By achieving certification in transplant hepatology, you demonstrate your commitment to the profession and show the public, your patients, your institution and your colleagues that you have attained expertise in advanced and transplant hepatology beyond the general hepatology competence expected of a gastroenterologist. Transplant hepatology fellowship training encompasses competencies in advanced hepatology as well as pre- and post-liver transplant medicine. Certification in transplant hepatology is the preferred pathway for the expert hepatologist, whether your career goals involve practice in an academic liver transplant program or a community general hepatology practice.
There are two pathways available to achieve certification in transplant hepatology.
Transplant Hepatology Training After Gastroenterology Fellowship ("Fourth Year")
- One year of advanced training for those who have completed a three-year fellowship in gastroenterology. (Total of four years for completion of gastroenterology and transplant hepatology fellowship training.)
- Benefits of an additional year of fellowship training after completion of gastroenterology fellowship include:
- Advanced training in general and transplant hepatology
- More time available for training and development of competence in gastroenterology
- More time to pursue scholarly activities including research during the three-year gastroenterology fellowship
- Opportunity to pursue advanced training at a different institution
- Ability to be funded on the T32 training grant
- Ideal for trainees interested in an academic hepatology career and/or a career with a significant research focus
Combined Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Training During Gastroenterology Fellowship
- Three-year combined gastroenterology/transplant hepatology fellowship program uses a competency-based model to allow for certification in both GI and transplant hepatology within a three-year period (formerly referred to as the ABIM/AASLD GI/Transplant Hepatology Pilot Training Program).
- From 2012 – 2019 this was a pilot competency-based training program sponsored by the AASLD and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) that granted exceptions to individual trainees to focus on achieving competency in transplant hepatology during the third year of gastroenterology fellowship. The pilot functioned via ABIM-granted individual exceptions to training and therefore did not require ACGME Internal Medicine Review Committee approval. Details on ACGME requirements for the new training pathway are forthcoming.
- Benefits of the combined GI/Transplant Hepatology Pilot Program include:
- Shorter training period
- Ability to focus on clinically-oriented career goals
- Less exposure to subspecialized GI rotations that may not be applicable to future career goals
- Opportunity to participate in and contribute to an innovative training model
- Ideal for trainees interested in a clinical hepatology career with possible participation in clinical trials
When and How to Apply for Each Transplant Hepatology Pathway
- Applicants interested in the traditional 1-year transplant hepatology fellowship
- Contact potential programs during their late second year or early third year of GI fellowship to schedule interviews
- There is no formal match system for this fellowship and no uniform application deadline. Most programs have only 1-2 positions available, and late applicants may have fewer choices.
- Applicants interested in the three-year ABIM GI/Transplant Hepatology Pilot Program
- Speak with their GI program director as early as possible
- ABIM policies for the new combined pathway are available
- As this is a new training pathway (no longer a pilot beginning in academic year 2020-21), ACGME program requirements and other details are still being developed and will be posted as soon as available
- Transplant Hepatology Fellowship Programs
- 52 ACGME-accredited fellowships in transplant hepatology are currently available
- Most TH programs have participated in the combined GI/TH pilot and are likely to offer the new combined pathway
Transplant Hepatology Certification
- Upon completing transplant hepatology training and passing the gastroenterology board certification, fellows will be eligible to take the Transplant Hepatology Board Certification Exam jointly offered by the American Board of Internal Medicine and American Board of Pediatrics
- The Combined GI/TH Pathway is currently only eligible for certification through the American Board of Internal Medicine and is not currently available through the American Board of Pediatrics