What does “Fellowship Trained” really Mean?

August 10, 2012

As physicians and surgeons, we complete several important and lengthy steps in training. This begins with undergraduate college education, moving on to medical school education and then on to residency training. Residency training typically involves a 1-year internship, which provides a broad based experience in all aspects of medicine and then continues on to specific residency training in the field of interest; family medicine, orthopedics, general surgery, etc. For some specialties,residency is the final step in training after which one begins their medical practice. In many surgical specialties, there is one more step of subspecialty training to achieve added competency and experience. This is the one-year fellowship. The purpose is to sub-specialize and master a specific area of medicine or surgery, to become expert in that field. Fellowships will have strong components of clinical and surgical experience as well as research. The concentrated and dynamic experiences learned in a 1-year fellowship typically take years (and maybe never) to achieve in private practice. “Fellowship Trained” means the surgeon or physician has shown the highest level of dedication to that field and achieved the highest level of training. OFAC is unique in the world in that we have 4 fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeons coming from allopathic, osteopathic and podiatric backgrounds.
We are proud to provide this expert level of training to 3 surgeons from around the country each year through our fellowship program. In addition, we frequently host visiting surgeons from around the world coming here to learn the specialty of foot and ankle surgery. So, when considering a Foot and Ankle Surgeon for yourself, a patient, friend, family member or colleague, consider if the provider is “one-year Fellowship Trained”.
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