no particular order:

Name Specialty Institute
Kumar Vasudevan, MD Neurosurgery Emory University School of Medicine
Lauren Shapiro, MD MPH Physical Medicine/Rehab University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Matthew Werger, MD Orthopaedic Surgery Mount Auburn Hospital; New England Baptist
Woosup Michael Park, MD RVT, RPVI Vascular Surgery Cleveland Clinic and Foundation
Joseph DePietro, MD Otolaryngology (ENT) ENT and Allergy Associates, LLP
Robert John Lamberts, MD FAAP Medicine/Pediatrics Dr. Rob Lamberts, LLC
Jonathan Rasouli, MD Neurosurgery Mount Sinai Hospital
Aparna Rama Iyer, MD Psychiatry University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Barbara Lam Med Student Keck School of Medicine of USC
Chiduzie Madubata, MD Cardiology Hahnemann University Hospital
Bhavika Amin, NP Family Nurse Practitioner Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center of Northern Virginia
Helen Lu, NP Family Nurse Practitioner Molina Medical
Piyush Sharma Med Student Saint James School Of Medicine
Derek T. Uemura, MD Emergency Medicine Kuakini Medical Center; John A. Burns School of Medicine of the University of Hawaii
Ankush Bansal, MD FACP, SFHM, FABDA, M.Ht Hospitalist Martin Health System
Berry Pierre, DO Internal Medicine Wellington Regional Medical Center
Jean-Phillip Okhovat, MD Internal Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Kate Sully, MD Physical Medicine/Rehab Mayo Clinic
Gregory Apel, MD Emergency Medicine Eisenhower Medical Center
Weston Bettner, MD Gastroenterology University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Valory Wangler, MD Family Medicine Zuni Indian Health Service
Aaron Nelson, MD MBS, FAAP Neurology NYU Langone Medical Center / Bellevue Hospital Center
Timothy Aungst, PharmD Clinical Pharmacist UMass Memorial Medical Center
Edward Chao, DO Endocrinology VA and University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
Shikha Jain, MD Oncology Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Jeffrey Vernon, DO Psychiatry NYU Lutheran Medical Center
John Lazar, MD Thoracic Surgery PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute
Hersh Sagreiya, MD Radiology Stanford University School of Medicine
Adam Kadlec, MD Urology Western Michigan Urological Associates
Chokkalingam Siva, MD Rheumatology University of Missouri
Kunal Sindhu, MD Radiation Oncology Beth Israel Hospital
Jerald Winakur, MD Geriatrics UT Health San Antonio
Sameer Avasarala, MD Pulmonology Cleveland Clinic
Diptesh Gupta, MD MRCP (UK) Nephrology Nephrology Specialists of Oklahoma
Mehmet Agirbasli, MD Cardiology Medeniyet University Hospital
Charles Dinerstein, MD MBA FACS Vascular Surgery Surgical Analytics
Harish Kakarala, MD FCCP, FACP Pulmonology NEOMED, Cleveland Clinic
Heather Finlay-Morreale, MD Pediatrics University of Massachusetts Worcester
Bo Liu, MD Radiology Florida Hospital Medical Center
Jasmit Minhas, MD Hospitalist Lahey Hospital and Medical Center
Nisarg Patel Med Student Harvard Medical School
Terri Lynn Major-Kincade, MD MPH Neonat/Perinatology Pediatrix Medical Group of Texas
Valerie Anne Jones, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology Saint Agnes Hospital & Greater Baltimore Medical Center
Daniel Ivankovich, MD Orthopaedic Surgery OnePatient - Global Health Initiative
Vena Vanchinathan, MD Dermatology Apex Dermatology
Shayna Zachary, MD Anesthesiology Mount Sinai Hospital
Kenji Taylor, MD MSc Family Medicine UCSF
Vaibhav Agrawal, MD MBA, MJ, MSHA Hematology Indiana University Simon Cancer Center
Saurabh Sharma, MD Neurology Lahey Hospital and Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine
Savanna Perry, PA Physician Assistant Savannah River Dermatology, LLC
Andrew Stephen Cruz, MD Psychiatry Massachusetts General Hospital
Isuru Jayaratna, MD Urology Mount Sinai School of Medicine