For more than 30 years, the NIH supported and top-rated Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program at the University of Chicago continues educating tomorrow’s diabetes and endocrine physicians. Many of the world’s leaders in diabetes care and research were trained at the University of Chicago and completed the Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program, including Drs. John Buse, Charles Burant, Richard Bergenstal, and Lou Philipson. This distinguished program has been supported annually by a training grant through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The goal of the program is to prepare young physicians for careers in academic medicine and dedicated faculty is committed to training the next generation of leaders in the field of endocrinology.
Unique to the University of Chicago is the combined expertise of pediatric and adult endocrinologists in the Section of Adult and Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. Led by Roy Weiss, MD, PhD, the Section offers world-class pediatric AND adult fellowship programs. The Section also uniquely offers opportunities for combining pediatric and adult clinical training. Dr. Tamara Vokes, Adult Fellowship Training Director and Dr. Dianne Deplewski, Pediatric Fellowship Training Director partner with their colleagues to create innovative clinical and research experiences for fellows pursuing a career in academic endocrinology. “The major advantages of our program include superb clinical training, in-depth research experience tailored to the interest and aspirations of each individual fellow and outstanding faculty with long track record of major scientific discovery” states Dr. Vokes. She also noted that “ the program also uniquely offers options for collaborations with other faculty in basic and clinical sciences, and state-of-the-art facilities for conducting both basic and clinical research” (including the newest Kovler research laboratory). Training is also focused on serving those in underserved communities, which allows for fruitful research in health disparities and development of urban health initiatives.
Through interactions with members of the endocrinology section and other investigators within the University of Chicago, the trainees have a broad as well as in-depth experience in both clinical and investigative endocrinology. In addition to patient care, the trainees attend weekly lecture series on recent developments in endocrinology research presented by national and international authorities in the area.
One of the unique aspects of the training program at the University of Chicago is the emphasis on continued clinical exposure throughout the duration of the fellowship. Thus, the trainee will begin both clinical training and the research experience from the beginning of the program which will continue for 3 years. However, the first year has greater clinical exposure which progressively decreases in the 2nd and 3rd years. This allows the trainees to quickly develop clinical competence in the beginning of the fellowship while providing more uninterrupted time for research in the later years.
Three tracks are available to the prospective fellow: basic/translational research, clinical investigation, and combined endocrinology/outcomes research. Each fellowship track allows flexibility and can be tailored to meet the trainee’s career goals.
Dr. Matthew Wise, a fellow in his final year of training, said “I have truly benefited from this program-it has challenged me to understand and investigate a variety of complex diabetes and endocrine cases. There have been great opportunities to collaborate with other disciplines in community engagement and quality improvement initiatives.” He adds “It is satisfying to work on targeted clinical solutions that will ultimate improve the experience of individuals with diabetes and other endocrine conditions.”
In September, more than 10 adult endocrine faculty members reviewed more than 150 applications and selected 21 individuals to interview for 2 positions available for the 2013-2014 academic year. Residents from throughout the U.S. apply for fellowship through a national matching system.