Applicant Characteristics Associated with Retina Fellowship Match from 2010–2019

Eleanor Burton, Kapil Mishra, Lubaina T. Arsiwala, Sidra Zafar, Grant A. Justin, Prithvi Mruthyunjaya, Fasika A. Woreta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe trends in the surgical and medical retina fellowship match and applicant characteristics associated with matching in retina fellowship. Design: Retrospective study. Subjects: Ophthalmology fellowship applicants who applied through the San Francisco (SF) Match. Methods: Publicly available SF Match data were used to describe trends in the number of programs participating and positions offered, filled, and left vacant in the retina fellowship match from 2014 to 2019. Deidentified applicant data for match cycles from 2010 to 2017 were stratified by match status, and characteristics were compared across groups. Trends in matched applicant characteristics were evaluated using linear regression on log-transformed variables. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine applicant characteristics that were associated with a successful match. Main Outcome Measures: Match status. Results: From 2014 to 2019, the number of programs participating, positions filled, and positions left vacant in the retina fellowship match increased from 101 to 119 (P = 0.010), 118 to 123 (P = 0.078), and 18 to 37 (P = 0.045), respectively. Compared with unmatched applicants, matched applicants were more likely to have graduated from a top 10 residency program, US residency, or medical school; hold a United States (US) visa (J-1, H-1B, or O1); distribute more applications; complete more interviews; rank more programs; and score higher on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step examinations 1–3. Matched applicants completed a median of 10 interviews. After controlling for potential covariates, graduating from a US residency (odds ratio [OR], 2.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.48–2.92), a top 10 residency (OR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.07–2.84), having an allopathic medical degree (MD; OR, 2.39; 95% CI, 1.08–5.33), completing more interviews (OR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.23–1.33), and scoring higher on USMLE Step 3 (OR, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.01–1.03) were associated with matching into a retina fellowship. Conclusions: Although the number of programs participating and positions offered in the retina fellowship match are increasing, the number of positions filled remained relatively stagnant. Factors associated with matching in both medical and surgical retina included graduating from a US and top 10-ranked residency program, having an MD, completing more interviews, and scoring higher on USMLE Step 3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1253-1259
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmology Retina
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Medical education
  • Ophthalmology
  • Retina fellowship


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