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residency, clerkship, internship, and fellowship?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by FSUMED, Apr 25, 2001.


    FSUMED Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    Tallahassee, FL, USA
    Ok...I know this may sound dumb, but could somebody distiguish between a residency, clerkship, internship, and fellowship? Are they all the same? Or are just some of them the same? I am pretty sure a residency isnt a fellowship, but the other 2 confuse the hell out of me.
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  3. pcl

    pcl Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    As I understand it:

    Clerkship, M3 & M4 - your clinical rotations.

    Residency - The X number of years immediately after medical school where you are getting your "postgraduate" medical education. Varies by discipline.

    Internship: The first year of residency. I think you must complete internship to become a licensed physician??? But someone please correct me if I am wrong.

    Fellowship: Additional specialized training after you complete your residency. i.e. One might complete an IM residency (4 years) and then do a Critical Care fellowship (1-2 years). After you complete both, you can be board eligible/certified in both. If you only do the IM residency, you can only be board certified in IM, not CC.

  4. Medic171

    Medic171 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Also be aware some D.O.s actually do an internship before residency, not just another name for first year residency.
  5. doc2003

    doc2003 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Davie, FL, USA
    but then their residency is most often one year shorter so the internship can be considered the first year of residency training
  6. drsmilez

    drsmilez Junior Member

    Apr 20, 2001
    New Jersey
    I was wondering the same thing.... Let's say I wanted to do peds...I'd do a residency in peds, then do I need a fellowship? [​IMG] Thanks
  7. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    You would only need to do a fellowship if you wanted to become some kind of pediatric specialist. Some examples would be Critical Care, Neonatology, Allergy/Immunology, neurology, etc.
  8. DrSmilez,

    For general pediatrics: 4 years med school + 3 years of peds residency and you are finished unless you want to further sub-specialize.

    Peds cardiology, hematology, etc require several more years of fellowship training.

    Peds surgery requires a regular surgery residency followed by peds fellowship training.

    For peds emergency medicine, some programs allow a general peds residency followed by an EM fellowship. Some require an EM residency followed by a peds fellowship.

    For the last word on board certification requirements for any medical specialty, look for the web site of the certifying board.

    The American Board of Pediatrics is at

    Todd Cutler, MS1
    UT Southwestern
  9. Pathologist

    Pathologist Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 29, 2000
    Fostoria, Ohio, USA
    Does anyone know the breakdown for forensic pathology? Thanks =)
  10. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer 10+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2001
    Of course someone does. THE GREAT PUMPKIN, he know path.

    Forensic path is a one or two year (dep. on the indiv. program) fellowship. You do it after your path residency. But, it is a little more complicated than that. Thanks to the "wise" people at the College of American Path, to become board certified in path, you have to complete a 4 year residency and have an extra year in medical training. Most people do this extra year like another path residency year. But, some do a regular internship first, then go into path residency and that counts as well. Sometimes, even research can count as this 5th year. But, the real kicker is you can do your fellowship your during your 5th year. But, they say you cannot "double dip" and use the fellowship year as the 5th year and use it as a fellowship year. Ok, I know you are probably totally confused, so here is an example.

    1st-4th year as a path resident
    5th year as a forensic path fellowship in a one year program.
    Take the path boards. Oops. can't take the forensic path boards without doing another year somewhere.


    1st year surgery intern
    2nd to 5th year path resident
    Path boards

    1st to 5th year in path residency
    Path Boards
    Forensic path fellowship
    forensic path board

    Hope this explains this total mess. Let me know if there is anything else.

    Oh, one more thing this is based on getting boarded in Anatomic Path as well as Clinical Path. Which is not necessarily needed if you are going into Forensics. But, doing both is a wise decision if you ever want to work privately.

    Wow. :)
  11. Pathologist

    Pathologist Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 29, 2000
    Fostoria, Ohio, USA
    Thanks, Great Pumpkin! Are you planning to do a forensic path fellowship?
  12. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer 10+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2001
    Probably not, I couldn't stand working for the state or county. To much politics and red-tape. Not to mention very big pay descrepancy between forensics and private surg path. I do enjoy forensics. But, am more likely to work in a community hospital as a general surg path/clin path doc. I did a rotation here in VA in the medical examiners office. Very cool rotation. Dr. Fiero is the Chief ME, she is the person the books by Patricia Cornwell are based on. (AKA Kay Scarpetta)

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