Shanu N. Kothari, MD
It is an honor to serve as the president of the Fellowship Council. It has been 22 years since I completed my minimally invasive surgery fellowship. At that time, the Fellowship Council did not yet exist. It has been amazing to see the development and growth of the Fellowship Council and its sphere of influence in advanced surgical education and accreditation over the last 20 years. We now oversee more than 200 fellow positions in ten categories. These have become some of the most sought-after fellowships for graduating chief residents in surgery.
I look forward to the next frontier of fellowship training and education. A primary goal this year is hardwiring Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) into the fabric of our fellowships. The Fellowship Council is hard at work implementing the EPAs into a user-friendly app that will make assessment easier for both the fellow and the assessor.
We are piloting 7 Abdominal Wall fellowships which are being co-sponsored by the AHS (American Hernia Society) and SAGES (Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons).
We continue to modify the match dates to make it as equitable as possible for the applicants. This year, the applications are not accessible for program review until the deadline. In addition, we will continue with virtual interviews. However, on-site second looks are at the program’s discretion. These are only taking place after the programs have submitted their rank list, so it favors the applicants’ choice of ranking and does not influence the programs’ rank list.
We are also exploring more advanced platforms for technical assessment of fellows and residents exploring a career in an FC sponsored fellowship.
We have several fellows that serve on our committees and participate in our retreats. This allows real-time feedback on FC initiatives from those most impacted and allows us to tailor our initiatives to provide the best chance of enhancing our educational endeavors.
I look forward to serving you in this role. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns.
Shanu N. Kothari, MD