Is it required or very important to have a fellowship in sleep medicine to practice it... I plan on doing pulm/cc, do you recieve training in sleep medicine during your residency??? there are very fellowships out there... any advice would help
I don't know if it's required, but it is highly preferred that you have done a sleep fellowship to do sleep medicine, especially now that sleep training programs are becoming more formalized.
You really don't receive that much training on sleep during a pulm/cc fellowship. The most we usually do in fellowship is screening for OSA, interpreting a few sleep studies, and initiating treatments primarily for sleep-disordered breathing. We spend little to no time on other "non-pulmonary" sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and night terrors. Many pulm/cc programs will offer a 1-month sleep elective for people to get more experience in sleep clinic, but that's a poor substitute for a full 1-year fellowship.
If you really want to do sleep medicine, my advice would be to apply to pulm/cc programs that are associated with a sleep center. If you are at an affiliated program, the application process for sleep is highly informal. My experience at least in my program is that if you want to do sleep, you basically just let the program director know and then sign your name to the fellowship contract.
Also, there are many sleep programs out there, most of which are not found through FREIDA. Stanford, for example, which was the early pioneer of sleep medicine, is not listed through FREIDA, yet I know several people who have gotten their sleep certifications through them. So ask around. If there are certain pulmonary programs you're interested in, ask if people can get sleep certifications through those particular programs, and how feasible it is to do so.