The faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology are committed to the training of physicians and scientists in the specialty fields of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. This commitment encompasses education of medical students, residents, fellows, and fully trained physicians in practice. Our curriculum covers fellowship, that period of training which follows residency in internal medicine, for physician trainees. [The Division also offers training to holders of advanced degrees in the sciences (usually Ph.D. degrees in biologic sciences) who wish to pursue research that is relevant to gastrointestinal, pancreatic, and hepatobiliary medicine.]
Our training program comprises two categories of fellowship: Physician-Scientist and Clinician-Teacher. These pathways cover the following six basic skills that are to be mastered by trainees:
- Knowledge base of anatomy, physiology, nutrition, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, and pharmacology that is relevant to the specialty;
- Clinical care of hospitalized patients with disease;
- Technical aspects of gastroenterology/hepatology practice; including endoscopic procedures and liver and other tissue biopsies;
- Ambulatory care skills (including disease prevention and screening)
- Research training; and
- Ancillary skills geared to each trainee's career plans.
All trainees will participate in clinical research training to understand the process of generating new knowledge in Medicine. Trainees will work with one or more mentor(s) through their 3 to 5 year program to achieve a good grasp of addressing clinically relevant questions with scientific rigor, and have first hand experience in analyzing and presenting scientific data. The program is committed to providing the trainee with protected time to focus on a selected topic of special training on a rotational basis in all of our teaching institutions.
Specialized areas of training embedded within the fellowship include:
- GI Pathology – where trainees will learn the techniques of preparing tissue sections, special histochemical and immunocytochemical staining methods, as well as interpretation of morphological structures in various disease states.
- GI Radiology – where trainees will learn the principles and methods of imaging including abdominal plain films, ultrasonography, CT scan, MRI and PET. They will be able to study how to interpret imaging results with expert GI radiologists.
- Specialized Clinics - where patients presenting with a defined disorders are cared for by a focused and concentrated effort and expertise. These training scenarios afford unique opportunities to benefit the trainees in the following areas: Hepatology Liver Transplantation, - where patients presenting with a defined disorders are cared for by a focused and concentrated effort and expertise. These training scenarios afford unique opportunities to benefit the trainees in the following areas: Hepatology Liver Transplantation, Advanced Endoscopy, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Functional GI and Motility Disorders, and , and Gastrointestinal Problems in Oncology Patients.
Two Levels of Training
Physicians who enter fellowship already have substantial knowledge in most of these areas that serves as a base for further learning. The fellowship in Gastroenterology has two levels of training, level I for general gastroenterology and hepatology, and level II for more complex and difficult diagnoses and procedures. Fellows progress to level II training after demonstrating competence in general gastroenterology and hepatology.
Our curriculum is largely based upon the Gastroenterology Core Curriculum, developed by the major gastroenterology societies. The Third Edition of this Core Curriculum was published in May 2007, and our curriculum has been updated to reflect these changes. The fellowship adheres to the program requirements of the ACGME as specified by the RRC for gastroenterology.
Fellows routinely interact and teach medical students, internal medicine residents, and surgery residents on the inpatient and outpatient services. As third years, fellows participate in the medical school gut course helping lead small group sessions for medical students.
Endoscopy training starts during orientation when incoming fellows have the opportunity to practice on an endoscopic medical simulator. Fellows get their feet wet and start endoscopy on the first day of fellowship. Skills are honed via the American society for gastrointestinal endoscopy (ASGE) endoscopy course in Chicago. This is a two day course at the ASGE headquarters in Chicago run by experienced faculty around the country focusing on hand on training. Endoscopy training starts during orientation when incoming fellows have the opportunity to practice on an endoscopic medical simulator. Fellows get their feet wet and start endoscopy on the first day of fellowship. Skills are honed via the American society for gastrointestinal endoscopy (ASGE) endoscopy course in Chicago. This is a two day course at the ASGE headquarters in Chicago run by experienced faculty around the country focusing on hand on training. Skills are developed and consolidated throughout fellowship. Seniors fellows participate in advanced endoscopic procedures and rotate through high volume ambulatory surgical centers.
Fellows have protected time each Friday to attend the department’s Frontiers in Gastroenterology and Hepatology conference. Each year starts with an “Emergency Lecture Series” that focuses on the basics in gastroenterology for the first year GI fellows. As the year progresses, the focus shifts to the latest advances in gastroenterology and hepatology. Fellows frequently participate in the conferences presenting morbidity, mortality, and management talks and journal article reviews. Prominent guest speakers give presentations on a quarterly basis. Fellows get the opportunity to get dinner with the speaker at a fellows only event at a local restaurant the night prior.