Aug 2, 2017
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Hi all,

Last year was the first year of the breast imaging fellowship match in radiology. Does anyone know how competitive it was? How many applicants for how many spots? From asking around my impression is that breast imaging has become highly competitive with most programs filling internally.

Thanks.
 

qxrt

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Apr 2, 2013
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According to the 2017 post-match data, 36% of breast imaging fellowships went unfilled. I don't know what your definition of "highly competitive" is, but when even places like MGH go unfilled for mammo, I don't imagine it can be TOO competitive. Radiology fellowships in general are not competitive except for IR, which is the only one that has more applicants than spots and was 95% filled this past match.
 
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Aug 2, 2017
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According to the 2017 post-match data, 36% of breast imaging fellowships went unfilled. I don't know what your definition of "highly competitive" is, but when even places like MGH go unfilled for mammo, I don't imagine it can be TOO competitive. Radiology fellowships in general are not competitive except for IR, which is the only one that has more applicants than spots and was 95% filled this past match.
This is a great relief to me. Where can I see the post-match data? I have tried searching but could not find it.

I just know from my own geographic area in the Northeast that there are 6 people within my hospital system applying for our system's 1 fellowship spot, and another hospital in the area had 7 people in house applying for their 3 fellowship spots 2 years ago, which is where I got this impression that these fellowships were very competitive.

Thank you!
 
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qxrt

5+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2013
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This is a great relief to me. Where can I see the post-match data? I have tried searching but could not find it.

I just know from my own geographic area in the Northeast that there are 6 people within my hospital system applying for our system's 1 fellowship spot, and another hospital in the area had 7 people in house applying for their 3 fellowship spots 2 years ago, which is where I got this impression that these fellowships were very competitive.

Thank you!
The information is available to those of us who went through the 2017 radiology fellowship match. I do not know whether it is otherwise publicly available.

Assuming that you are not an absolutely terrible resident who cannot get good letters of recommendation or you are applying into IR, you will match into your preferred subspecialty. Hell, even for IR over 90% of applicants matched. You just get less choice as to what specific program you end up at.
 

Radology

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Jun 3, 2017
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Mgh didn't fill? That's hilarious and poetic justice, considering they are usually one of the biggest drivers of these unnecessary changes for the sake of changes.

Mammo sounds like it plummeted in popularity last year. 36% unfilled is atrocious
 
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Mgh didn't fill? That's hilarious and poetic justice, considering they are usually one of the biggest drivers of these unnecessary changes for the sake of changes.

Mammo sounds like it plummeted in popularity last year. 36% unfilled is atrocious
Lots of people do mammo when the job market is bad, because mammo is always in demand since few people want to do it. I personally like mammo (not my passion, but I like it better than most of radiology), but that's just the facts. Thus an improving job market means mammo will be less competitive. Mammo is a great gig if you like it though!
 

qxrt

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From what anecdotal evidence I've run across (fellow residents applying into mammo), it sounds as if many people applying into mammo are doing so for lifestyle considerations (location, daily work hours, etc.) rather than interest in the field as their primary criterion. I know at least one person who had been planning to apply into IR but in the end decided to apply mammo instead because it would get her into the location of her choice, while IR probably wouldn't. And it worked, since she matched into her dream location which would have been extremely difficult if she had chosen IR. Another person is applying for mammo because it is probably the subspecialty most conducive to part-time work and good hours. Indeed, if you can tolerate the field, it has a great lifestyle, since there is no such thing as a mammo emergency, unlike most other radiology fields.
 

tartrate

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It makes me wonder, if location still is more of an important factor in locating jobs versus specialty (or even program name) for non-academic jobs. I know a guy who had to move out of state for his specialty in a brand name program, but I don't think he really wanted to move out of state (married with kids and all). Would it have served him better just to have chosen a less competitive (whatever that means) specialty regardless of the name brand?
 

Tiger100

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Mar 11, 2017
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From what anecdotal evidence I've run across (fellow residents applying into mammo), it sounds as if many people applying into mammo are doing so for lifestyle considerations (location, daily work hours, etc.) rather than interest in the field as their primary criterion. I know at least one person who had been planning to apply into IR but in the end decided to apply mammo instead because it would get her into the location of her choice, while IR probably wouldn't. And it worked, since she matched into her dream location which would have been extremely difficult if she had chosen IR. Another person is applying for mammo because it is probably the subspecialty most conducive to part-time work and good hours. Indeed, if you can tolerate the field, it has a great lifestyle, since there is no such thing as a mammo emergency, unlike most other radiology fields.
Wrong.

If you join a private practice group, in almost all groups you have to participate in call similar to other diagnostic rads. So lack of mammo emergency is meaningless. The mammographer schedule is no different than MSK or body radiologist.

This is the misconception among a lot of residents and fellows. For example people say that because neuro has more emergencies than MSK it has a worse lifestyle. That's not the case in most private practice groups.

IR is a different beast and in private practice its lifestyle is usually worse than diagnostics.
 

Tiger100

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Mar 11, 2017
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It makes me wonder, if location still is more of an important factor in locating jobs versus specialty (or even program name) for non-academic jobs. I know a guy who had to move out of state for his specialty in a brand name program, but I don't think he really wanted to move out of state (married with kids and all). Would it have served him better just to have chosen a less competitive (whatever that means) specialty regardless of the name brand?
Probably yes.

But you have to also like it especially if your fellowship is IR or mammo.
 

qxrt

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Wrong.

If you join a private practice group, in almost all groups you have to participate in call similar to other diagnostic rads. So lack of mammo emergency is meaningless. The mammographer schedule is no different than MSK or body radiologist.

This is the misconception among a lot of residents and fellows. For example people say that because neuro has more emergencies than MSK it has a worse lifestyle. That's not the case in most private practice groups.

IR is a different beast and in private practice its lifestyle is usually worse than diagnostics.
Nah. Maybe in the groups you've experienced, but the large private practice group I'm associated with has several part-timer mammo attendings. They do not participate in the call pool and are the only ones to not do so. They unequivocally have the best lifestyle among the radiologists in our group (well, perhaps tied with the nuclear medicine attendings).
 

Tiger100

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Nah. Maybe in the groups you've experienced, but the large private practice group I'm associated with has several part-timer mammo attendings. They do not participate in the call pool and are the only ones to not do so. They unequivocally have the best lifestyle among the radiologists in our group (well, perhaps tied with the nuclear medicine attendings).
The key is part time. Almost all part time jobs are not partnership. It is not a good idea for someone to start their first job as a part timer.

Part timers usually have much less job stability and they are paid less per unit of work compared to partners.

You are comparing apples and oranges.
 

qxrt

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The key is part time. Almost all part time jobs are not partnership. It is not a good idea for someone to start their first job as a part timer.

Part timers usually have much less job stability and they are paid less per unit of work compared to partners.

You are comparing apples and oranges.
You are conflating your own priorities with that of others. I know plenty of people in radiology training who have explicitly told me that their priority is out-of-work life balance, and they would jump at the chance of a part-time gig, which is often not possible in most other medical specialties. Not everyone is angling for a lucrative career. Some just want to get out of the rat race that is medicine and/or have a spouse who also earns an income and don't need two full incomes, and radiology tends to attract that type of person. You may notice in the annual Medscape surveys that radiologists have one of the lowest affirmative rates for the "would you choose medicine all over again?" question, year after year.

And besides, what most private practices do is somewhat of a moot point. Radiology trainees only see the academic side of things where mammo attendings only deal with mammo-related issues, and that lifestyle is part of the attraction.
 
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Tiger100

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You are conflating your own priorities with that of others. I know plenty of people in radiology training who have explicitly told me that their priority is out-of-work life balance, and they would jump at the chance of a part-time gig, which is often not possible in most other medical specialties. Not everyone is angling for a lucrative career. Some just want to get out of the rat race that is medicine and/or have a spouse who also earns an income and don't need two full incomes, and radiology tends to attract that type of person. You may notice in the annual Medscape surveys that radiologists have one of the lowest affirmative rates for the "would you choose medicine all over again?" question, year after year.

And besides, what most private practices do is somewhat of a moot point. Radiology trainees only see the academic side of things where mammo attendings only deal with mammo-related issues, and that lifestyle is part of the attraction.
Yes. Residents see academics and sometimes make wrong decisions based on that.

I have been in this career for 15+ years and have seen ups and downs and different personalities. I have seen many times that breast imagers complain that why they should take call.

Part time jobs are not what you may think. It has low stability, the partners dump all the crap on you and the pay per unit of work is less. At first, people think it is fine but then after 2-3 years in practice they start to complain that why all the Fridays should be covered by them while some senior partners can get Friday afternoon off.

Everybody can choose their own life. I didn't say they can't. But a lot of times it is not what they think. I have seen more than a handful of breast imagers who want to work part time. That's fine. But also these opportunities are not easy to come by in big cities and it is not like that they can choose to work on the days that they like. In most places, they have to pick the leftover shifts from the group.

what private practices do is not a moot point. That is where all these part-time-job-seekers will end up. And after just 1-2 years start to complain about their schedule, their pay and other things. Among all type of radiologists, mammo has one of the highest turnover in the groups because it attracts special personalities with unreasonable expectations.
 
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