How to Choose a Sleep Medicine Fellowship

If you are searching for a fellowship that provides you with the support, opportunities and resources you need to develop as a sleep medicine specialist, we recommend looking for a program with eight specific attributes.

Top Characteristics of Superior Fellowships

Solid reputation

You can identify a high quality fellowship by investigating the standing of its:

Breadth of clinical and technical training

Respectable sleep medicine fellowships give you plenty of clinical and technical exposure. Your program should prepare you for practice by providing a variety of experiences in diverse training settings. Choose a fellowship that exposes you to both pediatric and adult patient populations. You should receive on-site technical training about the multi-parametric and diagnostic tests used in sleep studies.

Interdisciplinary exposure

A major component of a strong sleep fellowship program is interdisciplinary experience. Select a program that increases your knowledge of other specialties pertinent to sleep medicine, such as psychiatry, otolaryngology and dental sleep medicine. You’ll benefit from a fellowship that gives you firsthand exposure to subspecialty training sites, clinics and experts.

Optional research

Choose a program that gives you the option to pursue research and become involved in designing and performing studies. Your fellowship should expose you to research conferences, teach you about the publication process and encourage you to present your research at national meetings. If your aspiration is to embark on full-time clinical practice rather than academic pursuits, your fellowship should support your goals by allowing you to use research-designated time for clinical activities.

Diverse peers

Effective training programs accept fellows from a variety of medical backgrounds. Confirm that your program has a record of admitting applicants from specialties ranging from family medicine to psychiatry. When you and your fellow trainee come from disparate fields, you are able to learn more from each other and you’ll have opportunities to begin considering sleep medicine from a new perspective.

Quality of mentorship

Select a fellowship with a low fellow-to-faculty ratio. Although being accepted to smaller programs is often difficult and competitive, enrolling in a program that has fewer fellows can mean you’ll receive more personal attention from faculty. Structured, individualized mentorship is a key element of a valuable fellowship. Moreover, your mentors should be engaged in patient care, scholarly activity and teaching. Confirm that faculty research is supported by extramural funding.

Situated in a livable city

It’s important you feel at home both in and outside of your training program. Avoid applying for sleep fellowships in cities that fail to meet your living needs. Our fellowship is located in a place that boasts:

High board exam pass rates

Your fellowship should thoroughly prepare you for the American Board of Internal Medicine certification exam. Verify that the majority of your program’s graduates have passed the exam. If your program has a high pass rate, it’s likely it will help you develop the knowledge, diagnostic reasoning and clinical judgment skills expected of sleep medicine specialists. Moreover, your program's graduates should be embarking on productive academic and clinical careers.