Standardized letter of recommendation for pediatric fellowship selection

Authors

  • Jeremy D. Prager MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado
    2. Department of Otolaryngology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado;
    • Children's Hospital Colorado, B-455, 13123 East 16th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jonathan N. Perkins BS,

    1. Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado
    2. Department of Otolaryngology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado;
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kim McFann PhD,

    1. Colorado Biostatistics Consortium, Aurora, Colorado
    2. School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado;
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Charles M. Myer III MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio;
    2. Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Myles L. Pensak MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio;
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kenny H. Chan MD

    1. Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado
    2. Department of Otolaryngology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado;
    Search for more papers by this author

  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

To develop a pediatric otolaryngology fellowship selection standardized letter of recommendation (SLOR).

Study Design:

SLOR and narrative letter of recommendation (NLOR) comparison study.

Methods:

An SLOR was created to investigate qualities desired in fellows using five content-based categories: writer background, comparison of the applicant to contemporaries and predecessors, applicant's qualifications for pediatric otolaryngology, a global assessment of the applicant, and a summary statement about the applicant. In phase I, the SLORs were completed, including writing time, by the applicant's pediatric otolaryngology chief. In phase II, letters were ranked on Likert-type scales for the content-based categories, reviewer's overall ranking, and ease of review by six otolaryngologists. Reviewers recorded time needed to review each letter.

Results:

Nineteen SLORs (73%) were collected. Mean writing time was 8.84 ± 3.87 minutes. Interrater reliability was higher on the SLORs in the content-based sections and the overall ranking. Ranking times were lower on the SLORs. Mean and median rankings were higher on the SLORs for writer background, comparison of the applicant to contemporaries and predecessors, applicant's qualifications for pediatric otolaryngology, and ease of review; mean global assessment of the applicant, summary statement about the applicant, and overall rankings were lower on the SLORs.

Conclusions:

To our knowledge, this is the first inquiry using an SLOR developed for otolaryngology. SLORs are an alternative to NLORs for fellowship selection that offers improved reliability and efficiency. Further investigation using SLORs in otolaryngology residency selection is merited.

Ancillary