Apr 27, 2009
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How difficult would it be for an attending to say, compete with residents for fellowship spots?

My parents are in a financial bind due to the suck economy, worse case scenario, my dad losing his job. I'm in my final year of residency but considering working as an attending for 1-2 years after I finish, then applying for fellowship...

What do you guys think, do directors even consider you once you've become an attending?
 

agranulocytosis

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I have no personal experience with this as I am a student, but what I have noticed is that certain program directors like to keep their residents on board for 2-3 years as attendings (if they choose to work there as attendings) before writing excellent letters/making calls for them when they apply for fellowships. This is how one surgeon at a hospital I was at landed a Transplant fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic and another a Vascular fellowship elsewhere.
 

Ashers

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A friend of my dad's from work was an IM hospitalist who decided to do a critical care fellowship after being in practice for about 5 years, he finished the fellowship last year.

I also met an anesthesiology attending who went back to do a critical care fellowship after 10 or 15 years in practice.
 

Apollyon

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When I was a resident, we had an attending that had completed residency, then became a community attending, then an academic attending, then a fellow. I joke with him (and he agreed) that back to residency was next, and then to being a student.

(Specialty is EM, and the fellowship was sports medicine.)
 
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Cool, thanks for all the replies. I figure none of us really know what program directors are looking for, but thought perhaps someone knew of someone who did the same thing. I realize it will depend on how competitive the fellowship is, in my case - spine/MSK fellowship. I brought it up with my residency program director and he wasn't sure either. I guess it's all case-by-case basis.
 

lowbudget

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Cool, thanks for all the replies. I figure none of us really know what program directors are looking for, but thought perhaps someone knew of someone who did the same thing. I realize it will depend on how competitive the fellowship is, in my case - spine/MSK fellowship. I brought it up with my residency program director and he wasn't sure either. I guess it's all case-by-case basis.
Well, I don't know what people are looking for, either; but to level the playing field between a resident candidates vs. attending candidates is to ask: what has the attending done post-residency that demonstrate that he/she is (still) interested in fellowship or this field?

I bring this up because after residency your educational/academic opportunities may not be as abundant or accessible as when you were a resident. Maybe after 1 year, it's inconsequential; but maybe after 2 or 3 or more years, the fellowship committee might start asking questions like, "ok, we know you were really interested during residency, but what have you done since?"

Bad timing might be your answer, but you have to remember you'll be competing against gung-ho residents who are doing research, electives, presenting at meetings, doing all the extra stuff to get that fellowship spot. I think you'd have to somehow keep some of that stuff going, in your case, in spine/MSK. You'd have to out-do the residents, you know?

I'm sure being out practicing by yourself counts for something in the minds of the PD, but then again, at this point, they expect you to be able to do that. So you'll have to find that edge to put you over the top... I just don't know what that would be in your case to help you.