APP Fellowship FAQ
What is an APP Fellowship Program?
In short, the APP Fellowship programs are structured programs that will provide clinical hands-on experience combined with an academic structure to help the fellow become a stronger APP. The schedule includes clinical time (which will be most of the time), as well as time blocked off for academics. The average schedule is expected to be about 50 to 60 hours per week depending on the specialty of the fellowship.
The program is designed to emulate physician post-graduate training, to include regular assessments of clinical performance and mentoring. The didactic portion of the program includes assigned self-study modules as well as weekly “Academic Half Day” activities which may include case presentations, journal club, case-based learning, personalized mentoring, and others.
The Lee Health APP Fellowship Programs are not intended to emulate or replace traditional didactic education that is delivered in graduate training programs. The APP Fellowship Programs are designed to build on the fundamental knowledge that the APP gained from their initial training through hands-on clinical experiences with patients as well as mentoring provided by clinicians at the practice site and weekly meetings with APP Fellowship faculty.
View more details regarding the individual fellowship program in which you are interested.
What are the admission requirements for the fellowship program?
- Be a graduate of an accredited NP/PA program (ARC-PA, ACEN, CCNE as appropriate)
- Be certified by the National Commission on Certification for Physician Assistants (NCCPA), American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) as appropriate
- Be licensed to practice and prescribe as an APRN or PA in Florida.
- Candidates may apply while still enrolled in school. However, certification, licensing, and credentialing requirements must be completed expeditiously as directed to ensure timely matriculation into the program.
- Be committed to timely compliance with Lee Health Human Resources and Medical Staff requirements for obtaining privileges and onboarding
Applicants must submit the following:
- Complete and electronically signed copy of the application form located HERE.
- Transcripts from APRN/PA training program
- Minimum three letters of professional reference emailed directly to the program from the individual writing the letter
- One must be the director of the NP/PA/CMN program attended
- Highly recommend one from a clinical preceptor
- Highly recommend one from a clinical faculty or mentor
- Current CV/Resume
- Personal Statement describing why you are interested in being admitted to the program.
- Additional documentation as requested.
Note: Applications are not considered complete until all requested documents are submitted. Applicants are responsible for ensuring all required documents are submitted, including letters of recommendation.
What is the fellowship day-to-day schedule like?
Our APP fellows practice within their primary site for the majority of their training. Their patient volume will increase throughout the fellowship. They also participate in didactics, specialty electives, research projects, and other training opportunities.
For primary care, the schedule will typically involve weekdays and one Saturday per month. There may be night and/or weekend telemedicine call later on during the program. Each fellow’s schedule may vary depending on the schedule of the mentor and clinical practice. Therefore, it is not possible to include specific hours in this answer, but primary care fellows will be expected to work up to 50 hours per week on average, including protected academic time.
For surgery and critical care, the schedule may include weekdays and weekends as well as holidays. The surgery schedule may include call, while the critical care schedule will include night shifts. Critical care fellows will work shifts that are approximately 12 hours in length. Surgery fellows’ daily hours will vary depending on the OR schedule and number of patients on the service. As with primary care, the fellow’s responsibilities will increase as the program progresses.
Academic time is blocked off for fellows, every week. This time is reserved for education and may include time for self-study, elective clinic time, journal club, case presentations, case-based learning, mentoring, oral exams, and so on. This protected academic time will be time away from direct patient care activity. There will be more protected academic time at the beginning of the program, and less as the year progresses.
Fellows should note that the concept of “Academic Time” does not mean that the fellow will not or should not study at home on days off.
Does the program follow the ACGME guidelines for the evaluation of trainee competency?
It should be noted that while our APP fellowship programs are inspired by ACGME requirements, these requirements are intended for post-graduate physician education programs only. The program plans to apply for accreditation from nursing and PA organizations in the future.
Is the fellowship program accredited?
The APP Fellowship Programs are being structured with accreditation requirements in mind and we plan to seek accreditation in the near future.
What credential does the fellow receive upon completion of the program?
The fellow will receive a certificate of completion from Lee Health, signed by program leadership.
How long is the program?
The program is one-year long. The fellow who completes program requirements may transition to continued employment with Lee Health in a regular APP position or may choose to seek other professional opportunities. We will assist the successful fellow in obtaining continued employment with Lee Health during the latter months of the program.
Does the fellowship program lead to continued employment at Lee Health as an APP upon graduation?
Fellows who complete the program requirements are offered continued employment with Lee Health upon graduation from the program. If a position within the program specialty is not available, we will work with the fellow to find a suitable position as an APP within the system.
Is the fellow obligated to remain at Lee Health after the completion of the program?
No, there is no obligation to remain with Lee Health after program completion.
What if my training program graduation date does not align with the start date of the fellowship program?
We can be flexible within reason but prefer candidates that are able to fall within our desired timeline. Please contact us so that we can discuss further.
Does the fellowship program have a sufficient quantity of physicians, APPs, and other providers to train a fellow taking into consideration his or her level of experience and comprehension? Are they willing to take time to teach at the fellow’s level of understanding?
Yes. We make sure that each fellow receives the best possible learning experience. Our team of APPs and physicians is dedicated to high-quality education and has a passion for teaching. We understand the need for learning at the appropriate level. Our commitment is to develop a highly competent APP.
How much is the stipend?
The stipend is based on the salary of a resident physician PGY-3 and is reviewed yearly based on market analysis.
Do I receive benefits?
Fellows are considered full-time employees of Lee Health and therefore will be eligible for full employee benefits.
How are the fellows evaluated?
Fellows are assessed in multiple ways on their progress toward attaining program learning outcomes. This includes assessing clinical knowledge and performance, professionalism and progress through the program. The mentor will evaluate the fellow monthly, as will the program leadership. Evaluations are based on personal observation. Oral examinations are also performed regularly. Fellows are also evaluated on their clinical documentation.
With whom will I interview?
Applicants will interview with the APP Fellowship Program leadership and possibly members of the clinical mentor team from the fellowship specialty, depending on their availability.
What characteristics will the ideal candidate possess?
The ideal candidate is a highly motivated APP that exhibits maturity and professionalism. This APP comes highly recommended by their school/program leadership and by the individuals writing their letters of recommendation. The recommenders are ideally clinicians who worked closely with the candidate over a long period. The applicant is well-aligned with the mission, vision, and values of Lee Health and is passionate about education and life-long learning.
How many hours will I work per week?
The work hours are variable for each program. As this is an educationally-focused post-graduate program, the hours will be demanding. In general, 50 to 60 hours per week between clinical hours and didactic/learning hours are expected. The specific schedule will be communicated to the fellow in advance.
Primary care fellows are scheduled mainly during the week, with one weekend day per month required. There may be occasional night call later in the program. Total work hours including protected academic time may average up to 50 hours weekly.
Surgery fellows are scheduled mainly during the day, with some weekends and night call required. Total work hours may average up to 50 – 60 hours weekly.
Critical care fellows will have a rotating schedule that will include days, nights, and weekends. Total hours may average up to 60 hours weekly.
Surgery and critical care fellows will be expected to work some holidays.
I have specific scheduling needs. Can these be negotiated? I might have some issues with working scheduled hours.
The schedule is generally non-negotiable, outside of paid time off (PTO) requests. Because of the nature of the program, the fellow must be available to work to maximize his/her educational and professional growth. If the applicant anticipates that she or he will not be able to work assigned hours, this fellowship program might not be a good fit.
While in fellowship training, am I allowed to moonlight or work outside of the program requirements?
We highly discourage picking up moonlighting shifts or having another job during the training year.
What are the next steps after the interview?
After all the interviews are completed, the applicants will be notified of their acceptance status. Admission into the APP Fellowship Programs is competitive. There are more applicants than positions available.
It should be noted that each applicant must fill out an application HERE and the Lee Health application HERE and complete all application requirements including all letters of recommendation. Completion of all parts of the HR and Website application and receipt of all application materials is mandatory before an offer can be extended.
Candidates who are selected will then be required to promptly initiate the onboarding process for HR and medical staff credentialing so that the fellow may begin the program approximately 90 days after acceptance.
Candidates who are not initially selected will be put on a waitlist. If an initially selected candidate declines their offer or if they are unable to complete the onboarding process as directed, the program may extend offers to candidates from the waitlist.
Once all positions have been filled and selected candidates have completed the onboarding process, any remaining candidates who are on the waitlist will be notified that the positions have been filled and they are no longer under consideration.