The program provides 30 months of clinical training in gastroenterology, hepatology and endoscopy based in both inpatient and outpatient settings and using both academic and community hospitals. The clinical years are primarily spent at Rush University Medical Center with one to two months per year spent at Rush Oak Park Hospital, an affiliated institution.
Rush's Division of Digestive Diseases consists of 12 gastroenterology faculty, three hepatology faculty, a nutritional epidemiology faculty member and three gastroenterology research faculty. The fellowship program consists of nine fellows, three per year of training. Rush's endoscopic labs are supplied with the latest Olympus equipment and fellows have access to training in all standard endoscopic procedures, as well as more advanced procedures such as therapeutic ERCP, EUS, video capsule endoscopy, esophageal, small bowel and anorectal manometry, prolonged pH monitoring and gut transit by telemetry and endoluminal therapies for GERD. Rush is one of the Midwest’s most active liver transplant centers, providing the trainee with expertise in the pre- and post-operative management of those with advanced liver disease.
As a tertiary referral center ranked in the top 40 in the nation, the division sees a wide variety of gastrointestinal and hepatologic illnesses which allows for a broad base of exposure to pathology. This is seen at both the inpatient and outpatient levels. The outpatient exposure for fellows at Rush is significant with fellows staffing general gastroenterology and hepatology clinics, as well as specialty clinics in liver transplant, functional bowel diseases, inflammatory bowel disease and pancreatic diseases.
Six months of protected research time is provided during the fellowship and is spaced out over the three years of training to allow fellows to incept and complete clinical research projects under the guidance of faculty mentors. Current areas of faculty research interest include inflammatory bowel diseases (pathophysiologic mechanisms at the membrane level, new cytokine therapeutic options, alternative therapeutic options), endoscopic techniques (management of endoscopy negative dysphagia, utility of endoscopic ultrasound in pancreatic diseases states, evaluation of newer endoscopic modalities for the treatment of reflux), hepatitis (new combination therapies for treatment of hepatitis B and C, quality of life assessments in patients with active hepatitis C), management of peptic ulcer disease (evaluation of long-term treatments of symptomatic GERD, the validity of assessing prolonged acid exposures in those with symptomatic GERD). However, many other research opportunities exist at Rush and fellows have initiated and carried out research projects of their own design.
Conferences are a vital part of the gastroenterology training program at Rush and include gastroenterology and internal medicine grand rounds; Fellows' Didactic Conference; Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Research Journal Clubs; Medicine & Society Conference; GI and Hepatology Pathology Conferences; GI Oncology Conference; Hepatology Transplant Conference; Endoscopy Conference, Capsule Club; Morbidity and Mortality Conference; Patient Management Conference and IBD Rounds. Conferences are attended by both fellows and faculty.
The Rush University Medical Center Section of Gastroenterology & Nutrition and Section of Hepatology jointly offer a three-year fellowship in gastroenterology. The fellowship provides a strong emphasis on clinical training in gastroenterology and hepatology with significant exposure to clinical research through faculty mentorship.
In summary, Rush University Medical Center offers the resident seeking training in gastroenterology and hepatology an unparalleled training experience. Our commitment to providing the best in patient care and in clinical research training is reflected in the skill and dedication of both the faculty and the fellows who complete our program.
Photo caption: Michael D. Brown, MD, FACP, FACG, Fellowship Program Director