Frequently Asked Questions by Program Directors
- How do I use this site?
- What if I have more than one fellowship position available? What if I have more than one type of fellowship available? What if I have fellowships of varying duration?
- How do I edit my listing?
- How do I recover my username and password?
- How do I join the Fellowship Council?
- What is the difference between the Fellowship Council and the Foundation for Surgical Fellowships?
- If I complete a Fellowship Council membership application, does that mean that I have also applied for funding from the Foundation for Surgical Fellowships?
- If I am a member of the Fellowship Council, does that automatically guarantee me funding from the Foundation for Surgical Fellowships?
- How do my fellows start logging their cases in the Fellowship Council case log system?
- How do I add an Associate Program Director?
- What is a Designated Institutional Official?
- Can I access past applications and letters of recommendation from previous application and matching process cycles?
- Can applicants apply to my program after the application deadline and/or can I add applicants to my matching process rank order list who did not apply to my program?
As a Fellowship Program Director, you will be using the Fellowship Programs section of the site almost exclusively.
As an existing member, you will need to check your account page on a regular basis during the application process using the Manage Current Applicants to Your Program link. From this link, you will see how many prospective fellows have confirmed their intention to apply for your program, and you will be able to view and print their universal fellowship application form and download their letters of recommendation.
Program Directors also have access to the Manage Program Administrative Users page. Access to this page is limited to Program Directors only. From this page, you may add or delete administrative users, modify their permissions, and control the permissions of the Program Director(s). If there is a change in Program Director, a major change in faculty complement, number of fellows, or change in designation, programs must go to the Program Change Notification page to download a Member Change Form (see Menu: Program Change Notification). This must be submitted for review by the Membership and Accreditation Committees.
If you have multiple fellowship openings that fall under the same listing (i.e. you take on two Advanced GI MIS fellows each year), then you may edit this accordingly in the Manage Fellowship Position section. PLEASE NOTE: The number of positions you list here will transfer DIRECTLY to the match system. Therefore you must be sure that the number in your listing is the number of positions available to match. You must also ensure that you only have the number of positions you were approved for by the Membership and Accreditation Committees. If you exceed the number of positions you are allowed a red warning message will appear in your account. If you wish to increase the amount of fellows you match with, you must first submit a Member Change Form (available on the Program Change Notification page). All changes must be approved by the Membership and Accreditation Committees.
If you have two different types of fellowships (i.e. a Bariatric and a Colorectal fellowship) then you must create a separate member account for each type of fellowship offered. You must use a different email address for each account.
If you have two positions (or more) with varying durations but the same type (i.e. a 1 year AND a 2 year HPB fellowship position), then you should create 2 different positions under the Manage Fellowship Position section and you should also highlight this in your Program Description so that potential applicants are aware that there are 2 distinct positions. Please note: once the application deadline has passed, applicants may no longer apply to programs or be added to a program’s matching process rank order list. Please note for programs which have both 1 and 2 year positions, applicants must apply to EACH position separately in order to be on that program’s matching process system rank order list. If an applicant only applies to the 1 year position and not the 2 year position, they will only be able to rank the 1 year position in the matching process site.
Once your listing has been approved and made public, you may log back into the Programs section and click on the link to Manage Your Program Listing. Editing works the same way as creating. You will be stepped through your existing listing and can change any data you wish. Any changes that are made to the listing using the edit pages will IMMEDIATELY show up in the public database and online in the directory. Please note that per above, major changes must first be approved by the Fellowship Council via the Member Change Form.
If you forget your account information, you may recover your password by clicking on the Lost Password link on the Login Page. You need to use the email address that you created the account with to recover information. If you have forgotten the email address, please contact the Fellowship Council office at 310-437-0555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a Fellowship Program Director, you will be using the Fellowship Programs section of the site almost exclusively.
The application process for new programs is closed for this cycle and will re-open in April/May 2021. To be added to the notification list for when the new member application opens, email your name, institution and email to email@example.com.
For new member applications, review the information here and when the process re-opens, click on the link to begin the application at the bottom of the page. Once you have agreed to the terms, follow the steps listed on the New Program Director Account page to create your account and then log in to your account. When you return to the site, all you need to do is log in from the Login/Manage Program Listing page to access your account information for all future functions.
After successfully creating your account, logging in, and agreeing that you meet the criteria for a FC fellowship, you may begin to edit your application. Select the “Manage Program Listing” option on the Welcome page. On the Manage General Program Description link, fill out all of the requested information and click on the Update Program Description button at the bottom of the page. To add an Associate Program Director, see question 10 below. For additional information on the Manage Fellowship Position page, see the “What if I Have More Than One Fellowship Available” section below. On the Manage Projected Case Load page, enter the estimated case volume for each fellow as well as a summary of all faculty cases in the same procedure. If you have a significant percentage of cases listed in the “Other” category, you should include a breakdown of those cases and their percentage in your program description. If you are an existing program, the case volume from the case log system will be displayed in the listing (be sure to check on your fellow’s case logs at the minimum on a quarterly basis to ensure accurate reporting). Complete the following sections: Manage Applicant Eligibility, Manage Contributing Faculty, Manage Program Director’s Description and Manage Previous Fellow. Programs must complete the Applicant Eligibility section by the application opening date. That section will be locked for editing once the application period begins. This section allows both programs and applicants to determine the eligibility of potential fellows based on the listed requirements. Once each of these sections is complete, you may click on the Display Current Listing link to review your information and to preview what prospective fellows will see.
For NEW member applicants, you must also upload a letter from your program’s Designated Institutional Official, Chair of Surgery, and General Surgery Residency Program Director (if applicable) stating that they have reviewed and approved of the application. Once you have successfully completed all sections of the listing, you will see one more button asking to Request FC Review of Complete Application. If you do not click on this button, your listing will not be reviewed by the Fellowship Council. You should click the Request FC Review of Complete Application button to notify the FC administrative office that a new listing/application has been submitted. A site visit for all new member applicants is required following submission of the online application. A Membership Committee member will conduct a virtual or physical site visit and will expect to interview the Program Director, Associate Program Director, Program Director of the General Surgery Residency at the same institution (if applicable), Chair or Chief of Surgery, DIO (Designated Institutional Official) if different than Chair of Surgery, Representatives of the teaching faculty of the fellowship, a chief resident(s) in Surgery of the associated surgical training program at the institution (if applicable), and a Current fellow(s) (if applicable). A tour of the facility should also be planned. The site review should take no less than four hours and no more than one day. The cost of the site visit is $2,200.
The application will then go the Fellowship Council Membership Committee and then the Board of Directors for final review. Once approval has been granted for membership, the administrative office will activate your listing and it will be publicly listed in the Directory of Available Fellowships. Prospective fellows who sign up to use this site would then be able to apply to your program.
Please also review the Membership Requirements and Application Page.
The Fellowship Council is an association of surgical fellowship directors which oversees an application, match and accreditation process for non-ACGME fellowship positions. The Foundation for Surgical Fellowships is a (501(c)(3) organization which identifies and distributes funding to qualified programs based on criteria for excellence.
No, the Fellowship Council and the Foundation for Surgical Fellowships are two separate entities. In order to apply for funding, you must complete a separate application on the Foundation website at: http://www.surgicalfellowships.org/index.php.
No, institutions/programs will be judged by the Foundation on the merits of the fellowship program and demonstrated academic, research, training, and proven leadership accomplishments.
The FC administrative office creates case log accounts for fellows. Accounts are created based on the matching process results. If your fellow was hired after the matching process or was an internal candidate, contact the FC office at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a new account. Be sure to list the fellow name, non-institutional email, and start and end years.
To review cases (which program directors are encouraged to do on a monthly basis and at minimum a quarterly basis) or to export case logs as a PDF or Excel file, click on Manage Fellows and View Individual Logs and click on the individual fellow’s name to access their logs.
Programs are required to identify an Associate Program Director. This will ensure sufficient support is available for a fellowship to continue to support a matched fellow in the event of an unexpected departure or required medical or personal leave of the program director. To add an Associate Program Director: The Program Director must create a New Administrative User (under Manage Program Administrative Users in your FC account) for the designated person. The Program Director should then email the name of the Associate PD to the FC office at email@example.com. The user account will then be granted Program Director permissions. The program should then update the Associate Program Director’s information under the Manage Program Listing/Manage Program Director Description section.
The Designated Institutional Official (DIO) is an individual with the authority and responsibility for oversight of non-ACGME Fellowship Council (FC) programs. In some institutions, the DIO may have the dual responsibilities of overseeing both non-ACGME and ACGME programs.
Program Director’s Responsibilities:
Program Directors must obtain approval of the DIO of the Sponsoring Institution prior to requests to the Fellowship Council for:
- Applications for new programs and/or accreditation of new programs;
- Changes in trainee complement;
- Major changes in program structure or length of training;
- Responses to adverse actions or citations;
- Requests for appeal of an adverse action or a citation;
- Voluntary withdrawals of programs;
- Request for changes in the program that would have significant impact, including financial, on the program or institution.
- Change in Sponsoring Institution.
- Participation in the application and matching processes.
Responsibilities and Expectations of the Program Director, the Sponsoring Institution, and the DIO:
The Program Director, representing the member program of the FC, is the main liaison between the FC and the program. The FC requires each program to have a single, designated Sponsoring Institution which is expected to provide oversight to FC Fellowship Programs. The DIO of the Sponsoring Institution is expected to review and approve all program changes as outlined above.
What if my Sponsoring Institution has a DIO but my DIO wants to delegate oversight to someone else?
While the FC prefers that programs use the Institutional DIO as the authority for oversight over the FC Fellowship Program and Program Director, some institutions may choose to have a different individual fulfill the DIO’s responsibilities. In these instances, the FC requires the Institutional DIO to complete a specific form that relinquishes and authorizes the delegation of FC Fellowship Program oversight responsibilities to an alternate institutional individual. The FC uses the term Alternative Institutional Official (AIO) to designate this person. It is important to note, that the AIO needs to be sufficiently independent from the fellowship program, such that they may serve as an ombudsman for fellows.
What if my Sponsoring Institution does not have a DIO?
For those institutions which do not have an existing DIO, the FC Fellowship Program must identify an institutional individual who will provide oversight responsibilities that are typically provided by a DIO. A chief medical officer, chief of surgery, a department chair, or an individual in a similar administrative leadership role should serve in this role. The FC uses the term Alternative Institutional Official (AIO) for this person. It is important to note, that the AIO needs to be sufficiently independent from the fellowship program, such that they may serve as an ombudsman for fellows.
Applications and letters of recommendation are only available during the current application and matching process cycle. They will be archived at the time of the next application and matching process and may not be accessed after archiving. BE SURE TO PRINT AND/OR SAVE A COPY OF ANY PERTINENT APPLICATION AND MATCHING PROCESS INFORMATION (E.G. RANK ORDER LIST) FOR YOUR PROGRAM’S FUTURE REFERENCE/FILES.
No, once the application deadline has passed, applicants may no longer apply to programs or be added to a program’s match rank order list. Please note for programs which have both 1 and 2 year positions, applicants must apply to EACH position separately in order to be on that program’s matching process rank order list. If an applicant only applies to the 1 year position and not the 2 year position, they will only be able to rank the 1 year position in the matching process site.
For all other matching process questions, please refer to the Matching Process Deadlines and Information Page.