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Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by xdismalx, Nov 1, 2002.
this is probably a dumb question, but could someone explain to me exactly what a fellowship is?
A fellowship is taken after a residency that allows the physician/surgeon to concentrate their practice in a specific area of their residency. For example:
Residency: Internal medicine
Fellowship: Gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, nephrology, etc, etc, etc...
Residency: General surgery
Fellowship: Cardiothoracic surgery, transplant surgery, vascular surgery, colorectal surgery, etc, etc, etc...
Fellowship: Neuopathology, dermpathology, etc.
Residency: Family medicine
Fellowship: Geriatric medicine, sports medicine.
The list is quite extensive.
thanks airborne, but I'm still a little confused. So is it like an extented residency? Or do I have myself completely confused?
I suppose they can be considered "an extended residency" - but you apply for a fellowship during your residency, and then take them up after you have finished the primary residency. Obviously, fellowships can be ultra-competitive - and one often leaves the institution they did their residency to undertake their fellowship.
It IS very much like an extension of your residency. You are continuing with supervised practice of medicine with educational objectives to fulfil. Your compensation still bites (about 50K vs > 200K per year). You are not licenced to practice surgery outside of the provision of your fellowship training.
Frequently a fellowship might be the only route to practice of the subspecialty you are interested in. For example, a hospital would be highly unlikely to grant privileges to perform cardiac surgery without completion of an approved fellowship. This isn't one hundred percent true, however. For instance, I will be perfoming vascular surgery and limited pediatric surgery in my practice, although I won't have done a fellowship in either of those. These arrangements are much more likely to occur in underserved areas (eg rural), where the general surgeon is commonly the only surgery service in town. When a community grows to the point where subspecialists are attracted, the political environment changes so that no new general surgeons in town are granted those privileges, although often the practicing people remain 'grandfathered' in.
I assume what makes a fellowship "competetive" is the limited number of spots. Can anyone shed some light on exactly what criteria are used to screen "graduating" residents in their fields for fellowships? We all kind of have the basic idea that to get in a competetive residency, one must have high grades, good letters, good USMLE scores, etc....but what is used as the judging criteria for fellowships....