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What is the difference between a residency and a fellowship?

Given the fact that after earning an M.D. in order to specialize in a specific doctor's field you have to go through a program to gain certification, the terms residency and fellowship have both been mentioned and I, as a result, don't know the difference between the two. #doctor #residency #certifications #fellowships

Thank you comment icon Hello, The main difference between residency & Fellowship is - Residency is done after graduation and internship while Fellowship is done after residency. Residency is additional training on an individual’s chosen field of specialization while Fellowship is further training on his specialization. Divya
Thank you comment icon Thank you very much for the clarification Divya!! Nada
Thank you comment icon You’re welcome! :) Divya

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Aijaz’s Answer


Residency is normally undertaken by all medical students after graduation and completion of internship and is a kind of training that is done under the supervision of senior and experienced doctors. Those doing residency start getting a salary as it is to encourage medical students to enhance their knowledge to provide better and specialized care to their patients. Residency is aimed at helping medical students develop better skills in diagnosis of patients and also expertise in better treatment. After completing residency, a student gets the certificate of being a clinical specialist.


Fellowship is undertaken after residency. Fellowship is always optional and depends upon the individual student. In general, fellowship is a training that is required if a student wishes to become a teacher in his chosen field of specialization or is working in a large hospital. For example, if a medical graduate has done his residency in cardiology, he may choose to do fellowship in academic cardiology as well. This kind of specialization is similar to PhD. Degree that students get in arts and social science subjects, thus enabling to take the profession of teaching. Fellowship is also funded by the government to encourage medical students to take up jobs in the academic field.

Thank you comment icon Thanks for the clarification Aijaz! This helped a lot!! Nada