Clinical Training

Outstanding master clinicians are at the center of the clinical training portion for our fellowship program. Our clinical training program is designed to give all our fellows a strong clinical foundation by exposing them to a diverse patient population with complex gastrointestinal disorders.  The fellowship program is structured in 4 week rotation blocks (total of 39 blocks over 3 years) and is designed to provide a comprehensive GI training experience. During the first year of training, emphasis is placed on acquiring basic endoscopy skills and developing a firm foundation in clinical gastroenterology.

First year fellows spend a significant portion of time learning upper endoscopy, colonoscopy and video capsule endoscopy in our high volume endoscopy unit. Over the following two years, time is allotted to learn more advanced general GI procedures including therapeutic endoscopy (variceal banding, electrocoagulation, hemoclipping), small bowel enteroscopy (including double balloon enteroscopy) esophageal dilation, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy placement and esophageal pH/motility interpretation.  Exposure to advanced GI procedures including endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is provided to all fellows but a 4th year of training will be required for hands-on training in ERCP and EUS.  In some cases, fellows interested in pursuing a 4th year of advanced endoscopy training may be afforded the opportunity for hands-on training during their 3rd year at the discretion of our advanced endoscopy faculty.

A variety of rotations have been created to provide outstanding clinical teaching and to impart a nuanced understanding of the subdisciplines within gastroenterology. These rotations are staffed by leading experts in their field and are dedicated to modeling clinical excellence at the bedside. Fellows spend time on the following services at The University of Chicago Medicine: GI Consults, Hepatology, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Nutrition, Endoscopy, Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy and Ambulatory Gastroenterology.  Fellows may also rotate offsite at Weiss Memorial Hospital to broaden their educational experience in a community based setting.  Our rotations are designed to provide a balanced inpatient and outpatient learning experience reflective of real world GI practice.  All fellows participate in one half day of continuity clinic throughout the three-year fellowship.  The first year fellow continuity clinic is a general GI clinic and the fellow may select a more specialized continuity clinic during their second and third year.

Each fellow receives a yearly stipend for academic development that can be used for conference travel or software/hardware. Most fellows attend at least 3-5 national conferences over the 3 years where they are strongly encouraged to present their research.  Additionally, special conferences targeting fellows as well as away rotations are available through the program director and a significant number of our fellows in recent years have taken advantage of these opportunities.

Our clinical training program is designed to give all our fellows a robust exposure to the full spectrum of gastroenterology; though significant flexibility is built in the program to allow for academic pursuits and more in-depth exposure to sub-disciplines depending on fellow needs. Below is a sample of how fellowship is structured.

Rotation Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
GI Procedures 2 blocks 0-1 block 1 block
IBD 2 blocks 0-1 block 0-1 block
Hepatology 2 blocks 0-1 block 0-1 block
Nutrition 1-2 blocks 0-1 block 0-1 block
GI Consults 1 block 3-4 blocks 3-4 blocks
Ambulatory 1 block 0-1 block 0-1 block
Biliary 0-1 block 0-1 block 0-1 block
Outpatient Clinic All year (1/2 day per week) All year (1/2 day per week) All year (1/2 day per week)
Weiss Hospital/Off Site Elective 0-1 block 0-1 block 0-1 block
Research (T32 have more) At least 2 blocks Total 9-18 blocks over 3 yrs Total 9-18 blocks over 3 yrs
Vacation 1 block 1 block  1 block