Choosing the best endocrinology fellowship requires evaluating a number of different factors. People interested in becoming endocrinologists should first decide what type of career they want. Physicians primarily interested in treating patients in private practices should consider different programs than those interested in academic careers. Other aspects to consider include what past fellows have done after graduation, the location of the program, and the quality of the institution sponsoring the fellowship.
Defining a career path is one of the first steps in choosing an endocrinology fellowship. Clinically-oriented people might look for fellowships that offer practical training that will prepare them for independently managing patient care. Two-year clinical fellowships are likely a good options for these doctors. Although some fellows in these programs do pursue research, the emphasis of the two-year program is on learning clinical skills. Most graduates find jobs taking care of patients in hospitals or in outpatient clinics.
In contrast, doctors who want careers in academic medicine should look for fellowships that offer opportunities for research and exposure to influential faculty. Good choices for them might be three-year combined clinical and research fellowships. While people graduating from these programs will obtain a strong foundation in how to care for endocrinologic diseases, they will also receive rigorous training in how to perform research in the field. Of the three years, at least one year is spent on research projects. Graduates of these fellowship programs often pursue careers in academic medicine, combining their interests in patient care, research, and training future physicians.
Another important factor to consider in choosing the best endocrinology fellowship is what graduates of the program did after completion. If past fellows have had trouble finding employment, this might be a sign that the program is not held in high esteem. In contrast, if all past fellows are now professors at highly regarded medical schools, this suggests that many people consider the program to be superb.
For many doctors, location is an important consideration in picking the best endocrinology fellowship. By this point in their lives, many physicians are married or have children. Some people might only apply to fellowships close by because they do not want to upset their families' lives. Others, however, might might be interested in moving to a different part of the country.
The quality of the institution sponsoring the endocrinology fellowship should also be evaluated. Good programs will have strong professors who are skilled at teaching and performing research. Fellowship program instructors should enjoy esteem and respect in the medical community. Additionally, the institution should have financial stability and abundant resources so it can offer the maximum amount of support to its fellows.