Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Joins the Match

After years of debate and frustration for many, interventional cardiology will join the National Resident Matching Program’s fellowship Match system in 2025.

The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) spearheaded the effort, advocating through a dedicated Match task force and series of town halls for programs to join the more formal placement process and to shift the application deadline to the second year of general cardiology training to give trainees more time to decide which subspecialty is the best fit.

“This effort would not have been possible without the overwhelming support from fellows, programs, and physicians in interventional cardiology,” J. Dawn Abbott, MD, co-chair of SCAI’s Interventional Cardiology Match Task Force, said in a news release. “Interventional cardiology’s ability to participate in the Match will help support fairness and diversity in recruiting, and we are excited to see the positive impact this will have on future generations.”

Thus far, 136, or 76.8%, of the 177 US interventional cardiology training programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) have committed to joining the Match, just surpassing the required threshold of 75%.

Interventional cardiology had been the only cardiovascular specialty fellowship accredited by ACGME not to use a match system to place candidates.

In past years, programs reviewed candidates’ qualifications and held interviews after the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) opened in December through March. But over the past 3-4 years, that timeline was compressed due partially to the ability to hold interviews remotely during the pandemic but also the increased competitiveness of interventional cardiology, leaving some candidates scrambling in the last cycle to accept or reject offers the week or even day ERAS opened.

“Our profession is evolving, and the overall landscape of healthcare is changing. Interventional cardiology joining the Match will allow for us to recruit top talent who have received appropriate training and are also committed to elevating the profession,” Douglas Drachman, MD, co-chair of the task force, said in the release.

SCAI noted that incoming interventional cardiology Fellows applications begin this month without the Match and will not open in December 2023. Instead, the Match and applications will reopen in summer 2024 for fellows to start in July 2025.

Follow Patrice Wendling on Twitter: @pwendl.

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