About the Program

The fellowship program in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center offers broad training. It provides clinical, endoscopic and research training modified to meet the individual goals and interests of the trainee. Fellows will be board eligible for ABIM certification in Gastroenterology upon satisfactory completion of the three-year training program.

The fellowship program is structured to provide ample training in both clinical and basic research as well as clinical gastroenterology, hepatology and endoscopic procedures. Upon completion of the program, post-doctoral fellows have sufficient background and training to pursue an academic career or a career in clinical practice.

This program is fully accredited by the ACGME for a complement of twelve fellows in a 4-4-4 configuration. Our fellowship program is committed to establishing mentoring relationships that seek to benefit both the faculty member and the trainee. Through a careful pairing process, trainees will select and collaborate with a designated mentor to gain knowledge, skills and attitudes that are essential for future success. Ongoing assessment by the program director will include confidential reviews of the mentoring relationship to ensure optimal results.

Program Requirements

The program requirements are similar for all fellows. Each trainee receives at least 18 months of clinical training in:
  • General gastroenterology, including hepatology
  • Clinical nutrition
  • Gastrointestinal oncology
Hepatology comprises approximately 30 percent of this experience. Fellows achieve consultative experience on the inpatient gastroenterology and hepatobiliary consultative services. They receive outpatient consultative experience in the Gastroenterology Clinic and Endoscopy Center. Ongoing ambulatory clinical experience provides training in the longitudinal management of gastrointestinal and hepatic disorders.

Basic and clinical research 

The additional 18 months of training may be individualized to meet the interests and goals of the trainee. The trainees are expected to have a strong research background. Trainees may spend up to 12 consecutive months in the basic research setting. Alternatively, trainees may elect a clinical research experience. Trainees are expected to prepare their research findings for presentation at a national meeting and publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The division director and program directors approve trainees’ schedules and grant credit upon satisfactory completion of specified rotations.
General Competencies

General Competencies

The six general competency areas that fellows will continue to grow in during their fellowship time include patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism and systems-based practice. 

Patient Care

Patient care goal

To provide both medical and endoscopic care to gastroenterology or hepatology patients that is appropriate, cost-effective and compassionate.

Patient care objectives
  1. Obtain a complete and accurate history and physical examination from patients with gastrointestinal or hepatology complaints
  2. Interpret and obtain appropriate laboratory studies for the evaluation of gastrointestinal and hepatic disorders
  3. Formulate treatment plans based on patient information and preferences for specific gastrointestinal and hepatic diseases
  4. Apply current scientific evidence using information technology to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal and hepatic disease
  5. Appropriately counsel and educate patients and their families about specific gastrointestinal and hepatic problems
  6. Know the healthcare services aimed at preventing gastrointestinal and hepatic problems and maintaining health
  7. Work with other medical and surgical disciplines and health care professionals to provide multidisciplinary care to the gastroenterology or hepatology patient
  8. Competently perform all diagnostic and invasive procedures required for the appropriate management of gastrointestinal disorders
  9. Understand endoscopic protocols to ensure patient safety

Patient care teaching methods
  1. Clinical performance with direct observation
  2. Endoscopy room with observed performance
  3. Rotation specific readings
  4. Daily supervised care of gastrointestinal and hepatology patients
  5. Presentations in clinic and on consult rounds
  6. Didactic and case-based conferences
  7. Observed clinical examination

Patient care evaluation methods
  1. Global faculty evaluation
  2. Teaching rounds
  3. Biannual review with residency program director
  4. Patient surveys
  5. Procedure logs

Medical Knowledge

Medical knowledge goal


To acquire basic scientific and clinical knowledge for the full spectrum of gastrointestinal and hepatic disorders and be able to apply this knowledge to the patient's care. 

Medical knowledge objectives

  1. Know the embryology, anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal tract and liver
  2. Apply knowledge of the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal and hepatic disorders to the care of individual patients
  3. Obtain and process knowledge about gastrointestinal and hepatic disorders from reading sources, literature and didactic teaching sessions
  4. Perform well on standardized examinations (in-service training exam) that assess basic science and clinical knowledge
  5. Remain dedicated to the improvement of medical knowledge through a commitment to continued medical education

Medical knowledge teaching methods
  1. Rotation specific readings
  2. Presentations in clinic and on consult rounds
  3. Conference presentations
  4. Satisfactory completion of topic specific board review material

Medical knowledge evaluation methods

  1. Global faculty evaluation
  2. In-service examination
  3. Teaching rounds
  4. Biannual review with residency program director
  5. Checklist of completion of rotation specific reading list from electronic library

Practice-based Learning and Improvement

Practice-based learning and improvement goal

To improve gastroenterology and hepatology patient care practices by the critical evaluation of current practice patterns and by the appraisal and assimilation of scientific evidence.

Practice-based learning and improvement objectives

  1. Critically analyze, on a regular basis, current practice experience using a systematic and reliable methodology
  2. Perform practice-based improvement by implementing a change in practice based on newly acquired clinical information
  3. Locate, appraise and assimilate scientific studies from gastroenterology and hepatology literature applicable to patient management
  4. Understand scientific study design and statistical analysis to allow evaluation and appraisal of clinical studies
  5. Use information technology to access medical information for themselves and the patient
  6. Be an effective teacher of medical students, junior fellows and other health care professionals
  7. Understand the function of observed standardized clinical evaluations in improvement of physician patient interaction
  8. Active participation in Morbidity and Mortality Conference

Practice-based learning and improvement teaching methods
  1. Clinical performance with direct observation
  2. Daily supervised care of gastroenterology and hepatology patients
  3. Presentations in clinic and on consult rounds
  4. Supervised on-call experiences
  5. Presentations at Journal Club

Practice-based learning and improvement evaluation methods
  1. Global faculty evaluation
  2. Endoscopy and simulation lab
  3. Biannual review with residency program director
  4. Checklist of completion of rotation specific reading list from electronic library

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Interpersonal and communication skills goal

To develop interpersonal and communication (verbal and writing) skills that will allow effective exchange of information with patients, their families and other health care professionals.

Interpersonal and communication skills objectives

  1. Develop rapport with patients and their families
  2. Develop effective listening skills and be able to elicit and provide information using appropriate nonverbal, explanatory and patient interview skills
  3. Formulate and write coherent and legible notes in the medical record
  4. Write clear, concise and comprehensible manuscripts for publication
  5. Prepare and deliver oral or case presentations in a thoughtful, organized and coherent manner
  6. Work effectively with others (gastroenterology fellows and faculty) as a member or leader of the gastroenterology and hepatology health care team
  7. Interact and communicate effectively with nurses and other health professionals and hospital staff

Interpersonal and communication skills teaching methods

  1. Clinical performance with direct observation
  2. Endoscopy room with observed performance
  3. Daily supervised care of gastroenterology and hepatology patients
  4. Presentations in clinic and on consult rounds
  5. Didactic conferences
  6. Supervised on-call experiences

Interpersonal and communication skills evaluation methods
  1. Global faculty evaluation
  2. Observed clinical examination
  3. Patient surveys
  4. Teaching rounds
  5. Biannual review with residency program director
  6. Checklist of completion of rotation specific reading list from electronic library

Professionalism

Professionalism goal

To be professional by adherence to high ethical standards, accountability and sensitivity to the diverse gastroenterology and hepatology patient population.

Professionalism objectives

  1. Have respect, compassion and integrity in your interactions with patients, their family members and other health care professionals
  2. Accept responsibility readily, be industrious and self-motivated and bring assigned tasks to completion
  3. Function as an effective leader of the gastroenterology and hepatology health care team
  4. Understand and commit to the ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of clinical care, confidentiality of patient information, informed consent and gastroenterology and hepatology business practices
  5. Be sensitive and responsive to the patients’ culture, age, gender and disabilities

Professionalism teaching methods
  1. Clinical performance with direct observation
  2. Endoscopy room with observed performance
  3. Daily supervised care of gastroenterology and hepatology patients
  4. Presentations in clinic and consult rounds
  5. Didactic conferences
  6. Supervised on-call experiences

Professionalism evaluation methods
  1. Global faculty evaluation
  2. Observed clinical examination
  3. Patient surveys
  4. Teaching rounds
  5. Biannual review with residency program director

Systems-based Practice

Systems-based practice goal

To be aware of and responsive to the health care system in which you practice, and use available resources to optimize care of the patient.

Systems-based practice objectives

  1. Understand how patient care practices affect other health care professionals within the local, regional and national health care system
  2. Understand differences between various types of medical practices and delivery systems (e.g., HMO, academic, private practice, etc.), especially with regard to health care costs and allocation of resources
  3. Readily identify and correct healthcare system deficiencies that may result in less than optimal care of the patient
  4. Assist patients in dealing with healthcare system complexities
  5. Practice cost-effective healthcare and resource allocation without compromising the quality of patient care
  6. Know how to partner with health care managers or other providers in efforts to improve coordination and effectiveness of the health care system

Systems-based practice teaching methods
  1. Clinical performance with direct observation
  2. Endoscopy room with observed performance
  3. Daily supervised care of patients
  4. Presentations in clinic and consult rounds
  5. Didactic conferences

Systems-based practice evaluation methods
  1. Global faculty evaluation
  2. Observed clinical examination
  3. Biannual review with residency program director
  4. Checklist of completion of rotation specific reading list from electronic library
Curriculum

Curriculum

PGY4

The first year of gastroenterology and hepatology training is entirely clinically based. Major emphasis is placed on the development of basic endoscopic skills as well as furthering one’s knowledge of sub-specialty gastroenterology and hepatology.

Required rotations include luminal as well as hepatobiliary consults, inpatient endoscopy (EOD) and OSU East (endoscopy and consultative medicine). Liver biopsies are also performed as part of the hepatobiliary consult rotation.

Attendance at weekly case conferences as well as didactic lectures will be mandatory. A special introductory lecture series is offered the first six weeks of the academic year. Attendance at these lectures is mandatory for PGY4 trainees.

PGY5

The second year of gastroenterology and hepatology training is an opportunity to further advance endoscopic skills and approach to consultative medicine. A required research block is also part of the second year training curriculum in which the trainee will devote four consecutive months to a predetermined research project. It is the expectation that this work will lead to an abstract presentation at a national meeting and be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

In addition to the consult services, EOD and OSU East, PGY5 trainees participate in the gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition clinic rotation. This rotation encompasses the sub-specialty knowledge of our faculty in their hospital clinics. As the senior fellow on inpatient endoscopy, the second year trainee serves as the chief for this service.

Second year trainees work to enhance their therapeutic skills in hemostasis, advanced polypectomy and esophageal dilation, while actively teaching new fellows basic endoscopic skills. As the team leader of the consult service, PGY5 trainees are responsible for teaching as well as demonstrating high level clinical skills. Attendance at weekly case conferences as well as didactic lectures will be mandatory.

PGY6

The final year of gastroenterology and hepatology training provides more freedom to hone one’s skills depending on particular career interests. A total of four months of elective time can be used at the trainee’s discretion. Electives such as biliary endoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound, hepatology inpatient ward service, gastrointestinal motility, capsule endoscopy and additional research time are available. Biliary and EUS electives require pre-approval from participating faculty.

The third year trainees also participate in the consult services, EOD and gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition clinic rotations. Whether on the endoscopic or consultative rotations, the third year trainee is seen as the team leader responsible for teaching as well as demonstrating high level clinical skills.

Attendance at weekly case conferences as well as didactic lectures will be mandatory.

Application Process

Eligibility criteria
  • MD or DO
  • US citizenship, permanent resident or J1 Visa status
  • Completion of three years of U.S. postgraduate residency training in an ACGME-accredited program by the time of entry into the fellowship program

Candidate selection

Applications are reviewed after all supporting documents have been received. Applicants must have completed an ACGME-approved residency program in internal medicine prior to beginning the gastroenterology fellowship program. Completed applications are reviewed by the Fellowship Education Committee.

Candidate interviews

Based on qualifications and reference letters, selected candidates are invited for an interview. Candidates are notified by e-mail and by phone when they are invited for an interview. Interviews will be conducted in September and October. During interview sessions, the candidate meets with gastroenterology faculty, including the program director and the division director. A tour of The Ohio State University Endoscopy Center is provided. A breakfast with fellow representatives from each training year provides an opportunity for the candidate to learn more about the program.

All faculty interviewers evaluate candidates. After interviews have been completed, applicants are ranked by the Fellowship Selection Committee. Applicant ranking is based on multiple factors, some of which include academic credentials, aptitude, preparedness, motivation and communication skills.

The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition does not discriminate with regard to gender, race, age, religion, ethnicity, national origin or disability.

Applying
Application to our ACGME-accredited gastroenterology fellowship program is done via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Paper applications will not be reviewed. All positions in the gastroenterology program are filled through the NRMP match.


Applications must include:

  • A complete CV
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of reference
  • USMLE board score reports
  • A recent photograph (optional)

Apply now
Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Fellows

Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Fellows

Feng Li, MD

MD: The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Residency program: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Christopher Linz, MD

MD: Northeast Ohio Medical University
Residency program: Case Western University

Ahmad Malli, MD

MD: American University of Beirut
Residency program: University of Minnesota

Christopher Murphy, MD

MD: The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Residency program: University of Utah

Fasika Aberra, MD

MD: University of Michigan
Residency program: Vanderbilt University

Jennifer Behzadi, MD

MD: Indiana University
Residency program: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Stephanie Pointer, MD

MD: Morehouse School of Medicine
Residency program: Vanderbilt University

Viyan Udawatta, MD

MD: University of Chicago 
Residency program: UPMC Montefiore/Presbyterian

Ahmad Anaizi, MD

MD: University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
Residency program: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Veronica Jarido, MD

MD: University of Pittsburgh
Residency program: Duke University Hospital

Anjuli Luthra, MD

MD: Wake Forest School of Medicine
Residency program: Wake Forest Medical Center

Laura Nemer, MD

MD: University of Cincinnati 
Residency program: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

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