Do You get Paid During Medical Fellowship? – Fellowship Doctor Salary!

Medical fellowships, postgraduate training programs that offer physicians an opportunity to specialize in a particular area of medicine, play a critical role in the healthcare sector. Fellows gain exposure to cutting-edge procedures, clinical research, and expert mentorship, contributing to their professional growth and the broader healthcare system’s development. However, a question often surfaces in discussions about medical fellowships is whether fellows get paid during this period. While the answer is often yes, the nature and amount of compensation can vary, creating a nuanced economic landscape.

In the previous article, we wrote about how to check if my medical is active online. In this, we will write about medical fellowship.

Medical Fellowship example

Do you get paid during the medical fellowship?

Yes, medical fellowship is usually paid, and Fellowship Doctor’s Salary is between $55 000 and $75 000 a year, depending on working hours, fellowship year, institution, etc. However, some fellows do not receive salaries but receive grants, stipends, or unpaid tuition-based education.

In the majority of cases, medical fellows are paid. As part of the healthcare hierarchy, medical fellows fall between residents and attending physicians. Reflecting their intermediate status, their average yearly compensation typically ranges from $55,000 to $75,000, contingent on several variables. The location and prestige of the institution, the specific medical field, the fellowship’s year, and the hours worked all play a role in determining this figure. Some fellowships might pay more due to their intense work hours and demanding responsibilities. For instance, surgical fellowships often offer higher compensation due to the rigorous and time-intensive nature of the training.

The payment during the fellowship period serves a crucial purpose. It recognizes the value of the fellow’s work within the healthcare system, which goes beyond their learning and extends to patient care. It also helps offset the financial burden of long years of medical education, helping fellows manage living costs and student loan repayments.

Grants, Stipends, and Unpaid Tuition-Based Education

However, the economic structure of medical fellowships is not uniform. While salaries are typical, some fellows receive financial support through grants and stipends. The difference lies in these payments. While salaries are regular payments for the service rendered, grants and stipends are typically allocated funds designed to cover specific costs associated with the fellowship.

Grants usually come from funding bodies such as the National Institutes of Health, private foundations, and universities. In addition, they are often tied to research-based fellowships, where fellows spend a significant proportion of their time on research projects. These grants cover research costs and contribute to the fellow’s livelihood.

Stipends, however, are predetermined amounts paid periodically to cover living expenses. Unlike salaries, they do not directly correspond to the hours worked or the services provided. Instead, they are designed to support the fellow’s financial needs, recognizing the demands of their role and the difficulties of maintaining a regular job.

Medical fellowships might not offer direct financial compensation but provide tuition-based education in certain circumstances. These fellowships cover the cost of continuing education, offering immense value despite the lack of a regular paycheck. Such arrangements often exist in highly academic or research-intensive fields.

What is the medical Fellowship Salary based on the fellowship year?

  • The Fellowship salary for fellowship year 1 is between $55000 to $75000.
  • The Fellowship salary for fellowship year 2 is between $57000 to $73000.
  • The Fellowship salary for fellowship year 3 is between $58000 to $76000.
  • The Fellowship salary for fellowship year four or more is between $62000 to $80000.

Fellowship salary can be different based on the medical department. For example, the fellowship salary in neurology ranges from $68000 up to $90000 based on the fellowship year, but in summary, it is more than 10% bigger than the average fellowship salary.

The data outlines the average annual salaries for medical fellows across four years or more of fellowship. Upon inspection, there is an exciting trend that warrants closer analysis.

Initial Year versus Subsequent Years

The salary range in the first year of the fellowship is $55,000 to $75,000. This wide range suggests variability across different medical specialties and institutions and the potential for higher pay even at the beginning of fellowship training. Moreover, it reflects the fundamental value of a medical fellow’s contribution to the healthcare system and their demand across various specialties.

However, by the second year, there’s a slight shift in the salary range from $57,000 to $73,000. Interestingly, the minimum salary increased by $2,000, reflecting an expected rise in pay with growing experience. However, the upper limit decreased by $2,000. This contraction might suggest that fellows in their second year are more likely to be paid within a narrower band. The causes could be numerous – a potential decrease in working hours due to a more focused training plan, increased research commitments, or the possibility of less variability between different institutions and specialties as the fellows progress in their training.

Salary Growth with Experience

The salary range for the third year is $58,000 to $76,000. This continues the trend of increasing the minimum salary, reflecting the fellow’s growing skills and contributions to patient care. The upper limit also rebounds, surpassing the first year’s maximum salary. It could suggest a recognition of increased professional value as fellows further specialize and take on more advanced roles within their respective fields.

The salary ranges from $62,000 to $80,000 for those in their fourth year or beyond. This reveals a considerable leap in both the lower and upper limits. The widening salary range may reflect a more significant differentiation based on the level of expertise, specialty, and institutional factors. This progression aligns with the increasing responsibility and advanced knowledge required from fellows as they move closer to becoming fully independent practitioners.

In our articles, you can learn about Fellowship Doctor Salary and see Pediatric Surgery Fellowships List. I gave answer on Do You Get Paid During Medical School and overall Do You Get Paid During the Fellowship. Please read How Long Is Pediatric Surgery Fellowship and understand the differences between Residency vs. Fellowship.

Interesting questions:

Which country is best for medical residency?

The US is the best country for medical residency because of excellent fellowship/residency programs, high salaries, well-known universities, and medical institutions. Additionally, Canada, the UK, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand are excellent choices for residency because their systems and conditions are similar to the US.


The economic fabric of medical fellowships is a complex tapestry woven from various threads. While salaries form a significant part of the landscape, they coexist with grants, stipends, and tuition-based benefits. This assortment reflects fellows’ diverse roles within the healthcare system—as learners, caregivers, and researchers.

The financial aspects of medical fellowships also underscore the challenges inherent in medical training, particularly the financial strain it can place on individuals. As we move forward, we must continue examining and refining these economic structures, ensuring they serve the healthcare system’s needs and the fellows dedicating years of their lives to the pursuit of specialized medical knowledge and practice.

There’s a gradual rise in the minimum salary, reflecting the increasing value of the fellows’ services. However, the upper limit demonstrates a more complex trajectory, possibly reflecting the evolving demands of the fellowship, the individual’s specialty, and the nature of their institution. This analysis provides a fascinating glimpse into the economic structure of medical fellowships and the financial journey of a fellow from their first year to their fourth and beyond.


Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel:

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