What Is a Clinical Fellowship?

C. Daw
C. Daw
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

A clinical fellowship is provided to give a graduating student a transition period between being a student and being an independent medical worker within a clinical setting. This is usually done for those in the medical field including doctors, nurses, therapists and counselors. It is a time period where students can put into practice what they learned in school while still under some sort of supervision. This enables students to gain practical, first-hand experience that they will be able to take with them throughout their careers. Many students report that they learned a lot of different things during their fellowship.

Many universities and hospitals offer a clinical fellowship within their organizations for their students or prospective employees to participate in. These clinical fellowships can last anywhere from one to three years and requires a substantial commitment. Generally, each fellowship student is matched with a mentor who oversees them and give them advice as they deal with different issues that come along. These mentors are also able to provide their fellowship students with great references when the time comes to look for a job. The fellowship program itself looks very good on job resumes as education and work experience.

There are several different types of fellowships available like research and observation fellowships, but the clinical fellowship is the most common. While participating in a clinical fellowship program a student will spend about eighty percent of their time doing actual clinical work. Students will do diagnoses on patients and get a general overall feeling of how a clinic runs and works. Some fellowships require their students to complete a series of tests during their time there and some require that a research paper also be done during their fellowship. These requirements vary from fellowship to fellowship because each one can create the program that they feel will provide the best overall experience.

Students are usually required to have graduated from medical school, or have their masters degree, to participate in a fellowship program. Students begin looking for different fellowships at the start of their last year of schooling. The application process to apply for a fellowship program is similar to the process to get into college or medical school, where many students may be applying for only a few fellowships. Being able to secure a clinical fellowship will provide students the great opportunity to gain real-life experience in a clinical setting while still be supervised.

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