AANEM is excited to announce that it will be launching a Neuromuscular (NM) Medicine Fellowship Portal to make it easy for physicians interested in a NM fellowship to apply and for Training Program Directors to make offers for NM fellowships. The system grew out of conversations NM Training Program Directors were having about how to create a system that was fair to both the residents and the programs seeking to attract candidates in NM medicine. The directors agreed that everyone needed to agree to be bound by the same rules to make the system work.

After many of the programs were in agreement on rules, some Training Program Directors reached out to AANEM and asked for AANEM’s help to set up a web-based solution. The AANEM Board unanimously agreed to support the NM Training Program Directors and create the web portal. The Board emphasized when making their decision that AANEM is the home of electrodiagnostic and NM medicine and it is our goal to be the leader in these areas. This program advances AANEM’s mission and helps our members.  

NM Training Program Directors must agree to the following rules in order to participate in the portal:

• Neuromuscular medicine programs will review fellowship applications no sooner than March 1, 2021, and each March 1 thereafter.

• Offers for interviews will not be made or scheduled before March 1, 2021, and each March 1 thereafter.

• Programs may offer positions to candidates no sooner than June 1, 2021, and each June 1 thereafter.

• Applicants will have up to 48 hours to decide whether or not to accept a position.

 All programs that have committed to be part of the portal and input their information will be listed in the portal. There will be a link in the portal to a list of all ACGME NM Fellowship programs to identify any programs that are not participating. AANEM will send emails to all residents that are members of the AANEM notifying them about the portal and the process for applying to programs. A Neuromuscular Medicine Fellowship Committee will be created to oversee the process made up of some NM training program directors and others that are not NM training program directors to eliminate any competitive bias.  There will be a place on the portal to report violations of the agreed upon rules.  Programs that violate the rules will be removed from the portal and not allowed to participate the following year. 

The portal will be ready to launch by January 1, 2021, if not sooner. A list of programs that have committed to following the rules and more information about the match portal is available at https://www.aanem.org/nmfellowships.

“As of August 7, 2020, we had heard from 47 out of the 52 ACGME approved programs.  The remaining programs will make a decision by mid-August," noted AANEM Executive Director, Shirlyn Adkins.

Dr. Zachary London, who was one of the leaders in the discussions stated, “AANEM stepped in quickly to create this system for us. As a program director, I am excited to see this advancement and believe it will be a great method of assuring our residents are exposed to electrodiagnostic and neuromuscular medicine before being asked to make a fellowship decision.”  

AANEM will also be offering a virtual NM medicine fair prior to next year’s application deadline. This will be a great way to introduce residents to each of the programs. Watch for more details on the AANEM website and in future SPARK newsletters.