Fellowship Tips from Your Colleagues (Before and During Fellowship)
Top Ways to Help You Learn About Pediatric Fellowship Options:
Use Word of Mouth – Many graduates agreed that word of mouth generally provided the most useful information when it came to selecting a fellowship and which programs to consider. Word of mouth allows a practical appraisal of what each program is like. It’s also a good idea to reach out to the current program director to review what to expect in fellowship and prepare for application questions.
Get Social – Similarly, you can reach out to trainees and faculty that you know through medical school or residency to ask about personal experience, who/what they knew of the program, and concerns that might not show up on official documentation. Social media, specifically Twitter, is a great place to reach out to people you haven't met but could help answer questions or point you in the right direction.
Surf the Web – Specific program (e.g. hospital medicine) websites can be helpful for "data" regarding the programs- clinical rotations, research expectations, patient care volumes, application information, etc.
Go to Conferences and Network – AAP conferences are also great opportunities for networking with potential fellowship program faculty and/or trainees. Many residents also attend conference sessions specific to their subspecialty of interest to get familiar with fellowships and programming related to the discipline.
What to Focus on During Fellowship:
- Work on clinical/hands on skills (including patient care and procedural experience)
- Focus on scholarly activity, whether that be clinical research, quality improvement, medical education, information technology, or other health services research
- Fine tune your time management skills – utilize tools for tracking productivity
- Continue to work on your research skills – specifically statistics and writing
- Learn how to appraise evidence/literature, including recent literature of your field and major historical studies
- Continue to develop your teaching skills
- Be sure to understand the business of medicine
- Continue to build your professional network – via social media and conference attendance
- Utilize your mentor relationships – It’s important to have someone advocating for you and helping you navigate the system and gain critical experience. Don't be afraid to look outside your division/department/institution!
- Develop your long-term career goals – do you want to focus on research, teaching, administration, etc.?
- Determine your style of care – this is a great time to see what you like (or don’t like) from your attendings and adjust your style
- Learn as much as you can – self-identify your weaknesses or what scares you and make sure you seek patients who fit that bill and be sure to take the lead in their care
American Academy of Pediatrics