Psychiatry fellowships offer advanced training in subjects like working with children and adolescents, treating drug addiction, and managing anxiety disorders. They are generally open to psychiatrists who have completed their residencies and want to refine their skills. Applications typically require documentation of academic and clinical experience along with evidence that a candidate would be a good fit for a program, like letters of recommendation and an interview. The best choice of fellowships can depend on the type of work a doctor wants to do.
Schools offering these training opportunities may have a range of programs, depending on the kinds of services they make available to patients. Some psychiatry fellowships focus on patients of specific ages, including children and adolescents as well as older adults. These groups may have unique needs which cannot be met by a practitioner who works primarily with adults. Extra experience in a fellowship can improve the quality of care available.
Others may focus on particular conditions, including addiction, sleep disorders, and anxiety disorders. In the psychiatry fellowship, a doctor has an opportunity to work with specific patient populations, often in a state of the art environment. Research opportunities may be available for people who want to improve approaches to treatment. Specialists in these areas can work with patients who need focused psychiatric attention from someone with substantial experience who might be familiar with a variety of treatment and management options.
Additional psychiatry fellowships explore topics like neuropsychology, which involves an understanding of brain anatomy and physiology to better treat patients. People with neurological disorders can experience a psychiatric component that requires treatment from someone familiar with both psychology and cognition. Practitioners may also choose to focus on forensic psychiatry, the application of the discipline to the investigation and prosecution of legal matters. Public health psychiatry can be another area of potential focus.
Psychosomatic medicine is another area of concentration available through psychiatry fellowships. This term is associated with negative connotations due to confusion about what it means among laypeople. Clinically speaking, it refers to the treatment of people with conditions which involve an interaction between body and mind. For example, stress can contribute to the development of health problems, or patients in the hospital after a major trauma might need counseling to work through intense emotions. These psychiatry fellowships provide an opportunity to work with patients who need psychiatric treatment as part of whole body management to address their conditions.