Department of Medicine

Gastroenterology Fellowship Curriculum and Call

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The Gastroenterology Fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine offers the Academic Clinical Track and the Research Track.

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Academic Clinical Track

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The clinical track is a three-year program for fellows who intend to enter clinical academic practice upon completion of the training program. The emphasis is on clinical gastroenterology and hepatology with the opportunity for more formal clinical research training.

The fellowship program is based at several hospitals and clinics, including Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Ben Taub Hospital, and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. These training sites provide diverse experiences in different clinical environments.

Each academic year is divided into 12 rotations, and each rotation is one month long.

First Year Rotations

Ben Taub Consult Service: Five months. This service takes care of general gastroenterology, advanced endoscopy and non-transplant hepatology consults. This is a combined rotation of consults and endoscopy. Two to three first year fellows are assigned each month. First year fellows alternate days between taking new consults and doing endoscopy. The census of the service is 15-25 patients total, average of 5-7 new consults daily. There is usually one resident assigned to the rotation.

VA Consult Service: Four months. This service takes care of general gastroenterology and advanced endoscopy consults. There is a separate team for hepatology consults at the VA. This is a combined rotation of consults and endoscopy. Two first year fellows are assigned each month. First year fellows alternate days between taking new consults and doing endoscopy. The census of the service is 10-15 patients total, average of 2-5 new consults daily. There is usually one resident assigned to the rotation.

Baylor St. Luke’s GI Consult Service: Two months. This service takes care of only general gastroenterology consults. There are separate teams for hepatology and biliary-pancreatic consults at Baylor St. Luke’s. This is a combined rotation of consults and endoscopy. One first year fellow and one second year fellow are assigned each month. The fellows alternate days between taking new consults and doing endoscopy. The census of the service is 20-30 patients total, average of 4-8 new consults daily. There are usually two residents assigned to the rotation.

VA First Year Endoscopy: One month. This is a dedicated endoscopy month with two half-days of subspecialty clinic. There is limited inpatient responsibilities, and no weekdays or weekends call during this rotation

Second Year Rotations

Ben Taub Senior: Two-Three months. Two second- or third-year fellows are assigned each month. The senior fellows spends most of the time performing endoscopies. In addition to endoscopy, the senior fellow also supports the first-year fellows with the consult service and participates in rounds with teaching responsibilities.

VA Senior: Two-Three months. One second- or third-year fellow is assigned each month. The senior fellow spends most of the time performing endoscopies in the endoscopy suite at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. In addition to endoscopy, the senior fellow also supports the first-year fellows with the consult service and participates in rounds with teaching responsibilities

Baylor St. Luke’s Transplant Hepatology Service: Two months. This service manages hepatology consults at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. This is a clinical rotation where fellows gain exposure to pre- and post- transplant hepatology and advanced liver management. The liver transplant service participates in an average of 75-90 liver transplants per year.

Third Year Rotations

VA Endoscopy: One month. The third-year fellow spends time performing endoscopies in the endoscopy suite at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. This is a dedicated rotation to allow focused training on general endoscopy, with subspecialty clinic and limited inpatient responsibilities.

VA Hepatology Service: This service takes care of hepatology consults and inpatient hepatology patients at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, one of the very few VA hospitals in the country with a liver transplant program where an average of 12-13 liver transplants are performed each year.

Baylor St. Luke’s Therapeutics Service: Two-Three months. This service takes care of only advanced endoscopy consults. This is a combined rotation of consults and endoscopy. The fellow sees consults and gains exposure to advanced endoscopy procedures including ERCP, EUS, ESD, POEM and bariatric endoscopy. This experience is not designed to train for proficiency in advanced endoscopy. The average census of the service is 5-15 patients.

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Research Track

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Our T32 research training program is co-directed by Hashem B El-Serag, M.D., MPH and Fasiha Kanwal, M.D., MSHS. The program was established in 2010 and is currently funded by the NIH through 2025. Ours is the only adult GI research training program that is supported by NIH training grant in Texas as well as neighboring states: Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Louisiana.

The training program is designed to prepare scientists to conduct state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary research that will accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries to improve digestive health of people and populations. The program places strong emphasis on epidemiology and health services research and we are committed to training the next generation of researchers to who will assume leadership roles in these fields

To accomplish our goals, the training program includes the following four features:

  • Vigorous mentoring for each individual fellow in a self-selected area of concentration to engender the development of a feasible career research agenda that has the potential for substantial impact;
  • Formal research education resulting in an advanced degree, either master’s (or equivalent) or Ph.D.;
  • Completion of a research project; and
  • Applied research seminars to model the use of research skills.

Key Highlights

  • All our postdoctoral trainees enrolled in advanced degree programs (Masters)
  • All trainees have been extremely productive with multiple first-author papers in high impact journals and presentations in national meetings. Collectively, in the last 4 years, our trainees contributed to a total of 71 papers published or accepted for publication
  • Of the post-doctoral trainees who completed their T32 training and graduated from our program since its inception, all successfully transitioned into research-intensive or research-related academic faculty positions and 50% have obtained independent research grant funding

Mentors

The mentors represent a multidisciplinary group of experienced investigators from various departments at Baylor College of Medicine, all with well-funded research programs that cover broad areas of clinical research including epidemiology (e.g., clinical, molecular, genetic, and microbiome), health services research, decision making, and implementation research related to several digestive disorders. Existing faculty members have outstanding mentoring histories, and excellent track records of participation in our training program activities.

View more details on the members of the mentoring team.

Other Research Track Details

The research track includes 24 months of clinical rotations, which occur during the first two years of training. 

The third and fourth years of the T32 Research Track involve at least 85 percent protected time to complete an advanced degree (MPH, Masters in clinical investigation or Ph.D.), mentored research, and career development activities. Clinical opportunities exist during this time to pursue focused clinical training within the field of research focus.

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Longitudinal Clinic

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Each fellow has one half-day per week of continuity clinic on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons. The clinic is located in the modern Smith Clinic building, which is part of the Harris health System and is located at 2525A Holly Hall St., Houston, Tx, 77054. Fellows see up to eight patients of general gastroenterology and non-transplant hepatology.

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Call Schedule

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Fellows are responsible for after hours gastroenterology emergencies at the three affiliated hospitals. Fellows cover only one hospital at a time. There is no in-house call.

Weekend coverage starts Friday 5 p.m. until Monday 7 a.m.. Throughout the three years, fellows will do not typically cover more than one weekend per month.

Weekend calls are covered by fellows rotating in each consult service and by fellows from other rotations.

July of first year fellowship is protected from both weekday night and weekends calls. First year fellows also get an additional protected month of no weekday and weekend calls for a total of two months. Second year fellows get three months free of call, and third year fellows get four months free of call. In all three hospitals, the endoscopy cart is always set up by an on-call endoscopy tech for after hours and travel cases.

Ben Taub Hospital

Weekday night calls are typically split three ways for a total of 5-6 nights per month.

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

Weekday night calls are typically split between two first year fellows in the consult service, a total of 8-9 nights per month.

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center

Weekday night calls are typically split among three fellows for a total of 5-6 nights each per month.