The traditional transplant hepatology fellowship offers one year of advanced training for those who have completed a fellowship in gastroenterology. Transplant hepatology was formalized as a distinct discipline with its own certification by the ABIM in 2006. More than 40 ACGME-accredited fellowships are currently offered outside of the formal match process. Upon completing this year of training, fellows will be eligible to take the transplant hepatology board certification exam. Benefits of an additional year of fellowship training after completion of gastroenterology fellowship include:
In 2012, AASLD, in conjunction with other GI professional societies and ABIM, developed a 3 year combined gastroenterology/transplant hepatology fellowship program. This program uses a competency-based model to allow for certification in both GI and transplant hepatology within a 3-year period. Benefits of the combined GI/transplant hepatology pilot program include:
Get more information on the ABIM GI/transplant hepatology pilot program.
When to apply
Applicants interested in the traditional 1-year transplant hepatology fellowship should contact potential programs during their late second year or early third year of GI fellowship in order to schedule interviews. As there is no formal match system for this fellowship, there is no uniform application deadline. However, most programs have only 1-2 positions available, and late applicants may have fewer choices.
Applicants interested in the 3-year ABIM GI/transplant hepatology pilot program should speak with their GI program director as early as possible. Potential applicants may need to reorganize their second year schedules to make sure they complete the majority of GI cinical requirements in the first 2 years of GI training so that they can devote their third year almost exclusively to transplant hepatology. Application materials are generally available to transplant hepatology program directors and potential pilot fellows upon request beginning in November/December of the fellow’s second year of GI training and approved by the AASLD Pilot Task Force on a rolling basis through March of the fellow’s second year.
Following transplant hepatology training, there are several settings in which a transplant hepatologist can practice. Often transplant hepatologists are affiliated with an academic institution. Additionally, there are opportunities available in hospital-based and private group practices.
These positions are affiliated with a university or teaching institution.
There is a growing number of hepatologists and transplant hepatologists who are employed by hospitals or large health systems. These are often not university-affiliated and are typically supported by extensive clinical care programs, usually within liver transplant programs. These centers may also be supported by extensive clinical research programs. Hepatologists in these settings are typically salaried employees of the hospital or health system.
There are growing opportunities for hepatologists to join single- or multispecialty group/private practices. These settings are often not affiliated with a liver transplant program and are generally supported by clinical revenue generated directly by performing endoscopic procedures or indirectly by revenue shared among gastroenterology partners. These practices may manage all aspects of liver-related care including much of the liver transplant evaluations for one or more transplant programs. They may also have thriving clinical trial programs.
Created in 2010, the AASLD Emerging Liver Scholars Resident Program promotes the study of hepatology among residents who have the potential for a career in academic medicine and who haven’t yet determined their long-term career goals. This program is targeted toward medical, surgical, and pediatric residents and their Mentors to attend The Liver Meeting® each year and participate in other AASLD activities throughout their training.
Learn more about this program.
Created in 2014, the AASLD Membership and Mentorship Committee designed a program for previous recipients of the Emerging Liver Scholars Award to serve as an Ambassador and reach out to medical students and other residents to spread the word about a career in liver disease and discuss the data and research presented at The Liver Meeting®. The program funds up to six Ambassadors to travel to and attend the Liver Meeting® as well as funding for up to 15 Ambassadors to develop programs and events at their home institutions.
Learn more about this program.
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Dr. Douglas Simonetto, a previous Emerging Liver Scholar (Class of 2012), shares his thoughts about the Emerging Liver Scholars program, AASLD trainee member benefits, and AASLD in general.