An individual interested in a pulmonary critical care fellowship must submit an application to the programs he seeks to work for. To facilitate the process, most pulmonary critical care fellowships participate in a centralized matching service that provides uniform applications and deadlines for applicants. After registering with the central service, the prospective pulmonary critical care fellowship recipient must rank all offers based on preference. Once the application and interview process is completed, the pulmonary critical care program director submits her preferred list of candidates to the centralized service. An applicant is subsequently informed of offers from the programs he ranked highest on his preference list and has until a predetermined deadline to accept or decline the position.
Prior to applying for a pulmonary critical care fellowship, an applicant should compile a resume, curriculum vitae, personal statement, letter of recommendation, photograph, and academic transcript. If there is a program he is interested in that is not a participant in the centralized matching service, he should contact the director and attain information regarding the application requirements, deadlines, and fees. He should also find out where to submit the necessary information.
A pulmonary critical care fellowship applicant who is using the centralized service can merely register with the site and upload or scan the aforementioned academic and personal information into the database. After completing the application, the prospective pulmonary critical care fellowship recipient must select the programs he wants to work for and usually pay a fee associated with the centralized service. The centralized service then sends the data package to the various pulmonary critical care program directors selected by the applicant.
Fellowship program directors review the accomplishments and credentials of the candidates. In addition to personal achievement, the directors are looking for candidates who make good personal fits to the program. Applicants of particular interest to the directors will be invited for interviews to get more of an understanding into the type of person the candidate is.
Candidates should have a good understanding of the nature of the program in order to demonstrate knowledge and interest in that particular pulmonary critical care fellowship. These interviews also give applicants a chance to evaluate the program. For example, a candidate seeking pulmonary critical care jobs in academia may not get the most out of working in a program that focuses on community outreach. Alternatively, an applicant who wants a pulmonary critical care career that is research intensive may find that one program satisfies that interest slightly better than another. This information is important when it comes to ranking programs.
When all interviews have been conducted, individual programs extend offers to candidates. Applicants and programs participating in the centralized matching service create ranked lists of their preferred fellowship programs or candidates. The matching service uses an algorithm to pair candidates and programs. It should be noted that such matches are tentative because once candidates accept or decline offers, new candidates and programs move up in the rankings. Consequently, it is important that an applicant assesses the amount of competition for the pulmonary critical care fellowship he desires and ranks enough programs to reduce the chances that he will go unmatched.