Baylor College of Medicine fosters diversity as a prerequisite to accomplishing our institutional mission and setting standards for excellence in training healthcare providers and providing patient-centered care. As a result, current and past fellows comprise an extremely diverse group of very talented pediatric professionals with a genuine interest in providing excellent pediatric endocrine and diabetes care, participating in research and quality improvement projects but also contributing to the community.
We currently have 12 fellows in our program (four fellows per year).
July of first-year is an orientation month free of clinical duty. This month allows for instruction in pediatric endocrine emergencies including simulation lab sessions, introduction to the operations of the hospital and diabetes/endocrine inpatient and outpatient teams (including meetings with our support staff like dietitians and diabetes educators and shadowing at the inpatient and outpatient settings), familiarization with the electronic medical record system, and introduction to research. Plenty of time is provided during the orientation month for fellows to settle into Houston and also take time to prepare for the pediatric boards.
During their fellowship, all fellows are regularly supported and mentored by our section’s faculty, fellows and staff. All fellows are assigned a faculty advisor at the beginning of their fellowship. The role of the faculty advisor is to meet with the fellow regularly to assist with the residency to fellowship transition, guide their progress in clinical knowledge/skills acquisition, discuss career plans/ help fellow choose a fellowship track but also provide other professional advice and support their overall well-being. Fellows also select a research mentor during their first year of training who is working with them closely throughout the fellowship years. The program director, associate program directors and section chief also meet regularly with the fellows to review their progress and discuss their long-term goals.
Throughout the year, multiple career development workshops and sessions are provided by our section but also the Department of Pediatrics Fellows College including:
• How to pick a mentor and be a mentee
• How to choose a research question
• How to write an IRB application
• How to create a CV
• How to write a publication etc.
In addition, second-year fellows attend the month-long BCM Fundamentals of Clinical Investigation course, which provides educational sessions on appropriate research design, basics of biostatistics, ethical conduct of research and regulatory issues governing research.
Response to fellows’ concerns:
We are extremely committed to providing an excellent clinical and educational experience for our fellows as we greatly value their partnership and contributions to the operations and success of our section, department and overall institution. We take fellows concerns and suggestions very seriously. We hold monthly meetings involving all of the fellows and the fellowship program leadership to discuss/ address any arising concerns. At these sessions, the fellows are encouraged to bring up any concerns they may have without fear of retribution. A chief fellow (one of the third-year fellows) is also assigned to serve as a liaison between the leadership and the fellows for any issues the fellows may be reluctant to share individually. Examples of changes made directly as a result of fellow suggestions include: splitting the inpatient service into two teams, having CDE phone coverage of parent calls in the evenings, restructuring templates in fellows clinic, and restructuring call schedule among others. These changes demonstrate the highest commitment of our division to our fellows and fellowship program.
Feedback and evaluations:
Fellows receive and provide feedback through their regular meetings with their advisors, program director and associate program directors, but also their meetings and educational interactions with the section’s chief and rest of the faculty. There is also a formal evaluation process as required by ACGME. Our program continuously seeks feedback to improve the evaluation and feedback process and is maintaining an “open door” policy.
Fellow positions after graduation:
Approximately 90 percent of our fellows choose positions in academia and a 10 percent pursues private practice careers. Our current group of faculty is a mix of graduates from our own and other major academic programs.
Board Pass Rate:
Our fellows have been highly successful at passing their pediatric endocrine boards. In the past five years, our Board Pass rate has been 91 percent.