Medical residency and fellowship programs offer opportunity for specialized training in the US. Medical residency spans between 3-7 years depending on chosen specialty, providing hands-on experience to equip healthcare professionals with requisite skills and knowledge necessary to operate autonomously. Becoming eligible for residency programs is no easy feat as it requires meeting strict criteria such as completing an accredited medical degree and earning high scores on the extensive USMLE examination. However, for those with aspirations of developing specialized expertise in a specific area of medicine, fellowship programs provide ample opportunity.
These programs typically last between 1-3 years which allows medical graduates sufficient time to acquire intensive education related to his or her sub-specialty field. In order to qualify for a fellowship program in the United States, candidates must have accomplished two requirements: completion of residency program in their preferred area of specialization and passing the standardized test known as USMLE.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), an independent organization that establishes standards for graduate medical education in the United States, has certified both residency and fellowship programs. Programs that have been accredited have proven to be of the highest caliber and effectiveness.
In the United States, the application process for residency and fellowship programs is extremely competitive and is controlled by a procedure known as the "match." This procedure entails submitting a rank list of top programs, interviewing with program directors, and applying to programs. Program directors additionally provide a rank list of their top candidates. The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) for residency programs and the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) for fellowship programs are responsible for managing the match process.
Hospitals and other healthcare institutions frequently support medical residency and fellowship programs. Depending on the program and region, residents and fellows earn a salary and benefits. Residency salaries typically vary from $50,000 to $65,000, whereas fellowship salaries often range from $70,000 to $85,000.
Overall, medical graduates are prepared for successful careers in medicine through medical residency and fellowship programs in the United States, which offer specialized training and practical experience in their chosen fields.