Becoming a Neonatal-Perinatal Fellow is no easy to task. After all the schooling to get to the point of becoming a fellow, the student has to land a fellowship in their preferred specialty. The tips shared below are from Dr. Patrick Myers who is a fellowship program director.

Medical and Real Life Experience
Something that fellowship directors are looking for on applications is a combination of real-life experience and medical experience. This is great for applicants who may not have taken a traditional path to get to their Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship.

One example of a life experience that looks great on an application is a gap year where the applicant works as a chief or hospitalist. This allows the applicant to work face to face with patients in a clinical setting. Additionally, the applicant gains experience working as a member of a team in the hospital. Patrick goes as far as to say that this experience is a “gold mine” when it comes to applying for a fellowship.

Know your Path
The applicant needs to know what path they want to go down after the fellowship. If the applicant has a change of heart, it is two years that were spent headed in the wrong direction. For some applicants, this may mean taking an intentional gap year to gain experience in the field before applying for a fellowship. This is a win-win situation because the experience will enhance their application and they will feel confident in their path following the fellowship.

Important Skills
While skills will vary from person to person, there are a few skills that are consistently desired among applicants for neonatal-perinatal fellows. One important skill is problem-solving. Neonatal-Perinatal Fellows will be faced with a host of problems that need solving each day that they report to work. Additionally, the fellow will need to work with other specialties within the hospital. This means that communication skills are another must-have. Planning skills are also essential for a successful fellowship experience. These skills will be evident based on prior experience and performance in an interview setting. Additionally, these skills will be helpful in a career when the days of fellowship are in the distant past.