Research participation is a requirement of the GI fellowship program, and approximately 18 months is devoted to learning research and academic skills. To facilitate this requirement, each fellow is paired with a GI or liver faculty advisor, who meets regularly with the fellow. Significant research time is given to those starting their second year of fellowship — the goal being to provide fellows the opportunity to explore in-depth a specific area of gastroenterology and to lay the groundwork for launching a successful career in academic gastroenterology. To this end, fellows begin planning their research time well in advance, by completing an Individual Development Plan (IDP) in close collaboration with their mentor and leadership of the GI Training Program.
Academic and research development are a key component of weekly Chiefs Rounds with Bruce Sands, MD, Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology. By the end of their first year, fellows select a mentor and develop a research plan. A biweekly research forum takes place to allow fellows to present new ideas and gain feedback in crafting their plan. Fellows are required to present ongoing status updates of their research at this conference to assure that their research is progressing and identify barriers and solutions to difficulties encountered in the research process.
The breadth of the faculty encompasses a wide array of research interests. The gastroenterology fellow can chose from a broad palette of research opportunities, ranging from basic laboratory investigation to clinical research projects. Clinical research coordinators and the Department of Medicine Clinical Trials Office are available to assist fellows with clinical research, and administrative staff will assist with preparation of GCO and IRB paperwork.