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Fellowship Program

 

About Our Fellowship Program

The Endocrine Fellowship Training Program at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine (UC) is designed to provide each of our trainees with outstanding clinical and research training in endocrinology, metabolism, and diabetes. Our goal is to provide fellows with a level of training, experience and expertise that will put them on a path to become leaders in endocrinology and to have successful careers in academic medicine. We have designed our program to provide our fellows with the opportunity to work with experienced investigators on either basic or clinical research projects that will provide a foundation of experience that will allow the fellow the opportunity to pursue an independent research career if they so choose. We want to help our fellows tailor an educational experience from a rich environment at UC that will help them reach their personal professional goals. Established in 1982, the Endocrinology Training Program at UC is the only NIH funded endocrine training program between the west coast states of California, Oregon and Washington, and the Midwestern states of Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri and Texas. We have a 20 year history of training outstanding academic and clinical endocrinologists and our faculty are committed to providing (and believe that we provide) one of the best endocrine training experiences in the country.

What to Expect

The focus of the first year of fellowship training is clinical endocrinology. First year fellows see outpatients and inpatients with a broad spectrum of disorders of the endocrine glands, lipid and bone metabolism, reproductive and neuroendocrinology, diabetes mellitus, and obesity. Fellows gain clinical experience on the inpatient Endocrine Consult services of the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), the Denver Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC), and Denver Health Medical Center (DH), and in outpatient endocrine clinics at these three hospitals. We believe that this focus on clinical training during the first year of the fellowship allows each new fellow to make a smooth transition from the role of a well-trained general internist to a skilled clinical endocrinologist. In addition, this period of clinical training provides a foundation on which subsequent research training is built. During the first year fellows learn through supervised patient care, in didactic conferences and multidisciplinary conferences. Details of these activities are listed below.

While some incoming fellows may already have an interest area that they wish to focus on for their research years, many do not. During the fall of the first year fellows will have the opportunity to meet with faculty members to discuss the research training opportunities available to them. We are fortunate to have faculty working in almost all sub-disciplines of endocrinology. By the spring of the first year, fellows will select a primary research mentor and with their mentor will select a “mentorship committee” and begin to plan the research projects that they will work on during the second year. This allows each fellow to “hit the ground running” when they start their period of focused research years at the start of the second year of training.

The second year for most fellows is primarily focused on research with some continued clinical training. A majority of the trainee’s time is spent in a mentored research experience. One half day per week is spent in his/her continuity clinic, and two half days per month are devoted to specialized training in lipid disorders, pediatric endocrinology, high risk obstetrics, reproductive endocrine and osteoporosis/metabolic bone clinics. Two weeks are spent on the inpatient Glucose Management Team at the UCH to obtain experience managing complex glucose-lowering regimens for patients with cystic fibrosis, solid organ transplantation and other conditions. Fellows are offered the opportunity to teach medical students by facilitating small group discussions of endocrine pathophysiology cases. Realizing that not all applicants are looking for an intensive research experience during their fellowship training, in 2012 we starting accepting applicants who are looking for 2 years of training with a greater emphasis on clinical training. For these individuals, the second year will include a scholarly project conducted under the mentorship of an experienced investigator, but will include substantially more experience in inpatient and outpatient treatment of diabetes including experiences at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, an internationally-known institution in research and the clinical care of type 1 diabetes.

For fellows interested in pursuing a more research-focused experience and who are supported by the Division’s NIH funded training grant, the third year continues a focus on research. As the ACGME-defined clinical training program ends after 2 years, our goal is to individualize the third year experience to the specific professional goal of the fellow. The bulk of the fellow’s time is devoted to research, preparation of data for publication, and grant writing. Most fellows continue in their weekly half-day continuity clinic. Many spend some time in a focused sub-subspecialty clinic that is related to the research question that they are studying. Fellows also have the opportunity to develop unique skills in specific areas of clinical endocrinology by rotating through optional endocrine subspecialty clinics such as HIV Endocrinology or Obesity clinic. In this year, fellows who would like to further hone teaching skills are given the option to facilitate small group discussions of endocrine pathophysiology cases for medical students.





Contact

Holly Smith

Fellowship Coordinator
Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes
MS 8106
12801 E. 17th Ave
RC1-South, 7th floor room 7103
Aurora, CO 80045
Ph: 303-724-3927
Fax: 303-724-3920
E-mail: holly.2.smith@ucdenver.edu