Curriculum

Program Goals & Objectives

The goal of the two-year fellowship program is to provide a robust and comprehensive educational experience, in both the inpatient and outpatient settings – consisting of a combination of clinical exposure to a diverse patient population with a spectrum of endocrine disorders,  didactic lectures, innovative simulation experiences and research – that adequately prepares fellows to competently engage in the subspecialty practice of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and to pass the ABIM subspecialty board examination. It will also adequately prepare fellows for further training in preparation of entering academia, recognizing that a minimum of three years of fellowship training is usually required for a successful career in this academic medicine; options for a third year of training are available for VCU fellows who have demonstrated a commitment to pursuing a career in academic medicine as a physician-scientist or clinician-educator.

Below you will find sections detailing:

Typical Rotation Schedules

Typical 1st Year Rotation Schedule Location Length
MCV Consults VCUHS 4-5 blocks
VA Clinical VAMC 4 blocks
Outpatient Specialty Clinics VCUHS/VAMC 2-3 blocks
Academic/Research VCUHS/VAMC 3 blocks

 

Typical 2nd Year Rotation Schedule Location Length
MCV Consults VCUHS 2 blocks
VA Clinical VAMC 3 blocks
Outpatient Specialty Clinics VCUHS/VAMC 3 blocks
Academic/Research VCUHS/VAMC 1 block
Elective VCUHS 1 block

 

Rotation Descriptions

MCV Consults (VCUHS)
Fellows, with close faculty supervision, lead the Endocrinology Inpatient Consult Service, providing consultative services for hospitalized patients with endocrine conditions including diabetes mellitus. Daily rounds with faculty include dedicated didactic teaching sessions.

VA Clinical (VAMC)
Fellows participate in specialty clinics in the morning, including dedicated clinics for patients with lipid disorders, metabolic bone disease and diabetes mellitus. Clinic sessions are followed by post-clinic teaching conferences. In the afternoons, fellows round with faculty on the VA Inpatient Endocrine Consult Service.

Outpatient Speciality Clinics
Fellows rotate through a variety of specialty clinics at VCUHS and VAMC including clinics dedicated to the management of nodular thyroid disease, transplant-associated diabetes mellitus, obesity medicine, transgender medicine, gestational diabetes, and reproductive endocrinology.

Academic/Research
All fellows must engage in a research project. A research mentor will be identified by the fellow or assigned by the program director within the first four months of training. Fellows are expected to develop an in-depth expertise in the selected research area, and to present their research findings at a national scientific meeting as well as at the divisional Endocrine Grand Rounds series.

Pediatric Endocrinology
Fellows will attend pediatric endocrinology clinics in addition to maintaining their continuity clinic. Fellows are expected to develop a presentation on a pediatric endocrine topic to present at a Wednesday conference during this rotation.

Procedures 
All fellows will be trained in the performance and interpretation of thyroid ultrasound, fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) of the thyroid gland, and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) as well as the clinical management of patients with diabetes mellitus on insulin pump and/or continuous glucose monitor therapy.

Conferences

Post VA Lipid Clinic Conference
Mondays at noon (fellows at VA only)

Post VA Endo Clinic Conference
Tuesdays at noon (fellows at VA only)

Endocrine Didactic Conference 
Wednesdays at 7:30 a.m. 

VCU Post-Clinic Conference
Wednesdays at noon

Endocrine Grand Rounds Series 
Wednesday afternoons from 4:30-5:30 p.m. 
(Fellows are expected to present every 8-12 weeks.)

Endocrine Tumor Board
Wednesday afternoons from 5:30-6:00 p.m.

Endocrine Board Review
Thursday morning from 7:30-8:30 a.m. once a month

Endocrinology Skills Session
Thursday evening from 5:00-6:00 p.m. once a month

Unique Learning Opportunities

Diabetes Immersion
Each academic year, fellows participate in an innovative simulation experience to provide in-depth education regarding diabetes self-management and enhance provider empathy for patients living with diabetes mellitus. Following a series of interactive didactic sessions on diabetes self-management skills, first-year fellows have the opportunity to wear an insulin pump (with saline) and are asked to monitor glucose levels, count carbs, and administer boluses using the pump for three days. Second-year fellows are invited to wear a continuous glucose monitor and inject “insulin” (saline) via syringes as if they were on multiple daily injections. Afterwards, fellows are asked to write a reflection on the experience and attend a follow-up session to discuss the experience.

Thyroid Bootcamp
Each academic year, the fellows participate in an intensive 4-hour “Thyroid Bootcamp” Workshop to gain real-time experience in the clinical use of thyroid ultrasound, fine needle aspiration, and the general management of nodular thyroid disease and differentiated thyroid cancer. Thyroid Bootcamp is facilitated by VCU Endocrinology and Cytopathology faculty and is intended to provide a strong clinical foundation in the management of nodular thyroid disease that fellows can continue to build on throughout their training.

Research and Scholarship
See Scholarship Section.