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Respiration. 2007;74(4):382-6. Epub 2006 Mar 20.

Survey of current practices in fellowship orientation.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH 43210-1252, USA.



The transition from medical resident to subspecialty fellow is a critical time period in fellowship training that has not been well described. The current practices of fellow orientation in pulmonary and critical care training programs are not known.


The aim of this study was to describe orientation practices for training programs in the United States.


A 10-question survey was sent via e-mail to program directors of pulmonary/critical care fellowship programs identified on the American Thoracic Society (ATS) web-page of current programs.


Eighty-seven programs responded (61.7%), of which 86% had a formal orientation program. The mean time spent in fellow orientation was 5-10 h in didactic sessions and 0-5 h in wet labs. The most frequent didactic sessions were bronchoscopy in 69 programs (80.2%), pulmonary function testing in 63 programs (73.3%) and orientation to hospital services in 63 programs (73.3%). The most frequent use of wet labs was in bronchoscopy training in 60 programs (81.1%) and ventilators in 45 programs (60.8%). Simulators were used in 37 programs (43%). The majority reported that these areas were covered with on the job training, without a formal designated orientation.


This survey demonstrated that early fellow training differs across programs in both time spent and clinical and procedural topics covered. An early, standardized approach to clinical and procedural training can assure appropriate exposure that cannot be guaranteed by on the job training. To provide justification for such an approach, clinical outcomes need to be correlated with training methods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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