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Dalman to trainees: ‘Vascular surgery is a tremendously rewarding career’

By Bryan Kay

For aspiring vascular trainees, interview season is a time of great stress as well as opportunity. Graduating medical students and residents prepare the pitches of a lifetime. But during these arduous times of social distancing, the process of securing vascular residency and fellowships comes with an added, virtual barrier.

The prospect of negotiating a remote interview process is a challenge shared by vascular chiefs, SVS president Ronald L. Dalman, MD, told Vascular Specialist as the interview season was in full swing.

And the chief of vascular surgery at Stanford University in Stanford, California, told potential trainees to bear with the process for what would ultimately be “a tremendously rewarding career.”

“We’re right in the middle of the interviews this year for our prospective trainees, and again, it’s obviously challenging, with the pandemic situation,” Dalman explained in an interview late last year. “I want to emphasize to anyone that vascular surgery is a tremendously rewarding career, and has proven itself to be, really, one of the cornerstones of the American medical system.

“The patients we care for, the challenges that we’re presented with, are very professionally rewarding, and it makes for a great career option for people who really want to take care of important problems—significant clinical challenges that really measure themselves against the moment.”

Dalman lamented the absence of face-to-face contact with candidates this time round but stressed the efforts made to elucidate the vascular story.

“Vascular surgery is a great career choice,” he continued. “It’s just unfortunate that we’re not able to have in-person interviews, and have the appropriate introduction for potential trainees. We’re doing everything we can in partnership with APDVS [the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery] in our new COVERS collaboration between the various national societies to try to tell our story.

“All I can say is: You’re just going to have to trust us. It’s a great career opportunity, and we hope that we get an enthusiastic and highly-interested cross section of trainees this year for our training programs.”