About the Gastroenterology Fellowship in USA
Applications are currently ongoing for the Gastroenterology Fellowship for Medical students who wish to pursue their academic dreams in the USA.
Fellowship Program Considerations
Pursuing a fellowship in gastroenterology is an option that many internal medicine residents choose after completing their residency program. One of the reasons for the popularity of gastroenterology as a sub-specialty is that after completing the fellowship program, gastroenterologists are well compensated. In short, it pays quite well and is one of the highest paying sub-specialties.
While to some this may indicate entering into a GI fellowship is based purely on financial reasons, becoming a gastroenterologist does not come without some sacrifices being made.
After completing medical school, a residency in internal medicine will be required, adding 3 years to studies. The average gastroenterology fellowship is an additional 3 years on top of that. From first entering college, until completing a fellowship, is going to take around 14 years. It isn’t unusual to run up anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 in debt in the meantime.
Learn about the salary and benefits a gastroenterology fellowship program might offer if you are accepted to a fellowship program.
You must have completed medical school. You must have completed a United States residency in internal medicine (a 3 years program). The average gastroenterology fellowship program adds an additional 3 years.
Citizens of ANY country
Approved gastroenterology fellowship training centers in the United States
Fields of study
If your goal is a career in gastroenterology, after completing a bachelor’s degree you will go to medical school. Many of your college classmates will be starting their careers off. By the time you finish medical school, the same classmate has been working four years. But you aren’t done and will spend the next 3 years in a residency program for internal medicine. Now you can apply for a GI fellowship. At this point you are a doctor of internal medicine
The fellowship duration is 3 years
If accepted into a fellowship program you will receive compensation. Salary during the gastroenterology fellowship program will be in the following range:
- First year – $58,000 to $60,000 per year
- Second year – $60,000 to $62,000 per year
- Third year – $62,000 to $ 64,000 per year
The salaries mentioned are before taxes, and during your time in a fellowship program 60 to 80 hours a week is fairly normal. Before taxes your hourly wage the first year will breakdown to somewhere between 13.94 hour to as high as 19.22 hour. This is as a full-fledged Doctor of Internal Medicine.
There are additional benefits offered by most fellowship programs. Some of the benefits that different programs provide include:
- Sick leave: 10 days is fairly standard
- Paid vacation: 3-4 weeks
- Health insurance
- Dental insurance
- Professional liability insurance
Quite often there will be other benefits such as meal cards, book allowance, access to facilities such as gym and a wide variety of other perks. So you aren’t going to be starving, but you aren’t exactly raking it in either.
Considering you are now a licensed physician, it may seem like all that schooling isn’t paying off, especially if you have $100,000 in student debt hanging over your head. However, you are in this for the long haul, and after completing the fellowship program will be a gastroenterologist. That is if you are able to get into a GI fellowship program.
How to Apply
GETTING INTO A FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Even if you had your mind set on a career in gastroenterology from your first day of college, and have put in somewhere around 10 to 11 years of hard study since then, you are by no means assured of getting into a GI fellowship program. Fellowship programs are handled much the same way as residency programs are. In most cases you will have to go through the NRMP (National Resident Matching Program) match process when applying for the fellowship you want. Around 36 percent of GI fellowship program applicants didn’t match in 2015. On the other hand, 64 percent of those who applied did match. This means the odds are with you, and with some planning and effort you can tilt them even more in your favor.
PLAN AHEAD TO IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES IN THE MATCH
Some of those planning to apply for a GI fellowship start their preparations as early as the first year of their residency. In general, the sooner you start, the better off you will be. No doubt you will put your best effort into impressing while in the residency program, as well as doing your best to score well on exams. Aside from that there are some other things you can do that will be beneficial down the road:
- Determine the career path you will take: There are several options to consider in gastroenterology. At the least, you should know whether you want to pursue a career in academics and research, or if you want to focus on the clinical side.
- Identify the best program for your career goals: Research and find the fellowship programs that offer the training you need. Even better, identify 10 to 15 programs. After you know the programs that will fit your requirements, research some more and try to identify which applicant criteria is the most important to each program.
- During your residency do all you can to add things to your list of accomplishments that will look good to selection committees. Publish some papers, do some volunteer work, get involved in research, anything else that will look good.
One element not to be overlooked is the gastroenterology fellowship personal statement. A great personal statement can make you stand out, and generate interest in those who select fellowship applicants.
USE THE PERSONAL STATEMENT TO BEST ADVANTAGE
The gastroenterology personal statement should answer some questions that selection committees will want the answers to:
- Let them know what your qualifications are that will make you a good addition to their program
- Provide some short and long term career goals and show how they specifically relate to the program
Every applicant will be submitting a personal statement for gastroenterology fellowship that provides the same information. Your personal statement must stand out from all the rest.
Here are a few tips that will help you to write a good personal statement:
- Keep your personal statement to one page or less
- Have a theme you stick with throughout your personal statement.
- Focus on only one or two items at the most
- Make sure your personal statement is logical, interesting and easy to read. Use an anecdote that fits your theme
- Proofread. No grammatical errors or spelling mistakes
An entertaining personal statement that also provides relevant information will definitely improve your chances of being invited to interview.
RESIDENCY MATCH TIME PERIODS:
Applicants may begin applying for positions to GI Fellowship programs through the Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS) as of mid-July (July 15). Programs may access ERAS to download and review applications starting same time (July 15). Results of the match will be posted early December for positions beginning July 1 of the next year.