Fellowship and residency are two important  keywords in clinical practice. Medical students can finish their clinical rotations at hospitals and other healthcare settings through a fellowship program. After completing their training, doctors spend their residency working in a hospital or similar healthcare facility. In terms of intent, they are pretty similar. However, other distinctions do exist between the two words. 

Let us evaluate how a fellowship and residency function, their similarities and differences, and what it takes to be a fellow or resident in a hospital or healthcare centre.

Fellowship Vs. Residency — Know the Difference

As an aspiring doctor, you must know everything about a residency Vs. fellowship to have a clear idea of your future career path.

  • What is fellowship?

In modern clinical practise, a fellowship refers to a training period that prepares the student for independent practice or to become a fully qualified doctor in the future. During this time, they are specially trained by seasoned physicians and work under the direction of a physician-in-chief. 

  • What is residency?

The term residency refers to a training phase during which a doctor receives practical training from more seasoned medical professionals while being supervised by a physician-in-chief. The experience prepares them to develop their own practise.

  • Program duration

The residency program often lasts longer than a year, while the fellowship program typically lasts two years or fewer. Therefore, despite fellowships being more official and longer than residencies, their purposes and objectives are essentially similar. Both programs occasionally have a maximum duration of four years and aim to prepare doctors for future full-fledged medical training or independent practice. You will be permitted to continue in the same hospital or healthcare facility for more than a year if you decide to become a resident there after your fellowship ends.

  • Eligibility requirements

Depending on the kind of program you choose to pursue, fellowship and residency programs have varied eligibility requirements. For instance, fellowship programs demand that you hold both a Ph.D. in your chosen discipline and a medical degree. However, you are typically not required to hold a doctorate or a medical degree to enrol in residency programs. However, they do demand that you have at least one year of specialised training in your chosen subject.

The criteria for entry into a fellowship program are often quite similar to those of medical school. However, you might be qualified to apply for the fellowship program if you have at least one year of residency training.

  • The kind of work that fellows and residents can expect

In most fellowship programs, fellows and residents are expected to perform work similar to that of a medical student. For instance, you might need to perform some fundamental laboratory tests or other clinical work. Nevertheless, you will be expected to take on more duties as you advance through your program’s ranks.

Furthermore, compared to fellows and medical students, residents in hospitals or healthcare centres are expected to perform many more tasks. For instance, you might be asked to look after patients, perform surgery, use laboratory equipment, or analyse test data.

  • Career possibilities after the program completion

After the program is over, fellows and residents are not promised employment. However, they often have the chance to apply for work at hospitals or other healthcare facilities where their preferred field of expertise is needed. The fellowship program typically allows you to do research that could result in publication. This is good for the long term if you want a more secure job.

On the other hand, residents of a hospital or healthcare institution are typically compelled to work as long as they are qualified to do so. However, after finishing your residency training, you might be able to advance in your program and work toward becoming a professor or researcher.

An Overview of Medical Fellowship Vs. Residency

A medical student must finish two different forms of training: residencies and fellowships. These courses will help you become ready to specialise in a particular branch of medicine, including Radiology, Paediatrics, or Cardiology.

A residency is necessary if a medical student wants to concentrate on a specialty and gain the knowledge and skills needed to treat patients, as opposed to a fellowship, which is needed to enter academia.