About the Gastroenterology Fellowship Program

Welcome to the VCU Gastroenterology Fellowship Training Program website.  We are incredibly proud of our fellows, our program and our institution. The VCU medical campus boasts state-of-the-art clinical, research, educational, and simulation facilities. But, what makes the VCU experience so rich and the learning climate optimal is the supportive, experienced faculty and the collegiality of the fellows. We invite you to explore our website and learn more about what VCU has to offer you educationally.

The fellowship program includes clinical training at VCU Health and Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center.

We offer two distinct fellowship tracks:

  • Clinical Educator: a traditional three-year program that emphasizes clinical gastroenterology and hepatology and is intended to train fellows for clinical and academic practice. Dedicated research time is provided to promote scholarly activity. 
  • ABIM Pilot program for transplant hepatology: Based on trainee’s interest, we do offer ABIM pilot program to selective fellows where fellows can satisfy the ABIM requirements for both the Gastroenterology and Transplant hepatology board examinations in three year training.

We have four positions for the clinical educator track and one position for the basic scientist track. Each track prepares fellows for eligibility to sit for Gastroenterology board exams. While applicants may apply for multiple tracks, we recommend applying for only one track to help our selection committee best understand your future career goals. In addition, for candidates who have completed a GI fellowship we offer training in:

  • Advanced Endoscopy: a one-year fellowship focused on diagnostic and therapeutic ERCP, EUS, and other advanced endoscopic procedures.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Nutrition: a one-year fellowship focused on inflammatory bowel disease and nutrition. Completion of training in Gastroenterology is preferred, but not required.
  • Transplant Hepatology: a one-year fellowship dedicated to liver transplantation, diagnosis and management of advanced liver conditions.

Welcome from the Program Director

Welcome from the Program Director

Welcome from the Program Director

Welcome from the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Gastroenterology Fellowship Training Program.  Virginia Commonwealth University (The Medical College of Virginia) has a long tradition of clinical excellence. Our health system is a busy, growing, state-of-the art facility, which is ideally situated amid the state’s population centers. Our accessibility stimulates a fast-paced work environment with a notably diverse patient population. Consistent with our socially-conscious mission to provide the best medical care regardless of financial status, we care for more than half of the state’s uninsured patients. At the same time, we provide state-of-the art primary, subspecialty, and tertiary care for the densely populated eastern half of the state. We are proud that our efforts to serve all patients in the Commonwealth of Virginia have been recognized for its excellence by US News and World Report in its best hospital rankings and by the American Hospital Association with its prestigious AHA-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize award designation. This diversity and recognized clinical excellence creates a rich, hands-on learning environment for the fellow in Gastroenterology.

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Research and Scholarship Expectations

All fellows are expected to actively engage in scholarly activities. These activities can be in basic research, clinical research, health outcomes research, and/or educational research. Essential to success is providing the tools necessary to foster the fellows’ intellectual development as investigators. These tools are provided through participation in VCUHS graduate medical education research series, which is conducted at the start of the academic year and is mandatory for all second year fellows. Fellows receive three research months over the period of their training. Fellows with a strong interest in research can get additional time. 

As a sign of our commitment to the scholarly efforts of the fellows, the Department of Internal Medicine has designated funding which is set aside specifically to offset the travel cost for fellows who are presenting their work at regional, national, and international scientific and academic meetings. The division is similarly committed to assisting with costs associated with presenting and publishing scholarly efforts. The commitment to our fellows is evident by the fact that our department chair, Dr. John Nestler, an NIH-funded investigator himself, personally meets with all fellows in advance of presenting at national and international meetings to offer additional mentorship and guidance. At VCU, we honor your education and professional growth as our greatest achievement and are proud to send our residents and fellows as our ambassadors.

Content coming soon!

Ravi Vachhani, MD

Ravi Vachhani, MD

Program Director

Ravi Vachhani, MD

Ravi Vachhani, MD

Program Director

Internal Medicine

Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Email: ravi.vachhani@vcuhealth.org

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View Faculty Expertise Profile

John F. Kuemmerle, MD

John F. Kuemmerle, MD

Division Chair

John F. Kuemmerle, MD

John F. Kuemmerle, MD

Division Chair

Internal Medicine

Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Email: john.kuemmerle@vcuhealth.org

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View Faculty Expertise Profile

Class of 2021

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Chathur Acharya, MBBS
Medical School: Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College
Residency: Internal Medicine at UPMC McKeesport

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Allawy Allawy, MBBCh
Medical School: University of Cairo Faculty of Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Foundation

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Omar Nadhem, MBBChB
Medical School: University of Baghdad College of Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Amarillo

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Hamzeh Saraireh, MD
Medical School: University of Jordan Faculty of Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine at University of Texas Medical Branch

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Joseph Spataro, MD
Medical School: Drexel University College of Medicine
Residency: n/a

Class of 2020

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George Henry, MD
Medical School: University of Mississippi School of Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University

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Joseph Redman, MD, PhD
Medical School: University of Utah School of Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine

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Mohammed Bilal Siddiqui, DO
Medical School: Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

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Abdul Oseini, MD
Medical School: Istanbul Universitesi – Cerrahpasa Tip Fakultesi
Residency: Internal Medicine at Michigan State University – McLaren Program

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Caroline Walker, MD
Medical School: Tulane University School of Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine at University of Alabama at Birmingham

Alumni

Eligibilty Requirements

VCUHS can only support J-1 visas.

How to Apply:

The Gastroenterology fellowship training program at VCU is a participant in the NRMP match. All applications will be accepted through ERAS and follow ERAS deadlines.

Required Documentation

    • Application
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • USMLE score reports
    • Medical School Transcripts
    • MPSE
    • A personal statement
    • 4 letters of recommendation, including one from your program director
    • A photograph

If applicable, please provide the following: 

  • ECFMG certificate
  • Medical School Diploma (with translation if necessary)

Application Timeline:

We will review applications from July 15 through September 31. Invitations to interview will likely be issued during this time frame.

Interviews:

2019 Interviews dates:

  • September 13, 2019
  • September 20, 2019
  • September 27, 2019
  • October 11, 2019
  • October 18, 2019

The interview day consists of the following:

  • Introduction to the program and division
  • Tour of the VCUHS facilities
  • Lunch with current fellows
  • Interviews with VCUHS and VA-based faculty

Program Director

Ravi Vachhani, MD
1200 E Broad Street 
Box: 98034, Richmond, VA 23298 
Phone: (804) 828-4060 
Fax: (804) 828-5348 
Email: ravi.vachhani@vcuhealth.org

Fellowship Coordinator

Cesley Watkins
Box 980509
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0509
Phone: (804) 628-4497
Fax: (804) 828-4926
Email: imfellowships@vcuhealth.org