Date: Monday, November 8, 2021
Session Title: Professional Education Poster (1170–1195)
Session Type: Poster Session C
Session Time: 8:30AM-10:30AM
Background/Purpose: The internet has become an indispensable tool for residency and fellowship recruitment. Prospective applicants rely on publicly available information to learn about the application process and each program. A previous study has shown that applicants considered an easily navigated website important to their application decision-making process.1 We evaluated adult rheumatology fellowship websites for accessibility and content regarding program overview, application process, education, and diversity. The aims of the study are two-fold: to assess each Rheumatology Fellowship program’s website for content completeness and to elucidate the specific areas on each program’s websites that need to be updated to aid applicants in making informed decisions regarding their training options.
Methods: The American Medical Association Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database (FREIDA) was used to obtain a complete list of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited adult Rheumatology Fellowships. Information regarding accessibility of the websites, description of the program, application process, fellow education and diversity was collected from the publicly available websites with in a month period from January 4th – February 1st, 2021. Information within the five domains was analyzed via descriptive analysis.
Results: Only 23.2 % (N= 29/125) websites were >= 70.0% completed and 20.8% of websites were lacking more than 50% of the content (Table 1). Links to social media accounts were present on 11.2% of websites. Websites were lacking information regarding current program director (15.0%), names of current rheumatology fellows (36.0%), and previous research done at the institution (63.2%). Only 20.0% (N=25) of the program websites mentioned specific text regarding diversity in reference to their fellows and recruitment process.
Conclusion: The findings of our study reveal that rheumatology fellowship websites differ substantially in the details and amount of content they contain. Websites lack essential information such as program’s director’s name, current fellow’s names, and educational programing each program offers. Most strikingly, the majority of the websites do not include specific text regarding diversity. Given the importance of healthcare organizations striving to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion within medicine, showcasing current efforts of each program on the website is vital. Rheumatology fellowship websites need to be revamped to promote what each program has to offer and to provide accurate and updated information to the future fellowship applicants, especially in the age of virtual recruitment. We hope that this study motivates institutions to keep the content of their fellowship program website well maintained and up to date to provide applicants with the most accurate information and to allow a better program-to-applicant match.
1. Mahler SA, Wagner MJ, Church A, Sokolosky M, Cline, DM. Importance of Residency Program Web Sites to Emergency Medicine Applicants. The Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2009;36(1):83-88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jemermed.2007.10.055
Table 1: Quality of content of rheumatology fellowship websites
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Patel H, Riffe D, Wolfe R. Better Websites, Better Match: Assessing Quality of Rheumatology Fellowship Websites [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2021; 73 (suppl 9). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/better-websites-better-match-assessing-quality-of-rheumatology-fellowship-websites/. Accessed June 2, 2023.
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