Doctors who want to attend a nephrology fellowship to get advanced training in kidney care need to complete an internal medicine residency and fulfill application requirements for fellowship programs. Some fellowships may accept applicants with backgrounds in pediatrics, depending on the nature of the programs they offer. Fellowships are very competitive, and the more qualifications doctors have, the more likely they are to end up with the nephrology fellowship of their choice; things like publications and participation in research can be critical for a successful application.
While completing an internal medicine residency, doctors can start to research nephrology fellowship programs to determine where they want to apply. Most programs offer advanced training in a variety of topics including pediatric patients, kidney transplants, dialysis, and kidney pathology. Their faculties and facilities can vary, with most programs taking two years to complete. Prospective fellows may want to personally visit programs to learn more and establish connections with faculty, current fellows, and admissions personnel.
With a list of programs to apply to, a doctor can start submitting transcripts, personal statements, and letters of recommendation. Many nephrology fellowships use a fellowship match system, allowing applicants to submit a single application to a third party, which will distribute the information to all the programs the doctor wishes to apply to. Those that do not will require completion of a separate application. It is important to pay attention to deadlines and requirements to make sure the application is completed in a timely fashion.
Any fellowships interested in a candidate will make contact to request an interview. The interview provides an opportunity for a fellow to tour the program and meet with representatives. Doctors should practice for their interviews, remembering to think of some questions of their own to use at the end of the interview. It is also important to dress appropriately; business casual is usually sufficient, but some fellowships may be more formal.
The fellowship application process can start as far as a year in advance. Doctors who know that they plan to apply to a nephrology fellowship program after completing residency should think ahead. If possible, participating in research, getting publishing credits, and attending conferences are all very good ideas, as they will stand out on an applicant's curriculum vitae, making her more appealing to officials making admissions decisions. Nephrology fellowship spaces are usually limited, especially at prestigious programs, and applicants need to develop an edge to make sure they catch the attention of the programs they want to attend.