Lifespan Surgical Services

Importance of Fellowship Training for Lifespan Doctors

Fellowship training is not an academic requirement of the medical profession. But it is necessary to be considered a true “specialist” in the medical profession. Fellowship training is an indication of a doctor’s desire and ability to treat the most challenging cases and approach clinical problems with the highest degree of rigor. It requires additional years of clinical and surgical training to earn the distinction of being a specialist.

What Does It Mean to Be Fellowship Trained?

Training to become a physician is a long road, with a four-year undergraduate degree, four additional years of medical school, a five to six-year residency program, and often additional time in research. Fellowship programs are optional and require extensive training in a particular field. Physicians pursue fellowship to better understand a particular subfield in medicine and to truly become experts in that area, developing a deeper understanding and rigorous skill set.

Fellowships are competitive and only certain candidates are selected to participate in exclusive programs offered in hospitals throughout the nation and the world, including in Rhode Island. Fellows spend a year or more studying a specific branch of medicine in depth. Mentors in fellowship programs are highly skilled and respected in their fields, and graduates often become involved in medical education and fellowship training themselves.

What Is the Importance of Fellowship Training?

The most important element of fellowship training is, ultimately, the patient. A doctor who has completed a fellowship has made a personal commitment to acquire knowledge and experience to help solve the most complex clinical problems. Time, expense, and sacrifice are needed to complete these additional years of training. The results are worthy of the commitment. Fellowship training provides physicians with experience in new technology, deepens their compassion for patients, and expands their expertise to provide the most effective care to their patients.