Fellowship vs. Residency

Difference Between Fellowship and Residency

Students studying medicine have two types of training which they may experience after their graduating from pre- med: Fellowship and Residency. These trainings are specialization in the different fields of medicine such endocrinology, obstetrics and gynaecology, cardiology, paediatrics, teaching in the medical academe, and the like. These terms may be used to describe the trainings a medical graduate has to undergo, but these terms are different and should not be used synonymously.

Residency refers to the in- hospital training a medical graduate has to undergo after accomplishing their medicine proper and internship. In the hospital, they will render hands- on care and management to patients for them to enhance their skills and to put into practice what they have learned in med school. All Med graduates should ideally undergo residency. The types of clients these “Residents” will care for will depend on their field of specialization. If they wish to specialize in caring for pregnant women, then they can take up OB; if they want to learn more about childhood illnesses, their exposure will then be in the Paediatric Ward; and if they wish to be more proficient in Surgery, Internal Medicine and the Hospital OR will be their training grounds. To encourage Residents to increase their skills and knowledge by offering quality service to patients, they are granted salaries as soon as they start working in the area. Also, upon completing the residency, they are awarded certificates of being Clinical Specialists, meaning, they are experts in a specific medical field. Residency can be likened to taking up a post graduate degree or Masters in arts and social sciences.

Fellowship, on the other hand, may be taken by a Clinical Specialist if they wish to teach in Medical School. A graduate cannot get into teaching if they failed to finish their residency because if one wants to undertake Fellowship, he/she must first be declared a Clinical Specialist and boast of expertise in their chosen field. Similar to Residency, Fellowship is financially assisted by the government to encourage medical students to further their studies and hone their proficiency to a higher level. If Residency is similar to obtaining a Postgraduate degree, Fellowship is likened to that of a Doctorate or PhD.