Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Fellowship Directors’ Group Adopts Common Applications for Overwhelming Majority of U.S. Programs

May 1, 2019, 09:20 AM by Mary J. Hargett, BS

The Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine (RA/APM) Fellowship Directors’ Group is a voluntary group that was founded in 2002. The group’s original goal was to create guidelines for fellowships in the subspecialty. The first version of the guidelines was published in 2005 in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, and two subsequent reiterations to address advances in the subspecialty were published the same journal in 2011 and 2015.

The group submitted the application for fellowship accreditation to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, an initiative led by Dr. Edward R. Mariano. Among other group achievements has been Dr. Gregory Liguori and Dr. Joseph Neal’s leadership in the creation of an electronic RA/APM fellow alumni directory, which has been used for several research and educational endeavors; and Dr. Linda Le-Wendling’s leadership of the continued update of a pre- and post-knowledge test, a question bank focused primarily on regional anesthesiology and acute pain medicine topics.

The group continues to work on endeavors to improve the experience for RA/APM fellows, including the application process, which can be difficult for candidates to navigate with more than 75 North American RA/APM fellowship programs available currently.

At the spring 2018 group meeting during the ASRA World Congress, Dr. Brian Allen proposed moving to a common application and presented a draft for review. At the fall 2018 group meeting in San Francisco, CA, a large number of the US fellowship programs agreed to use the common application in recruiting for the 2020–2021 academic year. (Some programs are unable to use it because of alternate internal or external requirements.) As of January 2019, 57 US programs are now using the common application (88%).

A list of US RA/APM fellowship programs that accept the common application, as well as the application itself, is on the ASRA website.


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