How do I get an Emergency Medicine Fellowship?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2019
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To get an emergency medicine fellowship, it is necessary to meet the requirements for a fellowship program, apply, and successfully compete with other applicants to be offered a position. Competition for fellowship spots is usually very fierce, and doctors with extracurricular qualifications are viewed preferentially. These can include things like participation in research, publications, and other activities that show a doctor is genuinely interested in improving her emergency medicine skills.

An emergency medicine fellowship usually expects applicants to be fully board certified in emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, or pediatrics, depending on the nature of the program. Some programs may accept doctors from other specialties. The program may accept applicants who are completing residency, as long as they can show they are on track to finish, receive medical licenses, and take board certification exams before the fellowship begins.

Applicants must submit their curriculum vitae, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. These provide chances for a prospective emergency medicine fellow to distinguish himself from the competition. It is important to approach potential writers of recommendations as early in the application process as possible to give them an opportunity to create a carefully drafted and detailed letter. Personal statements should genuinely reflect the applicant, and it is advisable to have a friend proofread for common spelling mistakes and other errors.


Doctors preparing for an emergency medicine fellowship can pursue fellowships in areas like undersea medicine, disaster medicine, and pediatric emergencies. They should select a fellowship relevant to their areas of interest and potential scope of practice. Doctors with an interest in wilderness medicine, for example, would not find many learning opportunities in a disaster medicine fellowship. It can be helpful to arrange a visit to meet people in the program, see the facilities, and determine if it will be a good fit. This also provides a chance to meet the people making hiring decisions and make a good impression on them.

Emergency medicine fellowship applications are typically due a year or more in advance. It is important to make sure the application is complete, and the emergency medicine fellowship coordinator should provide a receipt indicating that the program got the application. If the program is interested in an applicant, she will receive requests for more information and interviews. For interviews, it is important to project a confident, professional appearance; business casual wear is usually suitable, and doctors should come prepared with references, examples of their publications, and other supporting materials.


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