Tips for Success in Finding the Right Fellowship
Since all pediatric specialty fellowships have many features in common that are dictated by accreditation requirements, search for the differences that will help you identify a program that is the best fit for your goals and needs.
- Ask a lot of questions!
- Although securing a fellowship position can be competitive, it is still important to identify personal priorities that would make a program a good match, and seek out support for them in the programs you visit. Here are some helpful questions:
- Do you hope to spend your research time in a laboratory or clinical research setting? How well-protected is the research time? What intramural funding is available to support fellowship research projects? How do fellows identify research mentors?
- Do you envision a career primarily as a clinician or clinical investigator? How well is this career path supported at your prospective programs, in terms of specialized training and funding?
- Do you wish to live in a certain area of the country? Are you looking for more urban or rural environments?
- Will you be relocating with a partner or family? What is the maternity or paternity leave policy for trainees? Is daycare easily obtainable? Are the schools accessible and of high quality? Will the availability of work for your partner be important?
- How affordable and comprehensive is the health insurance at your prospective programs?
- Fellows are the best source of information for much of what you’re trying to learn about the program, so speak to as many fellows as you can at the programs you visit.
- Gauge how the fellows feel about their training experience.
- Assess how well prepared fellows feel for finding a job and continuing with their careers.
- Ask about what fellows feel are the greatest strengths of their program, how it could be improved, and how the fellowship responds to efforts by fellows to improve the program.
Review fellowship websites and printed materials in order to build an understanding of the support that will be available for your clinical and research interests at each program.