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Fellowship Programs

Gastroenterology chief Dr. Kenneth Chang on rounds at UC Irvine Douglas HospitalUC Irvine's Division of Gastroenterology offers a highly competitive, multidisciplinary fellowship program that involves the School of Medicine's departments of medicine, pathology, physiology, radiology and surgery.

The fully accredited three-year program prepares fellows for careers in clinical and academic gastroenterology. Fellows also undertake a investigation in a defined area of either laboratory-based or clinical research as part of the program, which enjoys a long-standing national and international reputation for training excellence.

At the end of the program, fellows are eligible for board certification in gastroenterology.

Gastroenterology Fellowship Overview »

Training takes place at the UC Irvine Health H.H. Chao Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center (CDDC) and UC Irvine Health Douglas Hospital, both located at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange. Fellows also train at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System and at Kaiser Permanente centers in Anaheim and Irvine.

Clinical facilities at each site include a state-of-the-art gastrointestinal diagnostic laboratory as well as a combined gastrointestinal and internal medicine inpatient unit. In addition, outpatient clinics in general gastroenterology and hepatology give our fellows experience in the continuing care of ambulatory patients with digestive disorders.

These settings provide our fellows with the broadest possible range of clinical experiences and exposure to patients of all walks of life.

Clinical Experience »
Clinical Training

During clinical training, fellows rotate among the our teaching facilities. These rotations give fellows exposure to large and diverse patient populations, as well as to an outstanding faculty representing clinical and scientific expertise in most areas of gastrointestinal and liver disease.

Fellows usually complete 12 months of inpatient clinical consult rotations during their first year. The second and third years combine clinical and research rotations. Depending on their interests, third-year fellows also can pursue electives in advanced procedures, motility training, hepatology or inflammatory bowel disease.

All fellows must attend half-day weekly continuity clinics throughout their training period. These are held at UC Irvine Medical Center and at the VA to ensure that the fellows get the appropriate exposure to men and women of all ages with a wide range of gastrointestinal disorders.

Endoscopy and Procedure Experience

Fellows also receive extensive endoscopic experience. With this experience, our fellows routinely exceed the requirements for accreditation set by the ACGME. Training in advanced endoscopic procedures is available for third-year fellows.

Our gastrointestinal diagnostic laboratories are equipped to carry out all routine diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures, as well as more specialized endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS), EUS-guided fine needle aspiration (FNA) and manometric practices. The labs are outfitted to perform the most advanced procedures used to manage GI disorders, including:

  • Cryoablation therapy
  • Diagnostic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Endomicroscopy
  • EUS and FNA
  • Large volume paracentesis
  • Liver biopsy
  • Mannometry
  • pH and impedance testing
  • Radiofrequency ablation of Barrett's esophagus
  • Sphincter of Oddi manometry
  • Sphincteroplasty
  • Sphincterotomy
  • Stent-placement
  • Stone extraction
  • As fellows rotate through the program, they evaluate patients and participate in pre- and post-operative management of all aspects of patients' medical problems. Interested fellows can participate in advanced endoscopic procedures, including therapeutic endoscopy and endoscopic ultrasonography.

    Educational activities »

    The Division of Gastroenterology has an active roster of educational activities each week. This format encourages participation by faculty, fellows and community physicians.

    To maximize participation of faculty and fellows, Wednesday mornings are designed around educational activities, including clinical and basic science seminars about the pathophysiology of digestive disorders. The program is enriched by special lectures and seminars that bring recognized authorities from elsewhere in the United States and abroad.

    Teaching conferences are as follows:


    • Mondays — Gastrointestinal pathology conference
    • Tuesdays — Gastrointestinal tumor board and Department of Medicine grand rounds
    • Wednesdays — Clinical and basic science seminars on topics about the pathophysiology of digestive disorders

    Monthly (most monthly meetings occur on Wednesdays):

    • Surgical gastroenterology conference, emphasizing clinical problems and their management
    • Endoscopy case conference
    • Journal club, reviewing major gastroenterological advances in leading journals
    • Gastrointestinal radiology conference on cases involving the full spectrum of radiologic imaging
    • Research conference, with presentations of planned or ongoing research to colleagues and the clinical faculty
    • Multidisciplinary clinical case conference focused on general gastroenterology
    • Quality assurance conference, focusing on complications of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures
    • Chief rounds (Fridays)
    • Multidisciplinary Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program (Fridays)

    The division also hosts a variety of activities for fellows and community physicians.

    For more information on upcoming conferences and other events, contact us at 714-456-6745.

    Research »
    Clinical and basic research projects are an important aspect of the Division of Gastroenterology's fellowship training. Completion of a research project, including publication, is a graduation requirement.

    The Division of Gastroenterology has research laboratories on the university's Irvine campus and at the VA in Long Beach. During three years of training, fellows are expected to dedicate at least six months to active participation in clinical or laboratory research. The diverse research interests of division faculty members allows our fellows to choose from a wide range of exciting and challenging research experiences.

    Fellows are expected to choose a research project and conceptualize it during the first year of fellowship, and complete it during their second and third years. Fellows are required to submit a manuscript for publication and are encouraged to present their research at national meetings.

    Salary and benefits »
    The annual salary scale is:
    • First Year — $57,590
    • Second Year — $59,783
    • Third Year — $61,971

    Fellows also receive:

    • Three weeks vacation plus one week of educational leave a year
    • Medical, dental and vision insurance plans designed to meet the needs of the fellows and their families
    • Professional liability coverage for all activities that are part of the gastroenterology fellowship training program

    Moonlighting as a gastroenterologist is not permitted. However, for second- and third-year fellows experiencing undue financial hardship, moonlighting on weekends may be allowed for a maximum of 20 hours a month. Time spent moonlighting counts toward the 80-hour-per-week work limit.

    Application process »
    The Division of Gastroenterology accepts four new fellows each year.

    Applications for July 2014 positions are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

    For questions about the application process, go to ERAS or call 215-966-3940.

    For more information, contact the fellowship coordinator at 714-456-6745.

    Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) fellowship »

    The Division of Gastroenterology also offers a highly competitive Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) fellowship. The aim of this one- to two-year fellowship is to train academic gastroenterologists to be able to establish an EUS unit in their own teaching hospital, as well as to continue clinical research and development that will advance the use of this modality.

    EUS fellows also learn various aspects of interventional endoscopy during their training, which takes place at the UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange.
    To be eligible for the EUS advanced fellowship, applicants must submit to the chief of the Division of Gastroenterology:

    • A curriculum vitae
    • A cover letter
    • Three letters of recommendation

    One of the letters of recommendation be from a previous training program leader. If possible, a second letter should be from an endorsing academic unit delineating the applicant's future prospects at their institution.

    Suitable candidates are selected for interview, preferably in person. In situations where that is not possible, a telephone interview may be scheduled. The successful applicant is chosen by the division chief in consultation with division faculty members. 

    Please send letters and your CV to:

    Fellowship Coordinator
    Department of Medicine
    UC Irvine School of Medicine
    333 The City Drive, Suite 400
    Orange, CA 92868

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    For more information, please contact the division fellowship coordinator at 714-456-6745.