Should You Consider Doing a Postdoctoral Fellowship?

If you are looking to narrow down your focus, devote additional time to study and research, and transition into a non-clinical role, then a non-clinical fellowship could be a career you might want to consider. 

When starting studies to become a physician, many assume they have to go into clinical practice. However, medicine is a career filled with many options, and switching to a postdoctoral job is an alternative that many physicians choose. You can expand your area of interest and develop further expertise in a specific field of work.

There are many industries, fields, and job titles that you can expand into, for example:

  • Basic science/lab research
  • Medicine
  • Agro sciences
  • Biology and chemistry education
  • Healthcare technology and business
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Mental health
  • Maternal and child health and nutrition
  • Clinical trials
  • Behavioral research

Where would I start looking if I wanted to start a postdoctoral fellowship?

There is a variety of funded postdoctoral fellowship fellowships available. Each program is run by a different organization that has its own requirements, funding sources, and logistics.

The amount of time required to complete an academic fellowship varies depending on the type of fellowship and the granting institution’s rules. A fellowship can take an additional  1 to 3 years of training.

How does a fellowship affect long-term career prospects?

  • Fellowships are merit-based and have a competitive application process, therefore on future resumes, the title of “Fellow” is seen as a position of prestige. Noting your specific fellowship accomplishments will put you on the forefront for future job prospects.
  • A fellowship can open up doors to a broader executive network, allowing for professionals in the same field to be introduced.  
  • Upon completing your fellowship, the institution may offer you a full-time position at the organization.
  • Having a prestigious, professional fellowship on your CV may put you in a position where you can negotiate future salary expectations.


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