Considering a Fellowship?
Fellowships present the opportunity for advanced training and further specialization within the field of foot and ankle surgery.
Typically one year in duration, a fellowship is normally initiated following completion of a residency training program. However, some doctors pursue a fellowship and specialized training after being in practice. Fellowships typically offer specific and advanced training in these broad but not limited to:
- Advanced Rearfoot Reconstruction
- Diabetic Limb Salvage
- Sports Medicine
A fellowship should be considered by those who would like a complement or supplement to their residency training, those who plan to practice within an academic setting, or those who are interested in highly specialized practices.
For the typical model, those interested in pursuing a fellowship should begin looking in earnest during the second year of their residency training. Application requirements and deadlines are individualized to each program. Please review each program's webpage to learn about the process. Residents who are interested should begin gathering information as soon as possible, ask as many questions about the process as possible and find an experienced mentor who has been through it before.
How to Find a Program?
Currently there are three sources to locate a fellowship:
- ACFAS Status Programs
ACFAS manages a list of fellowships that have been granted status with the College. These programs are monitored on an annual basis to be sure they are meeting a list of minimal criteria. All ACFAS-status programs accept a standard fellowship application as the first phase of application. To view the full list, you must either be an ACFAS member with an existing acfas.org login or create a non-ACFAS member account before viewing the list. Create a non-ACFAS member login account now.
- CPME-Approved Programs
The Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) approves fellowships and has a listing on their website. Programs with CPME approval are all led through a hospital or academic health center. CPME approval requires and initial site visit and follow up visitations, yearly oversight and review by CPME.
- Independent Fellowships
There are also many independent foot and ankle fellowships that have oversight by a specific hospital, group, or fellowship director. These are found by word of mouth and internet searching.
Sample Timeline of Processes
Below is an example of the timeline you will follow during your residency when seeking a fellowship. These processes vary from one program to another – be sure you communicate with the programs to understand their individual schedules:
- Summer between first and second year of residency
Seek letters of recommendation and finalize your CV.
- Fall second year of residency
Use your contacts/director’s contacts, communicate with former residents, people you met at conferences etc. to gather information about the varying fellowships.
- Attend the College’s Annual Scientific Conference as a resident
Speak to fellowship directors and current/former fellows about their experiences. The annual Fellowship Breakfast Fair is a great place to gather information and make contacts.
- Winter/Spring/Summer of second year of residency
Make plans to visit programs: email programs after the conference and ask set up a visit.
- Spring/Summer of second year of residency
Submit applications to the programs you are interested in attending. ACFAS has a standard fellow application all programs accept as their first round of applicant screening. Keep in mind that deadlines vary.
- Fall of third year of residency
Fellowship programs hold formal interviews.