Fellowship

The University of Arizona College of Medicine offers a three-year Gastroenterology fellowship program (clinical track) combining clinical training, education and research opportunities at (UAHN) The University of Arizona Health Network-University Campus, Tucson VA Medical Center and the UAHN-South Campus. The Gastroenterology Fellowship program is fully accredited (most recently for 5 years) by the ACGME. Number of fellows: 2-3 per year.

Program Overview:

Clinical training is provided at the UAHN-University Campus, the Tucson VA Medical Center and UAHN-South Campus. The combined program offers access to approximately 750 beds, a diverse patient population, renowned faculty and many opportunities for research.

All fellows rotate through continuity clinics, one half-day per week with an attending for periods of six months, leading to one-on-one instruction in six different areas of digestive disorders. Fellows attend additional clinics during Hepatology months and at the VA.  There are three State of the Art endoscopy centers that perform basic and advanced procedures.  First year fellows are provided endoscopy rotations free from inpatient consultation duties. Established metrics are used for monitoring progress and determining competence in endoscopic skills. Instruction is also provided in esophageal and anorectal motility, capsule endoscopy, as well as pH and impedance studies. Opportunities exist for more focused training in a fellow’s specific area of interest during the third year of the fellowship, including clinical research and advanced endoscopy. Web based interactive learning is used throughout the fellowship, with monitoring of progress. All fellows perform QA/QI and Systems – based projects.  Fellows are expected to identify a research project and mentor in the first year, are given three to four contiguous months to perform the research in the second year and are expected to complete, present and publish their work in the final year.  In addition, fellows can choose to study for a Certificate in Public Health or Translational Research through the College of Public Health at the University of Arizona.

Conferences:

Fellows participate in conferences within the division of GI as well as multi-disciplinary conferences:

  • GI grand rounds- once a week
  • Pathology conference- once a week
  • Journal club- once a month
  • GI Fellows' research conference- once a month
  • Liver transplantation meeting- once a week
  • Colon cancer multidisciplinary conference- once a week
  • Biliary-pancreatic cancer multidisciplinary conference- once a week
  • Combined GI - Surgery conference - once a month
  • Optical Imaging Research Conference - Monthly - 2nd Friday

Website Links: 

http://universe.gi.org/

www.ibdisease.org

www.gastro.org/gisam

www.gilearn.org/nutritiontoolkit/

Nutrition Education Module

Research:

The faculty of the Division of GI are involved in a variety of clinical, translational and basic research projects in the digestive tract, liver and pancreas. The faculty work closely with the Arizona Cancer Center, the only NCI designated cancer center in the southwest, which also has a GI SPORE (Specialized Programs in Research Excellence). The University of Arizona has top rated researchers and unparalleled resources in optical sciences and biomedical engineering. The following list gives a selection of research interests of current GI faculty members.

BARRETT’S ESOPAHGUS– from chemo-prevention of neoplastic change to The targeted imaging of dysplasia with micro- and nano- bubbles.

IMAGING: Label-free ratiometric imaging of tissues and cells; using UV and visible wavelengths. Fluorescence imaging of inflammatory cells using remote sensing algorithms. Use of new lens systems, polarized light, fluorescence and reflectance to design and test the next generation of endoscopic and microscopic instruments. Ultrasound imaging with micro- and nano- bubbles targeted to pancreatic tumor receptors.  Light scattering, confocal microscopy.

COLORECTAL CANCER: Clinical and translational research on the prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer. This includes high throughput studies using human biospecimens to study the molecular pathology and genetic epidemiology of colorectal cancer, phase III chemoprevention studies for its prevention and comparative effectiveness research on methods for colorectal cancer screening.

ADVANCED ENDOSCOPY:  pancreatic cystic lesions, double balloon enteroscopy.

MOTILITY: Mechanisms of gastro esophageal reflux in a state of the art physiology/motility lab equipped with cutting edge devices that can assess GI physiology.

LIVER INSTITUTE:  The basic research laboratory of the Liver Research Institute is interested in genetic and molecular mechanisms by which liver cells protect themselves from toxic injury. The mechanisms include the structure, expression, and regulation of the activities of enzymes such as the Glutathione transferases. Glutathione transferases comprise a family of inducible and highly expressed enzymes that detoxify harmful chemicals from normal cellular metabolism, food, and drugs.

LIVER INSTITUTE (CLINICAL): Clinical research activities of the Liver Research Institute include trials to evaluate the performance of FDA-approved and prospective drugs for the treatment of Hepatitis C. Various categories of drugs under investigation include viral protease inhibitors, cytokines, and drugs to support blood platelet levels. Additionally, a trial to evaluate a vaccine against Hepatitis C is underway.

Several trials to evaluate drugs for the treatment of NASH, non-alcoholic steohepatitis, and for the prevention of Hepatic carcinoma (a type of cancer) are also being conducted.

Prerequisites for Application:

  • Graduate from a medical school recognized by the ACGME or Graduate of foreign medical schools who have a valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.
  • All fellows must have proof of passing all parts of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE), Part I, Part II and Part III.
  • Either board certification in internal medicine or proof that the candidate will be board-eligible in internal medicine by the time he/she starts the fellowship.
  • US citizen, permanent resident or J-1 visa status only. Our fellowship program is unable to accept candidates with H1B visas.

GI Fellowship Application Process:

*The GI Fellowship program offered at the University of Arizona College of Medicine is a clinical track with opportunities for clinical and translational research.

Applications should be through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), and will be part of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Please provide all information requested by ERAS, including the following:

Three (3) letters of recommendation, a letter/evaluation from the Department Chair or Training Program Director, a personal statement, current CV and a copy of medical diploma are required.