Applying to a nephrology fellowship program can be a daunting task. The programs are often very competitive and having a complete application can make a difference between becoming a member this year or not. Although there are some differences between each nephrology institution, most application processes are very similar.
All institutions require a medical degree, and a medical license in order to be considered for any medical fellowship program.
The majority of medical institutions will also require that you submit at least the following documents as part of the application:
- Completed ERAS common application form
- Three letters of recommendation
- A Nephrology Personal Statement
- ECFMG (if applicable)
When you start your application process, here are some key things to keep in mind:
- Give your recommendations time to write the recommendation letter.
Don’t wait last minute to ask for a letter. Give your professors and employers enough time to personalize it and edit it before handing it to you. This is another chance for the faculty to learn more about you and what you have accomplished. The last thing that you want is to submit a standardized recommendation letter that will tell them very little about what others think of your work.
Lastly, don’t be shy to ask your recommendations for details in your letter.
- Rewrite your resume specifically for the application.
Make sure that the resume is no more than two pages long. Provide relevant information that pertains to nephrology and the fellowship program. Remove any old experiences that may cause noise in the application and make sure that you use proper formatting for easy reading. It is also recommended that you use a professional editor to help you create a proper resume.
- Your past experiences are important, but not as much as your plans for the future.
The main purpose of a nephrology fellowship program is to better yourself in the field of nephrology and become a professional nephrologist. The faculty will want to read about your plans in nephrology in your application. Don’t spend too much time on what you have done, but rather on what you are planning to accomplish during the program and after completing it.
- The personal statement can be one of the most important documents you submit.
The rest of the paperwork will be standard forms, documents, and transcripts that the faculty has seen time and time again. The nephrology personal statement is what will set you apart from the competition. It is a chance for you to tell the faculty why you are the best candidate for a fellow position, and what you would like to do with your career after you complete the program.
Make sure that you include fact such as why you are interested in nephrology. These details can go a long way in determining if you are fellow material or not. Often, faculties want to see a candidate who is looking for a long-term career in nephrology.
Here is an example of powerful personal statement opening:
“In the sixth grade, I took a test to see if I was left -or right -brained. To my elementary eyes,the result of that quiz would be the truth from on high—are solute word that would define them an to come as either analytic or artistic.”
This is a statement about the applicant written in a powerful and inspiring way. It is an excellent beginning to an application that will leave the reviewer wanting more. Read the full letter here.
- Have a former nephrology fellow to review your application.
If you have friends or colleagues in the field who have already completed a fellowship program, ask them to review the application before submitting it. This is an excellent way to iron out the final details and get feedback from someone who has gone through the process. They will be able to point out things that faculty likes to see and help you remove any noise in the application.
- Get a friend or grammar professional to read over the application.
After all final checks are done, make sure that you run it through someone who has a keeneye for grammatical errors and punctuation. Make sure that the application reads smoothly and there are no misspelled words. The last thing you want is to be rejected from a fellowship program because the competition had better grammar.
Above all, make sure that you take your time during the application process. Always be aware of the deadlines and give yourself enough time to get all the paperwork together. Being humble and honest in your personal statement will go a long way in standing out from the competition.