A clinical fellowship for an SLP is the period of time between academic schooling and practicing clinically. The purpose of a CF program is to apply the knowledge you have gained in the classroom to real patients in a clinical setting. All clinical fellowships are done under the supervision of a mentor who will help you hone in your skills as an SLP to assess, diagnose, treat, and evaluate students and patients.
Choosing a Clinical Fellowship program can be a difficult decision for a speech-language pathologist. You have to weigh a lot of options to make sure you pick the right one. Here are some tips to help you choose the right Clinical Fellowship program for you.
What do Good Clinical Fellowship Speech Pathology Jobs Look Like?
When deciding where you are going to attend a clinical fellowship there are several things to consider. In short, there is no one perfect fellowship program since aspiring SLPs all have different career goals and needs. The first thing to consider is what setting you want to practice in. Are you more interested in working in schools with children or would rather be in a different healthcare facility like a hospital? Once you narrow that down you can look at other factors such as location, scheduling, and pay. Most clinical fellowship speech pathology jobs are paid since traditional working hours are typically required.
Lastly, one of the main things to consider is the mentor you will be working with. Have they had clinical fellowships in the past? How involved will they be in the mentoring process? These are just some of the questions you will need to ask yourself. Below is the in-depth list of important factors that you should consider:
Consider your specialty carefully.
The expertise you gain from your Clinical Fellowship will be highly specialized, so be sure you choose a subject you are not only interested in, but one that is in demand so you will be able to find employment later on.
Do your research.
Does the program you’re interested in offer references? Try to talk with people who have completed the program. Find out who will be mentoring you. Learn about the area and the institution to make sure they will be a good fit for you.
Determine how success will be measured.
Find out how your goals will be set and how the outcomes will be measured. How will your performance be evaluated? Will you be given feedback when you need improvement so you can make the necessary changes, or will you only find out when you are denied your Certificate of Clinical Competence?
Evaluate the benefits.
What sort of stipend or other compensation will you receive during your fellowship? Can you get health insurance? Will your Clinical Fellowship program lead to an offer of employment after completion? Will that employment is temporary or permanent? Do you get paid time off?
Ask about support.
What support services will be available to you during your fellowship? The program will be intense, so you need to know who you can turn to when you need support, advice, and guidance.
Preparing to Apply for an SLP Clinical Fellowship
Just like most jobs, you still need to apply for an SLP clinical fellowship program. After you have narrowed down the opportunities you want to apply for, there are several things you can do to stand out. First, create a resume that highlights all your pertinent experience. Your resume should also include a resume objective that is in line with the clinical fellowship program you are applying to. Having a letter of recommendation from a professor another speech-language pathologist is an awesome way to gain credibility and is often required. Lastly, once you have interviews lined up, make sure to practice, and more importantly, prepare questions that show you have done your research and are interested in finding the perfect fit.
By considering all of these things, you will be better able to make the right decision about the type of Clinical Fellowship program that is best for you.
If you have finished your clinical fellowship program and are looking for your first job as a practicing SLP, search ProCare Therapy’s SLP job page through the button below!