Fellowship (medicine)

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A fellowship is the period of medical training, in the United States and Canada, that a physician, dentist, or veterinarian may undertake after completing a specialty training program (residency). During this time (usually more than one year), the physician is known as a fellow. Fellows are capable of acting as an attending physician or a consultant physician in the specialist field in which they were trained, such as internal medicine or pediatrics. After completing a fellowship in the relevant sub-specialty, the physician is permitted to practice without direct supervision by other physicians in that sub-specialty, such as cardiology or oncology.

United States[edit]

In the US, the majority of fellowships are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education ("ACGME"). There are a few programs that are not accredited, yet are actually well received, given the importance of being a Board Certified Physician in a primary specialty, where a Fellowship is often more based on research productivity.[1]

ACGME Fellowships[edit]

The following are organized based on specialty required for the fellowship.

Internal Medicine or Pediatrics[edit]

General Surgery[edit]

[2] [3]

Non-ACGME Accredited Fellowships:


  • Vascular Neurology
  • Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology (Interventional Neurology, or Neurointerventional Radiology [NIR])
  • Neurocritical Care
  • Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Geriatric Neurology
  • Headache Medicine
  • Sleep Medicine
  • Epilepsy
  • Neurohospitalist
  • Neurorehabilitation



  • Gynecologic Oncology
  • Maternal Fetal Medicine
  • Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Reproductive Endocrinology
  • Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery1
  • Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology1

1 Not officially recognized as a subspecialty by the American Board of Obstetrics/Gynecology or the American College of Obstetrics/Gynecologists.


  • Cornea
  • Glaucoma
  • Medical retina
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Oncology
  • Pathology
  • Pediatric
  • Refractive
  • Uveitis
  • Vitreoretinal surgery



  • Addiction Medicine
  • Addiction Psychiatry
  • Brain Injury Medicine
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Headache Medicine
  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • Sleep Medicine


  • Pediatric
  • Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Urologic Oncology
  • Endourology


  • Hand
  • Sports Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Spine
  • Foot and Ankle
  • Joint replacement
  • Trauma
  • Oncology[7]



In general, ACGME accredited programs require completion of ACGME-accredited, RCPSC-accredited or CFPC- accredited residency program, however, exceptions for an ACGME-International- accredited residency programs and non-ACGME-accredited residency programs are possible.[8] International medical graduates must be ECFMG certified. Some fellowship specialties require participation in special matching programs like Specialties Matching Service® (SMS®) or SF Match.[9]

Combined fellowships[edit]

There are a number of programs offering a combined fellowship, training in two or more sub-specialties as part of a single program.

  • Pulmonary/Critical Care: this type of program is more common than Pulmonary Disease (non-combination) programs. As of 2007, there were 130 ACGME-accredited combined Pulmonary/Critical Care programs while only 25 programs for Pulmonary Disease alone.
  • Hematology/Oncology: as of 2005, there were 125 ACGME-accredited programs for Hematology-Oncology, while only 12 programs for Hematology alone and 18 for Oncology alone.
  • Geriatrics/Oncology: the American Board of Internal Medicine approved a 3-year combined fellowship training program in medical oncology and geriatrics. The John A. Hartford Foundation initially funded 10 institutions for this type of training.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Residencies & Fellowships - Graduate Medical Education - Stanford University School of Medicine". med.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  2. ^ "Surgery". www.acgme.org. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  3. ^ "Non-ACGME Surgery". www.fellowshipcouncil.org. Retrieved 2022-03-11.
  4. ^ "Obstetrics / Gynecology Match - The Match, National Resident Matching Program". The Match, National Resident Matching Program. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  5. ^ "Obstetrics and Gynecology". www.acgme.org. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  6. ^ "Psychiatry". www.acgme.org. Retrieved 2020-08-09.
  7. ^ "What are the surgical specialties?". American College of Surgeons. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  8. ^ "Eligibility Requirements – Fellowship Programs".
  9. ^ "Fellowship before residency in the USA".

External links[edit]