Educational Experience

Evaluation of core competencies

Core Clinical Rotation: The fellows are on clinical rotation for 6 months during each of their two years of training. The fellows will be involved in the care of patients with a variety of endocrine problems. Fellows manage hospitalized patients with endocrine problems at the St. Mary’s Medical Center and Cabell Huntington Hospital and get their ambulatory clinical experience at the Endocrinology Clinics at University Physicians and Surgeons and Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), Huntington. The differing nature of the patient makeup and endocrine problems and diseases at these different institutions provides a broad compliment of endocrine problems and diseases for teaching purposes. They are assigned to 3 half-day ambulatory endocrinology clinics per week during their clinical rotation. His/her involvement in the patient care will be direct or in a general supervisory role when directing the internal medicine residents on the endocrinology service during their electives. An attending endocrinologist assigned to consult services will make daily rounds on hospitalized patients. During rounds, the fellow will present the patient to the attending endocrinologist and review various aspects of the patient’s problems. During these rounds, bedside skills will be emphasized, and when appropriate, the physiology and biochemical basis of disease processes will be discussed.

Research-VAMC Clinical Rotation: Fellows are on research rotation for 6 month blocks during each year of their fellowship training. While on their research rotation, fellows also cover the endocrine consult service at VAMC and continue their one half day ambulatory clinic per week, but they are given ample protected time to pursue their research activities. Participation in an active research project is a mandatory requirement of the program. Fellows are assigned a research faculty mentor at the beginning of their research projects. Emphasis is given on teaching the fellows to learn the ethical conduct of research, responsible use of informed consent, research methodology and interpretation of research data. Fellows are expected to demonstrate evidence of their research productivity through either publication in a peer-review journal or through abstracts presented at the national specialty meetings.

Elective rotations are available in pediatric endocrinology, reproductive endocrinology, and high risk pregnancy (diabetes) clinics to further enhance the clinical experience. Fellows get adequate experience performing fine needle aspirations biopsy (FNA) of thyroid nodules and interpretation of thyroid ultrasound and DXA scan examinations. Fellows are also trained in diagnostic and therapeutic uses of radioactive iodine in management of patients with hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer.

The following educational conferences are scheduled for the endocrinology fellows throughout the two-year training program.

  1. Endocrinology Core Curriculum lecture series: The goal of this lecture series is to provide a comprehensive year long review of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. Endocrinology faculty and fellows deliver lectures that cover basic and clinical aspects of endocrinology in accordance with ACGME recommendations.
  2. Endocrinology Journal Club: Journal Club is held once a month. The goal of journal club is to train endocrine fellows to critically evaluate the study design, methodology, statistics and results of peer reviewed studies published in medical literature.
  3. Endocrinology Clinical Case Conference: In this weekly conference selected clinical cases seen by the Section of Endocrinology including both hospitalized patients as well as outpatients are presented. The goal of this conference is for fellows to learn to give effective case presentations and to use the medical literature to develop an evidence-based approach to the evaluation and management of endocrine disorders. Typically, patients whose problems pose interesting or difficulty diagnostic or therapeutic challenges are discussed.
  4. Research Conference: This conference is held once a month. Current and proposed research projects within the endocrine section are presented and discussed. In communicating their research, fellows discuss their hypothesis, methods, experimental design and analysis, interpretation and basis for the conclusion.