Welcome WCI Readers–>Fellowship: Worth the Return on Investment?

By Jimmy Turner, MD
The Physician Philosopher

This weeks Wednesday post is breaking from tradition (sorry, no Wellness Wednesday post this week).  The reason is that I have a guest post published on the White Coat Investor. It’s on a topic I am often asked about:  Is doing a fellowship worth it financially? So, today venture on over to WCI and determine the Fellowship Opportunity Cost.

To new visitors

This website focuses on trainees (students, residents/fellows) and medical professionals young in there career. If you want to know more about me, feel free to check out my About Page. My top ten posts are listed on my home page. If I had to give you one post to read, it would be this one.  It actually has nothing to do with money, but is vitally important. To read the whole guest post (including an awesome fellowship opportunity cost calculator that I made), travel over to White Coat Investor.

Below is an excerpt from my guest post:

I remember when I was trying to decide between doing a fellowship or not.  It can be an agonizing decision as you have finally started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It is difficult processing the idea that the tunnel may grow dark again before you begin to see the light.  There are many ways to think through this decision process, but today we are going to focus on the financial aspect:  Does a fellowship produce an adequate ROI? …Presumably, you chose to pursue a fellowship because you felt that particular subspecialty would accomplish one of a few things:
  1. Provide you more enjoyment than a generalist position
  2. Allow you to be an “Expert” in your particular niche (i.e. research or teaching)
  3. Access to a job you might not otherwise have received (i.e. often necessary in academia or filling a private practice need)
  4. Job Security from the future prevailing evils of a changing world in health care
If your reasons for choosing fellowship fall into one of the categories above, then really all that needs to be accomplished to meet an adequate ROI is to break even on your Opportunity Cost.
Read the rest of the post on WCI (and find the Opportunity Cost Calculator here) to determine how to calculate that opportunity cost and whether you’ll get your Return on Investment.  Please, feel free to leave a comment there.  I’d love to hear what people think about the post. We will be back to our normal posting schedule soon. TPP


  1. Mark Dias

    Always have great respect for doctors because of all the work and study required. I wanted my daughter whom we adopted from the foster care system to pursue a career as a doctor. She became a Registered Nurse instead and is the love of my life.

    • ThePhysicianPhilosopher

      Thanks. I appreciate that.

      Did your daughter ever consider becoming a CRNA? great job from a nursing background.


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