Kenneth V. Iserson, M.D., MBA
Professor Emeritus, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
It’s time to meet FREIDA.
When you want to know what each of the programs in a particular specialty has to offer, including where they are located, this website is where you go. The AMA’s Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Online® (FREIDA) will provide most information about training programs that you need at no cost and without a requirement to be an AMA member.The database has so much information that the unprepared can be overwhelmed: FREIDA now lists about 9,600 ACGME- approved residency and fellowship programs and almost 200 combined-specialty residency programs.
You can search for programs by specialty, state, institution or keywords, such as “Shared Position.” Once you find a program that interests you, the program’s easy-to-navigate webpage categorizes 100+ data points under seven headings: Basic Information, General Information, Faculty & Trainees, Work Schedule, Educational Environment, Employment Policies & Benefits, and Locations. You can also compare information from multiple programs side-by-side. (AMA members can save this information for use in subsequent sessions.)
FREIDA contains an enormous amount of information, but the necessity of molding the database to all specialties occasionally results in a poor fit. For example, applicants often want to know the number of procedures performed, especially in Surgery, Radiology, Anesthesiology, and Pathology, but this information is not available. However, FREIDA does point you to each residency program’s website, which may contain this information.
Three caveats: First, residency directors supply their own program’s information and no one verifies its accuracy. Second, FREIDA may not list very new programs and non-ACGME programs, such as Trauma/Acute Care Surgery or Women’s Health. Finally, program listings may be incomplete for some fellowships and residencies.
FREIDA is remarkably easy to use, even for the computer illiterate. Have fun with it.
Based on: Iserson’s Getting Into a Residency: A Guide for Medical Students, 8th edition
Tucson, AZ: Galen Press, Ltd.