About the Program

The clinical training of gastroenterology-hepatology fellows takes place in the multidisciplinary environment of the James A. Clifton Digestive Health Center at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, and at the adjacent Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty participate in patient care in both hospitals on a rotating basis. Outpatient clinics, inpatient consultation services, state-of-the-art endoscopy units with active programs in endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasonography and liver transplantation provide the framework for clinical training in gastroenterology and hepatology. Fellows become experienced in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures as part of their clinical training. Additional clinical programs are tailored to the needs of fellows wishing to pursue specialized training in areas such as hepatology, transplantation, therapeutic endoscopic ultrasonography, inflammatory bowel disease, motility, and nutrition. Ample opportunity exists to interact with colleagues in pediatric gastroenterology, pathology, surgery and radiology.

Mission: to train physicians in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, giving the necessary framework for a successful career in this specialty. We will provide education that emphasizes knowledge in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of gastrointestinal, pancreato-biliary, and liver diseases through patient care, research, and education, and do so in a welcoming, professional environment that is conductive to learning.

Aim & Goals: The Fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at The University of Iowa provides trainees with the education and experience required to function as competent specialists, educators and scientists. Fellows will be involved in a variety of clinical and scholarly activities to guide their training. The curriculum and evaluations incorporate the competency tenets of the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) – medical knowledge, patient care, practice based learning and improvement, systems based practice, professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills.

Clinical Services

The clinical responsibilities of the division are divided into several key services. The team on each clinical service is composed of a faculty member who may be accompanied by a fellow, a physician assistant, residents, and senior medical students.

The Procedure Service at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. A faculty member supervises all of the endoscopic diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed on patients from the inpatient and outpatient services at UI Hospitals & Clinics. This work is carried out in the procedure unit of the James A. Clifton Digestive Health Center. Fellows perform procedures on their patients with the assistance of a faculty member.

The UI Hospitals & Clinics Gastroenterology-Hepatology Inpatient Consultation Service. This consult team consists of one faculty member, two fellows, and a resident or medical student. The fellows on this service help formulate and carry out the plans for evaluating and treating patients with gastrointestinal illnesses. He or she performs the endoscopic procedures needed to meet these objectives.

The VA Service. One faculty member, one fellow, and occasionally a resident or medical student provide all of the gastroenterology-hepatology consultation services at the Iowa City VA Health Care System. The fellow participates in the evaluation and management of each patient and performs all of the endoscopic procedures done at the VA Health Care System under the supervision of the faculty.

The Liver Service. One faculty member and one fellow staff a liver service at UI Hospitals & Clinics. This team sees all of the inpatient and some outpatient liver consultations.

The Liver Transplant Service. One faculty member, one fellow, and two physiuciuan assistants provide care for liver transplant patients admitted to the transplant service.In addition, the service also manages the outpatient liver transplantation clinics.

The Outpatient Clinics at UI Hospitals & Clinics. Outpatient clinics are held each weekday at UI Hospitals & Clinics. The clinic is staffed by members of the medical faculty and GI surgeons each day and offers specialty services for patients with a variety of gastrointestinal, nutritional and liver diseases. Fellows and residents participate in the evaluation of new and return patients. Patients with all types of gastrointestinal, pancreatic, and liver diseases are seen in these clinics.

The ERCP Service. The ERCP service is staffed by two faculty members. Fellows participate in the evaluation of patients with pancreatic and biliary diseases duringthe second and third year of their training..

The Endoscopic Ultrasonography Service. Three faculty members perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures involving endoscopic ultrasonography. Fellows may participate in the evaluation these patients and learn the techniques of EVS in the final year of their clinical training.

Didactic Teaching

Fellows participate in several formal teaching conferences, including a core conference, gastroenterology-hepatology pathology conference, combined medical-surgical grand rounds, journal clubs, endoscopy rounds, a visiting lecturer series, and state-of-the-art conferences. Fellows are encouraged to attend seminars offered by the Department of Internal Medicine and other departments in The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Undertaking course work that is pertinent to individual research interests is recommended. Fellows contribute to the informal education of students during outpatient clinics and on clinical rounds. Senior fellows may participate in the formal teaching of students by delivering lectures or serving as preceptors.

Weekly Conferences:

  • Endoscopy Conference, Mondays, 7:00 a.m.
  • Dysphagia Conference (monthly), Wednesday, 5:00 p.m.
  • Departmental Grand Rounds, Thursdays, noon
  • GI Core & Research Conference, Thursdays, 5:00 p.m.
  • Liver Tumor Board, Fridays, 7:00 a.m.
  • GI Pathology Conference, Fridays, 8:00 a.m.
  • GI Surgery Grand Rounds, Fridays, 4:00 p.m.

Research Opportunities

Fellowship at the University of Iowa offers many opportunities for clinical and basic research, which frequently involves collaboration with members of other clinical or basic science departments in the Carver College of Medicine. Most of the active members of the gastroenterology-hepatology faculty have independent research support from the NIH, Department of Veterans Affairs, or from other outside agencies. Fellows spend most of their second year undertaking basic science or clinical research. They may choose from a wide variety of research opportunities, including clinical epidemiology, free radical biology, gastrointestinal motility, hepatitis and liver transplantation, intestinal inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease, lipid absorption, and visceral sensation and pain. The third year will be used to advance research or clinical skills depending on the individual career goals of trainees. Several years of additional research training can be funded through our NIH Research Training Grant.

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Fellows as Clinician Educators (FACE)

The Fellows as Clinician Educators (FACE) Program is designed to introduce future clinician-educators to a set of skills which may be of use in their career. The program presents concepts of educational design and research, lecture development, evaluation, observation and feedback. At the conclusion of the program, FACE participants are required to develop a teaching portfolio.

Learn more about FACE