What are Anesthesiology Fellowships?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 10 March 2020
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Anesthesiology fellowships are opportunities for advanced training in specific disciplines within the medical field of anesthesiology. An anesthesiologist can apply for fellowships after completing residency if she wants to be able to offer highly specialized services. The length of time spent in a fellowship varies between one and two years, and during this period, the doctor will practice medicine, receive training, and often conduct a research project. Many medical schools offer anesthesiology fellowships and accept students from all over the world.

Some examples of anesthesiology fellowships include training in pediatric, obstetric, and cardiothoracic anesthesiology, along with pain management training. In a fellowship, doctors learn about concerns specific to particular types of procedures and patients. Managing anesthesia for children or patients with severe disease, for example, can be complex. Having extra skills makes the physician more competent and increases the chances of good surgical outcomes.

While an anesthesiologist can practice generally, without attending a fellowship, having advanced education can provide a doctor with access to more clinical tools and skills. Some surgical centers may specifically look for people who have completed fellowships to offer the best care to their patients. A facility known for the quality of its pediatric medicine, for instance, may preferentially hire pediatric anesthesiologists for its operating rooms. Patients may also feel more comfortable working with doctors who have completed anesthesiology fellowships, as it shows a commitment to excellence in the field.


During the anesthesiology fellowship, the doctor will have an opportunity to work with experts in the field. Many facilities encourage doctors to conduct research and may provide opportunities like being able to coauthor a paper with a notable anesthesiology expert. Publication credits allow doctors to pursue higher pay scales, as well as more opportunities, and can be valuable entries on an anesthesiologist's resume. After completion of the fellowship, it may be possible to join professional organizations to have access to continuing education, trade publication, conferences, and other professional tools.

Applicants for a fellowship need to submit transcripts, proof of completion of residency, and the results of competency testing, including in-training examinations administered by organizations like the American Board of Anesthesiologists. They also need a valid medical license. Typically, applications also ask for letters of recommendations, personal statements, and other supporting information to document a potential fellow's suitability for the program. Competition for some anesthesiology fellowships can be fierce, as usually only a few are available in any given year.



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