Letters To The Editor

In Reply to “Be Careful What We Call It”

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© 2020 Society of Hospital Medicine

I appreciate the input from Dr. Rauch regarding the terminology of “fellowship” in regards to APP postgraduate training programs.1 When researching these programs, the overwhelming majority we surveyed described themselves as fellowships. Because of this, we chose to use the same nomenclature. The survey we used was meant to explore and quantify certain discreet components of program creation and execution, and further study would be needed to shed light on how they name themselves.

While it is not known if the term “fellowship” in this context would be confusing to patients, it does seem that the ideal terminology has not yet been clarified. In 2014, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners released a position statement that, for NP postgraduate training programs, the term “fellowship” should be used above other terms.2 We were unable to find a similar position statement regarding postgraduate physician assistant training, but did note that the Association of Post-Graduate PA Programs website uses the terms “residency” and “fellowship” seemingly interchangeably.3 As most of the programs that we surveyed train mixed groups of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, developing unified language will be an important step in the future.


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