What Fellowship Trained Means

Home / Fracture Surgeon / What Fellowship Trained Means
What Fellowship Trained Means

What Fellowship Trained Means

Becoming a doctor is a long and rigorous process. Doctors must first go through mandatory schooling like high school, followed by around four years of undergraduate school. Once they have completed all of this and taken the MCAT, doctors must then go on to medical school for another four years. Finally, the doctor can enter residency, but the lengths of residency vary from specialty to specialty. After finishing this, some doctors may choose to begin practicing, and some may choose to complete additional training through a fellowship.

Orthopedic Training

The first steps to specializing in orthopedics closely follow those of other specialties. Orthopedic surgeons first must obtain an undergraduate degree. During this time, the prospective doctor will take a test, the MCAT, designed to predict how well that person will do in medical school and if that person is prepared enough. This usually takes around four years.

Once graduated, the future orthopedic specialist must then go through medical school. For the first two years, the medical school will be largely the same for all training physicians, and they must take the first step exam to licensure. The final two years provide a bit more flexibility in electives, and there second step exam to licensure is taken. During this time, the person should have been looking into residency programs.

Finally, the future orthopedic surgeon can begin training as a resident. These programs typically last around five years. The doctor will typically go through one year that includes general surgery, pediatrics, and internal medicine. The other four years are devoted to training in orthopedics. Upon completion of this, the surgeon can become a board-certified orthopedic surgeon after two years of practice and passing an exam.

What Comes Next

After completing residency, the orthopedic surgeon can enter into practice or can choose to complete additional training with a fellowship. In completing a fellowship, the surgeon will become more specialized in a certain domain of practice. In orthopedics, one can choose to complete fellowships in foot and ankle surgery, hand and upper limb surgery, or many other subspecialties. Orthopedic surgeons who want to focus on becoming fracture doctors should complete a fellowship in trauma.

Trauma fellowships last one to two years, but the exact amount of time will vary from program to program. The training will focus on developing techniques for treating various types of fracture and further cultivating one’s surgical skills. This will also provide additional opportunities to teach residents and medical students. Upon completion of this fellowship, the orthopedic surgeon will be much more equipped to handle broken bones.

What It Means

Many physicians do not complete a fellowship, and these doctors are also skilled in whatever area they went through residency in. Doctors who have completed a fellowship are much more specialized. These doctors are experts in a narrow area of medicine. They will be well prepared to handle cases that are incredibly complex. In some cases, a doctor without fellowship training simply is not equipped to care for patients in cases like these.

Doctors who have completed a fellowship may be more expensive. There are some subspecialties that are in high demand, so finding such a physician can cost a lot of money without insurance. Most of the time, a patient will not begin care with someone who is highly specialized. Care usually begins with a primary care physician who refers the patient to a specialist. Of course, this is not always the case.

Once the patient is in the hands of the specialist, the patient can become more confident in the course of care. Having a specialist like a fracture doctor care for a patient provides a great advantage for the patient. This sort of doctor will know the ins and outs of the patient’s problem and will be able to provide incredible care that may not be available without the specialist.

A Good Doctor

Not every doctor who claims to be a specialist is one. When a patient gets a referral from a primary care physician, the patient can be confident that this physician is equipped to provide quality care. Without a referral, the patient should do some research before seeing the specialist. Thankfully, the internet is a wonderful resource for this step.

The patient should first check to see if the specialist is board certified. A specialist should be board certified in the area they completed the residency. A specialist who completed a fellowship should be board certified in that area. For example, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in broken bones should have board certification in orthopedic surgery and in trauma orthopedics. Board certification is rigorous, and a physician who keeps up with board certification is likely to be a good one.

After verifying board certification, the patient should look through reviews of the doctor. While not all reviews are true, the patient will be able to gain some insight as to the type of person their prospective specialist is. The patient should also check out the specialist’s website if there is one. The website can provide a lot of information that can be otherwise hard to find.

When the patient is finally seeing the physician, the patient should consider many things. The patient should feel comfortable while with the doctor, and the patient should be able to trust the doctor. The doctor should be respectful of the patient and able to seriously consider what the patient has to say. Additionally, the physician should demonstrate that they are extremely worthy of being called a specialist.

Truthfully, completing a fellowship is a sign of passion. Doctors already work hard to get to where they are, and those who become even more specialized are truly displaying their devotion to providing incredible care to patients. A doctor who has completed a fellowship is usually someone who wants to make the lives of people better.