Gastroenterology Fellowship

Children’s National Health System offers a three year fellowship training program in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. Our goal is to prepare fellows to become academic pediatric gastroenterologists.

Goals of the program are to:

  • Provide an environment in which the trainee will gain experience evaluating and treating a variety of gastrointestinal conditions
  • Allow the fellow to develop the knowledge and skills to manage these conditions independently
  • Foster an environment of intellectual curiosity

Expectations of the fellow are to:

  • Become proficient in the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of children with gastrointestinal, liver, and nutritional disorders
  • Become competent in procedures used to diagnosis and manage gastrointestinal disease
  • Produce a mentored work product based on basic or clinical research under the guidance of a mentor and scholarship oversight committee
  • Develop and refine skills in the six ACGME core competencies
History

History

All clinical activities are based at the main campus of Children’s National in Washington, DC. 

Children’s National is a teaching hospital which provides services for the Washington, DC, metropolitan area and we frequently care for referral patients from the mid-Atlantic region, the nation, and many international patients. This ensures a very busy and diverse inpatient, outpatient, and procedure experience for fellows. The fellowship program is fully accredited and provides a rich and varied experience because of its many service, educational, advocacy, and research opportunities. The educational and research parts of the program are especially strengthened by our partnership with the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children's National, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children's National, the Pediatric Intestinal and Liver Transplant Program at Georgetown University, and close links with allied agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Faculty hold academic appointments at George Washington University (GWU) School of Medicine, and the center is the primary pediatric training site for GWU medical students. One fellow is accepted into the program each year. Fellows rotate on the two inpatient services, Gastroenterology (GI) and Intestinal Rehabilitation/Liver (IRL). The first year of fellowship focuses on clinical training, while the second and third years are dedicated to basic science or clinical research.

Rotations

Rotations

Clinical Rotations

The first year of fellowship is clinically based. The fellow rotates through the inpatient and consult services of the GI and IRL teams. The clinical experience is supplemented by weekly fellows continuity clinic and select subspecialty clinics. The fellow supervises all aspects of the patients' care, under the supervision of the attending physician. This includes initial evaluation, formulation of a differential diagnosis, and management, including performing diagnostic procedures, and interpretation of radiologic and pathologic results. While on the inpatient services, the fellow will also perform consultation for patients whose primary condition is non-GI related. The fellow performs procedures on all inpatients and patients seen in consultation.

Second and third year fellows spend the majority of their time in the research setting (see “Research” section). The fellow will continue to have half day of continuity clinic each week at the main hospital. Additionally, the fellow will rotate through various subspecialty clinics (see below). The fellow will have two half-day procedure sessions each month during the second and third years.

During the second year, the fellow will spend one month with the GI Transplant team at Georgetown University Hospital, under the direct supervision of Stuart Kaufman, MD, medical director of pediatric transplantation. The objective is gain an understanding and appreciation of the evaluation and perioperative care of patients undergoing liver and small bowel transplants.

Monthly Block Rotation Schedule

Year 1

7 GI
3 IR
1 Research
1 Vacation
1/2 day continuity clinic/week

During IR rotation, fellow will attend the following clinics: Liver clinic Friday afternoon, IR clinic Wednesday afternoon, Transplant clinic Tuesday morning.

Research elective will be divided into two, two-week blocks. Each block will half day of Nutrition/TPN, half day research planning.

Vacation will occur in one-week blocks.

Year 2*

1 GI
1 Georgetown transplant
1 Vacation

Year 3*

1 GI
1 IR
Procedures with Adult Gastroenterology (2 weeks)
1 Vacation

*During 2nd and 3rd years:

Half day continuity clinic week
Half day outpatient procedures- 2x/month
Half day subspecialty clinic/month (IBD, Motility, Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Aerodigestive)
Half day liver clinic twice a month

Subspecialty Clinics

IBD
Motility
Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Aero digestive clinic
Liver
Intestinal Rehabilitation/Short Bowel
Transplant clinic

Call Schedule

Year 1 — Monday/Thursday 5pm – 8am
Year 2 — Tuesday 5pm – 8am
Year 3 — Wed 5pm – 8am

1:3 weekends
Year 1 — Saturday 8am – Sunday 5pm
Years 2/3 — Friday 5pm – Monday 8am

Research

Research

First year fellows will discuss their general area of interest in research with the Program Director and seek advice on which faculty members inside and outside of the Division offer the best option for mentorship in that area. Fellows will meet regularly with their research mentors and collaborate with them to present research concepts and a hypothesis driven project to their Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) by the end of the second half of their first year of fellowship. Subsequently, during the second and third years, fellows will be required to meet regularly with their SOC for comprehensive oversight and assessment of the progress of each fellow. SOCs will endorse fellow accomplishments for the American Board of Pediatrics and verify that the Scholarly Activity requirement has been met.

In addition, fellows may meet on an ad-hoc basis whenever there is an unresolved issue and/or concern about their progress or resource needs, a need to review important findings, or in preparation for important events (i.e. fellow’s research presentation within the institution).

The research elective during the fall of the first year is dedicated time for the fellow to explore potential research projects for the second and third years. The fellow will use this time to meet with potential principal investigators, select a project and mentor, and begin to structure the scholarly work product. The proposed project is presented to the scholarship oversight committee in the spring of the first year. The fellow is expected to produce a work product fit for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

Sources of funding

Fellows have guaranteed salary support during the second and third years, which allows for increased flexibility in seeking a project and mentor. Fellows are encouraged to select an interesting and meaningful project that will strengthen their foundation in academic medicine. Fellows are encouraged to look within the main campus at Children’s National, as well as outside institutions including, but not limited to, the George Washington University Health Sciences Center and Georgetown University Medical Center, both in Washington, DC, and the National Institutes of Health, in nearby Bethesda, MD.

Research Timeline

Year 1

  • The fellow will participate in a research rotation, divided into two 2-week blocks between October-January
  • Select research project by February
  • SOC meeting by May
  • Complete required training (ie. for animal research), obtain badge, etc, in time to begin research in July of Year 2

Years 2/3

  • The SOC will meet at least semiannually to monitor the fellow’s research progress
  • The fellow will aim to begin structuring the written part of the work product at least six months prior to the completion of fellowship

Additional research

Fellows are required to participate in an ancillary research project in addition to their scholarly work activity. This usually consists of a clinical project under the mentorship of a faculty member.

Research Presentation Opportunities

Fellows are highly encouraged to submit their work for international, national, or local presentation. Opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Children’s National Research Day
  • North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) Annual Meeting
  • Digestive Diseases Week (DDW)
  • American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), The Liver Meeting

Sample of Recent/Current Research Projects Within the Division:

Biomarker Discovery Utilizing MicroRNA (miRNA), Genomics, and Proteomics for Detection of Disease Activity and Response to Medications in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Assessment of a Feeding Difficulties Diagnostic Tool Questionnaire for Children with Oral Feeding Resistance

A Comparative Study of the Antiviral Efficacy and Safety of Entecavir (ETV) versus Placebo in Pediatric Subjects with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Infection who are HBeAg-Positive

What is the Current North American Standard of Practice for the Ongoing Evaluation and Management of Children with Celiac Disease?

Education

Education

Education is a key aspect of the program. In addition to division, hospital, and specialty wide conferences, fellows are expected to perform self-directed reading of pertinent textbooks and journals, effectively search the medical literature, and critically evaluate the medical literature.

GI Division Conferences

The fellow will be directly involved with a variety of scholarly activities, including a structured set of GI teaching conferences that they will be responsible for participating in and leading. The conferences will include journal clubs, case-based seminars covering key GI clinical and basic science topics, pathology and radiology conferences. All division conferences are protected time for fellows.

Fellows will also regularly provide informal teaching for residents and students rotating on the GI service.

Summary of regularly scheduled teaching conferences

  • Radiology Rounds - monthly
  • Pathology Rounds - monthly
  • Journal Club - every other month
  • Morbidity and Mortality - quarterly
  • GI pathology review - one-on-one review of GI biopsies with pathologist, Dr. Puscasiu, every other week

Fellows Core Competency Curriculum

All fellows are required to participate in the Fellows’ Core Competency curriculum in order to meet ACGME requirements. The Core Curriculum is protected time for fellows. This curriculum includes biweekly two hour seminars and workshops teaching a variety of common topics required by the ACGME and American Board of Pediatrics. The topics revolve around the six ACGME core competencies: research, quality improvement, administration, medical education, leadership and professionalism.

Schedule

  • Year 1: First Tuesday, 12 to 2pm
  • Year 2: Third Tuesday, 12 to 2pm
  • Year 3: Fourth Tuesday, 12 to 1pm

Other Children’s National Conferences

Fellows are encouraged to attend hospital-wide educational conferences including, but not limited to:

  • Grand Rounds - Wednesday
  • Professorial Rounds - Thursday
  • Subspecialty Conferences
  • Small group resident and medical student teaching
How to Apply

How to Apply

Our program participates in the NRMP Match. Applications should be submitted through ERAS.

Please contact Rachel Aleman Fellowship Program Coordinator, if you have any questions (raleman@childrensnational.org, 202-476-3032).

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff

All staff gastroenterologists supervise subspecialty fellows in caring for patients in the areas of inpatient, outpatient and procedural services. The number of weeks on service ranges from four to 20 per year. The faculty gastroenterologists supervise the fellows directly in each of these areas. Staff members are considered to be on the teaching service during the weeks they are on the inpatient service and when supervising fellows in their continuity clinic. The hours per week are an estimate of the total for the year divided over 52 weeks. All staff members attend the weekly conferences and give lectures.

Ali Bader, MD
Dr. Bader’s primary area of expertise is his clinical skill and experience as a general GI practitioner and an expert proceduralist. He is assigned to the inpatient GI service for 12 weeks per year. During this period he will devote 12 to 16 hours per week supervising the fellow on rounds and in caring for patients. He attends all of the regularly scheduled GI conferences. He gives an average of 20 didactic teaching sessions while attending on the inpatient service each year. View doctor profile.

Laurie Conklin, MD
Dr. Conklin’s primary areas of expertise are inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and allergic enteropathies, in addition to the full spectrum of GI problems. She is also active in developing our clinical research program. She is the head of our IBD program, has taken the lead in developing our IBD data base and has an active research project with one of the second year pediatric residents. She will serve as one of our Associate Directors of the fellowship program. Dr. Conklin is assigned to the inpatient GI service for 10-12 weeks per year. During this period she will devote 12 to 16 hours per week supervising the fellow on rounds and in caring for patients. She attends all of the regularly scheduled GI conferences. Dr. Conklin gives an average of 20 didactic teaching sessions while attending on the inpatient service each year.

Anil Darbari, MD
Dr. Darbari joined our faculty in September, 2010 and heads our new Comprehensive Motility Program. Dr. Darbari is a well trained pediatric gastroenterologist who is expert in the full spectrum of motility procedures. He is assigned to the inpatient GI service for 10-12 weeks per year. During this period he will devote 12 to 16 hours per week supervising the fellow on rounds and in caring for patients. He attends all of the regularly scheduled GI conferences. Dr. Darbari will give an average of 20 didactic teaching sessions while attending on the inpatient service each year.

Benny Kerzner, MD
Dr. Kerzner is widely recognized as an outstanding clinician with special interests in IBD and feeding disorders. He is the most senior member of our Division and is now doing 4 weeks of inpatient service each year. During this period he will devote 12 to 16 hours per week supervising the fellow on rounds and in caring for patients. He attends all of the regularly scheduled GI conferences. Dr. Kerzner gives an average of 6-8 didactic teaching sessions while attending on the inpatient service each year.

Muhammad Khan, MD
Dr. Muhammad Khan completed his fellowship at Stanford and joined our faculty in July, 2011 and has special interest in intestinal rehabilitation and endoscopic evaluation and therapy, including ERCP. Dr. Khan is assigned to the inpatient GI service for 10-12 weeks per year and is developing a very busy outpatient practice. During his inpatient weeks, he will devote 12 to 16 hours per week supervising the fellow on rounds and in caring for patients. He attends all of the regularly scheduled GI conferences. Dr. Khan will give an average of 20 didactic teaching sessions while attending on the inpatient service each year.

Seema Khan, MD
Dr. Seema Khan completed her fellowship at Pittsburgh and joined our faculty in October, 2011 after on the care of general GI patients and those with intestinal allergy and eosinophilic esophagitis at A.I. DuPont Hospital in Delaware. Her special interest here will be in further developing our GI Allergy Program. Dr. Khan is assigned to the inpatient GI service for 10-12 weeks per year and is developing a very busy outpatient practice. During her inpatient weeks, she will devote 12 to 16 hours per week supervising the fellow on rounds and in caring for patients. She attends all of the regularly scheduled GI conferences. Dr. Khan will give an average of 20 didactic teaching sessions while attending on the inpatient service each year.

Parvathi Mohan, MD
Dr. Mohan heads our Hepatology program and shares the majority of the inpatient coverage for the Intestinal Rehabilitation/Transplant Service with Dr. Torres. She continues to be involved in several national hepatology research consortiums and is a well respected regional expert in liver disease, especially in the areas of infectious hepatitis, acute liver failure, short bowel syndrome and intestinal and liver transplantation. She has developed an active clinical research program, with a special focus on infectious hepatitis. Dr. Mohan attends on the IR/T Service about 20 weeks per year. During the periods when the fellow is primarily on the IR/T Service, she will devote 12 to 16 hours per week supervising the fellow on rounds and in caring for patients. She attends all of the regularly scheduled GI conferences. Dr. Mohan gives an average of 30 didactic teaching sessions while attending on the inpatient service each year.

Sona Sehgal, MD
Dr. Sehgal is very experienced and proficient in the full spectrum of general GI problems and has developed a special interest in impedance testing. She now does all of her 10-12 weeks of inpatient attending on the IR/L Service. She has developed an interest in clinical research and completed a successful project this year with a medical student who had a 6-month research elective. During the periods when the fellow is primarily on the IR/T Service, Dr, Sehgal will devote 12 to 16 hours per week supervising the fellow on rounds and in caring for patients. She attends all of the regularly scheduled GI conferences. Dr. Sehgal gives an average of 18-20 didactic teaching sessions while attending on the inpatient service each year.

John Snyder, MD
Dr. Snyder is the Chief of the Division and has devoted his first 2 years at Children's National to building and strengthening the Division. The Division has grown from five to nine members during this time and a number of new programs have been initiated in areas including intestinal rehabilitation, IBD, celiac disease and allergy. He has or currently serves on national and international committees and boards for the American Academy of Pediatrics, the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and the World Health Organization. His current areas of research are in H. pylori and celiac disease. Dr. Snyder is assigned to the inpatient GI service for 10-12 weeks per year. During this period he will devote 12 to 16 hours per week supervising the fellow on rounds and in caring for patients. He attends all of the regularly scheduled GI conferences. Dr. Snyder gives an average of 20 didactic teaching sessions while attending on the inpatient service each year.

Clara Torres, MD
Dr. Torres heads our Intestinal Rehabilitation/Transplant Program and shares the majority of the inpatient coverage for the IR/T Service with Dr. Mohan. She has developed a national and international reputation as an expert in intestinal rehabilitation and transplantation. She has developed an active clinical research program, with a special focus on short bowel syndrome. Dr. Torres attends on the IR/T Service about 20 weeks per year. During the periods when the fellow is primarily on the IR/T Service, she will devote 12 to 16 hours per week supervising the fellow on rounds and in caring for patients. She attends all of the regularly scheduled GI conferences. Dr. Torres gives an average of 30 didactic teaching sessions while attending on the inpatient service each year.

Jaime Wolfe, MD
Dr. Wolfe’s primary areas of expertise are inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and allergic enteropathies, in addition to the full spectrum of GI problems. She is the head of our Allergy Program and is developing our data base of allergy patients. She will serve as one of our Associate Directors of the fellowship program. Dr. Wolfe is assigned to the inpatient GI service for 10-12 weeks per year. During this period she will devote 12 to 16 hours per week supervising the fellow on rounds and in caring for patients. She attends all of the regularly scheduled GI conferences. Dr. Wolfe gives an average of 20 didactic teaching sessions while attending on the inpatient service each year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are fellows provided a stipend for conferences, travel, etc?

Yes, an annual stipend is provided for use towards various educational purposes.

Q. Do the fellows work with residents on the wards?

The inpatient GI and IRL teams consist of 2 interns and a senior resident who are on rotation in the GI/IRL services.

Q. Are there additional professional development opportunities available beyond the standard fellowship curriculum?

Fellows have the opportunity to pursue advanced programs in professional development, available through George Washington University School of Medicine.

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Jeanne Ricks

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