Advice for Applicants from a Program Director
When applying for PHM fellowship, there are few “rules” that can help you through this process.
1. Decide why you are doing fellowship. Is it to gain more clinical experience or clinical experience in certain areas? To pursue training in a specific area such as Quality, Clinical Research, Medical Education, Public Health? Do you want to obtain an advanced degree during fellowship? Talking with your mentors can help you figure some of this out. Start this process the second half of your second year of residency because the application process usually begins July the year before you would start fellowship. Plans can definitely change but having an inkling of what you want will help you greatly in this process. Use this information in your personal statement and during interviews. Come prepared with questions and ideas related to your particular interests and goals.
Now that you know what specifically you want to gain from fellowship you are now ready to look for the programs that will best help you meet those goals. All our PHM fellowship programs are wonderful but each is unique so you need to evaluate them based on your specific needs and goals.
2. Do your research. Go through the listings on this website and the detailed fellowship listing on the AAP SOHM website. Don’t be afraid to contact programs for more information before you decide to apply. Applying to fellowship is time-consuming and expensive so doing some pre-work can help you figure out which programs match your needs and limit unnecessary travel and expenses.
That being said you still need to …
3. Keep an open mind. While a program may not look like the perfect match on a website, many programs can find opportunities to meet your needs even if they aren’t part of the core fellowship program. Contact the program director and ask about possibilities for your particular interests at each each institution. It’s possible for us to arrange meetings with people outside the hospital medicine division—if we know your interests and goals before your interview day.
4. Talk to people and listen to your gut. Talk to faculty and fellows when you interview. Besides spending a ton of time with these people during fellowship, many fellows wind up staying on as faculty. You want to have a work environment you enjoy and where you feel comfortable. If you get a bad vibe, it could be that someone had a bad day or that you actually don’t mesh well with that particular group for whatever reason. If you have concerns follow up with the program director (we like to get feedback), a fellow or ask your mentors for a contact you could talk to outside of the formal interview process.
5. Follow up. We don’t expect applicants to have all their answers after a one day interview and are happy to answer questions as they come up.
Our overall goal is for applicants to find the programs that are the best fit for them because that benefits our programs and also the field of Pediatric Hospital Medicine as a whole.
Hopefully this helps you in your search for your PHM fellowship program.
Lindsay Chase MD
Director of Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship
Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital