Session Type: Poster Session C
Session Time: 8:30AM-10:30AM
Background/Purpose: A program’s website is a helpful source of information for a prospective applicant whose decision on where to apply is influenced by the data provided on the internet. During the pandemic, as the applicants were unable to physically visit desired programs, there was an increased reliance on information gathered virtually to make crucial decisions. The purpose of this study was to assess the helpfulness of information provided on program websites for prospective applicants.
Methods: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education website was accessed to obtain a list of all accredited rheumatology fellowships in the United States (US). Publicly available program websites were accessed via a Google© search to collect data on presence or absence of 10 categories of recruitment and education related content relevant to applicants. Chi-Square tests were used to compare differences between regional groups and p-value of < 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: As of May 2021, 122 accredited programs were identified and all had functional websites. The program director’s description and content was provided for 44.6%, while 71.1% provided the coordinator’s information and contact. Research opportunities (59.5%), details about current fellows (52.9%) and educational curriculum (52.9%), were among the most frequently described features. Visa offers (39.6%), number of fellows (38.8%), international medical graduates’ acceptance (38.0%), salary or benefits (33.9%), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine acceptance (29.8%), fellow yearly schedule (17.4%), board pass rate (6.6%) and interview day itinerary (5.0%) were the least frequently described features. Regional differences were examined between 5 areas of the country: the Northeast (n = 36), South (n= 41), Midwest (n =25), Mountain (n= 5), and Pacific (n= 14). Salary was more frequently listed in the Pacific states while curriculum was more commonly listed in the Mountain states, although the Mountain states were least likely to list benefits.
Conclusion: Despite the value that a program’s website could provide to applicants when making decisions during the application process, this study revealed there is a lack sufficient, relevant, and standardized information. Improving the content, accessibility and uniformity across all rheumatology websites will reduce inappropriate applications, attract the most suitable applicants, reduce the amount of email inquiries, and could also lessen the financial burden for applicant’s applying out of state. Fellowship programs could expand upon the content included, particularly with respect to providing contact information, board pass rates, types of visas offered, schedules and interview day itineraries.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Ajayi T, Khanna A, Quigley B, Kwiatkowski A. Is Your Program Website Optimized for Recruitment? An Evaluation of Rheumatology Fellowship Program Websites [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2021; 73 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/is-your-program-website-optimized-for-recruitment-an-evaluation-of-rheumatology-fellowship-program-websites/. Accessed May 16, 2022.
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