Fellowship

Applications for the Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program are accepted only through the"Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Read more.

Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Department of Internal Medicine
MSC10-5550
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131
Phone: (505) 272-4657
Fax: (505) 272-5155

Endocrinology Fellowship

To Apply

The Endocrinology Fellowship accepts applications only through the "Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

If you would like further information about the Endocrinology fellowship program at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, please e-mail a question or request specific information from our fellowship director Dr. Patricia Kapsner at pkapsner@salud.unm.edu.

Introduction

The fellowship offered in the Endocrinology Division is a two-year program (with an optional third year dedicated to research). There are seven fulltime endocrine faculty to supervise four endocrine fellows. This ratio ensures personalized teaching and interaction.

Weekly board review and didactics material are reviewed by all fellows and led by individual faculty. Joint monthly conferences are held with Neurosurgery, ENT surgery, and Nuclear Medicine to ensure continuity of patient care.

The program includes rotations both at University Hospital and the Veterans Administration Hospital. It is a comprehensive program involving inpatient consultations, outpatient clinic visits, clinical conferences and commonly performed procedures, such as ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration of the thyroid. Rotations through pediatric and reproductive endocrinology are scheduled during the fellowship.

Fellows are encouraged to develop a research project and to attend national scientific meetings.

1st Year Fellows, 2017-2019
Maryam Rivaz
Maryam Rivaz, MD
Pilar Ortegon
Pilar Ortegon, MD

2nd Year Fellows, 2016-2018
Simran Brar
Simran Brar, DO
Lindsey Vandyke
Lindsey Vandyke, DO
Resident presenting a clinical case at Case Conference

Clinical Training

The University of New Mexico offers a comprehensive two-year training curriculum in the clinical aspects of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. Endocrinology fellows are assigned to clinical duties for nine months during their first year of training, and three months during their second year. Fellows (in conjunction with assigned Internal Medicine housestaff and students) participate in Inpatient Endocrinology consultations at two large, tertiary care hospitals which serve as referral facilities for much of the southwestern region: the 350-bed University of New Mexico hospital, and the 400-bed Albuquerque Veterans Administration hospital. Consultations typically cover the breadth of endocrinologic disease, allowing excellent exposure to challenging and rewarding problems in patient management.

The outpatient clinical experience is similarly diverse. The fellows attend weekly continuity specialty clinics at both the University and VA hospitals. First year fellows also participate in pediatric endocrinology and reproductive endocrinology clinics. This provides the opportunity to build a patient base and to follow patients long-term as diseases evolve and management issues change.

(See also: Conferences)

Curriculum

Professional Goals of the Endocrinology & Metabolism Fellowship:

  • Clinical practice/competence
  • Textbook familiarity with normal and abnormal pathophysiology
  • Hands-on experience with normal and abnormal clinical endocrinology
  • Clinical and hospital experience in gathering data, stimulation and suppression testing, radiological imaging, nuclear medicine challenging, and interpretation of findings
  • Personal responsibility for fostering in-patient and family interaction regarding endocrine pathologies
  • Teaching and mentoring experience. Responsibility in normal and abnormal pathophysiology with medical students and residents
  • Sophisticated communication. Ability to use verbal and nonverbal skills when discussing endocrinology patients with referring physicians
  • Detailed understanding of current costs of diagnosis and therapy of endocrinopathies
  • Clinical research competence

Grant Writing

  • Writing an abstract
  • Presenting a 10 minute research talk at a regional/national meeting
  • Writing a case report
  • Writing a research manuscript
  • Writing a small research grant to industry
  • Writing a research proposal to a foundation
  • Understanding the process of preparing a research grant to NIH

Clinical Investigation

  • Investigator-initiated clinical investigation
  • Industry-initiated clinical investigation
  • Clinical investigation in response to an NIH RFLP, or VA cooperative study

Experimental Design

  • Bench research technology (radioimmunoassay, radio ELIZA assay, southern blot, ultracentrifugation, HPLC, mass spectrometry)
  • Biostatistical analysis (population epidemiology, T-test, Chi-square, non-parametric, compartmental kinetic analysis)
  • Clinical study experimental design (timing of sampling, diet preparation, family screening for pedigree, urine collection.)

Communication Expertise

  • Lecture to medical students and housestaff
  • Writing skills in terms of abstracts, manuscripts, lectures, grants, and communications to other physicians

Curriculum Objectives

  • Achieve goals and objectives of housestaff curriculum.
  • Organize clinical cases for 50 weekly conferences. Include case presentation and literature review.
  • Utilize and be authoritative about endocrine material in Endocrinology by Greenspan, and in Principles and Practice of Endocrinology by Becker.
  • Review and answer all endocrinology sample questions from the Board of Internal Medicine exam.
  • Attend all Endocrine Conferences.

Texts

Fellows are urged to utilize the copies of Harrison’s Endocrinology, 2nd Edition.Copies of many endocrinology texts are available in each faculty member's office. The use of computer searches is urged at every opportunity, with ad hoc discussion at any time.

Clinical Objectives

  • To become familiar with the most common clinical endocrine pathologies
  • To become familiar with the endocrine clinical emergencies
  • To become familiar with the investigation issues current in clinical endocrinology
  • To develop a friendship with the endocrine faculty

Components of Familiarity

  • Understanding of pathophysiology
  • Understanding of natural history
  • Understanding of therapeutic interventions
  • Understanding of longitudinal clinical and laboratory evaluation
  • Understanding questions and issues that need to be resolved
  • Having access to appropriate text and serial literature

Specific Common Clinical Endocrinology Diseases

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Parathyroid disorders
  • Pituitary disorders of all trophic hormones
  • Hypothalamic disorders
  • Gonadal disorders
  • Impotence
  • Infertility
  • Genetic diseases
  • Metabolic bone disease
  • Hyponatremia
  • Lipoprotein disorders
  • Adrenal disorders

Endocrine Emergencies

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Hyponatremia
  • Hypernatremia
  • Hyperosmolar coma
  • Adrenal crisis
  • Thyroid storm
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Myxedema coma
  • Pheochromocytoma

Evaluation

Endocrinology curriculum

Evaluation of fellows: Fellows are evaluated quarterly by the endocrinology faculty. Each faculty member completes a written evaluation form. These forms are kept in the fellows' cumulative file. The written evaluation forms are discussed with each fellow during a meeting with the program director. The fellow responds to the evaluations and makes a plan for the next quarter.

The faculty is present during conduct of procedures, and document the experience in the chart. The fellow maintains a record of procedures performed that is reviewed at six-month evaluations with the division chief.

Evaluation of faculty: Each fellow fills out written evaluation forms for faculty members at six-month intervals. At the time of the reviews, the fellows are asked to fill out an evaluation form on each of the key faculty. This form is discussed with the division chief at the time of the bi-annual meeting.

Evaluation of program by staff and fellows: Staff and fellows periodically evaluate the training program. When a problem area is identified, the fellows are asked to explain their issues and the faculty meet to discuss and brainstorm solutions. A solution is presented to the fellows for feedback and approval or further comments. Periodically the program outline is revised and augmented to meet the changing needs of the fellows and faculty.

Fellow Duties

First Year Schedule

Upon successful completion of the following duties, the candidate will advance to the second year of the Endocrinology and Metabolism program:

  1. Nine months clinical, three months research. Months should be contiguous. Ideally, first year fellow should complete first six months of clinical service prior to beginning research.
  2. Organize Journal Club and present articles. The first year fellow should present at every Journal Club. Assigned faculty are responsible for selecting topic and articles for the Journal Club.
  3. Coordinate/manage the consult service while on clinical. Coordinate Faculty consult rounds at both the VAMH and UNMH. Students, residents and fellows on clinical service should attend all faculty rounds unless other obligations preclude this. The fellow should know about all patients on the consult service and be familiar with their disorder and management. The fellow should discuss consults with the residents and students who are doing the consult prior to attending rounds even if the fellow is unable to attend rounds.
  4. Attend dedicated service time at both the VAMH and UNM. This time is to be devoted to acute outpatient consultation, biopsies, faculty teaching rounds, and didactics.
  5. Attend all educational conferences including: Case Conference, Journal Club, Grand Round, Didactics, Board Review, Subspecialty Conferences (ENT, Neurosurgery, Nuclear Medicine), and formal scheduled teaching rounds at the VAMH and UNM.
  6. Attend VA Continuity Clinic two half-days per week, and the UNM Continuity Clinic. Patients in UNM Continuity Clinic should be seen and cared for primarily by the fellow (with faculty back-up).
  7. Arrange and attend three month block electives in Reproductive Endocrinology clinic and Pediatric Endocrinology clinic. This should consist of one half-day clinic per week. Participation in conferences associated with these rotations is at the discretion of the fellow. These electives should not take place during the first three months of starting the fellowship program.
  8. The assigned faculty physician (VA and UNM) should provide verbal and written evaluation of the clinical fellow each month.

Second Year Schedule

Upon successful completion of the following duties, the candidate will advance to either completion or the third year of the Endocrinology and Metabolism program:

  1. Three months clinical, nine months research. Months should be contiguous.
  2. Organize Journal Club with assigned faculty member and assign articles for presentation.
  3. Coordinate/manage the consult service while on clinical service (as described above). Coordinate Faculty consult rounds at both the VAMH and UNMH. Students, residents and fellows on clinical service should attend all faculty rounds unless other obligations preclude this. The fellow should know about all patients on the consult service and be familiar with their disorder and management. The fellow should discuss consults with the residents and students who are seeing them prior to staffing with the faculty consult physician.
  4. Attend dedicated service time at both the VAMH and UNM while on clinical service. This time is to be devoted to acute outpatient consultation, biopsies, faculty teaching rounds, didactics.
  5. Attend all educational conferences (Case Conference, Journal Club, Fellow's Conference, Pathology Conference), and formal scheduled teaching rounds at the VAMH and UNM. Research responsibilities may constitute excused absence. The fellow's designated mentor must approve all such excused absences and such approval must be submitted to the program director in writing. The research fellow is not excused from fellow didactic sessions. While on clinical service, the second year fellow will attend all conferences.
  6. Attend VA Continuity Clinic on Friday and UNM Continuity Clinic on Thursdays. Research responsibilities may constitute excused absence from the VAMH clinic. However, all such excused absences must be approved by the fellow's designated mentor and include notification in writing of the appropriate clinic faculty member and program director well in advance of the clinic.
  7. Develop individualized expectations and goals through consultation with the designated mentor. These may include manuscript and abstract preparation, and grant application.

Third Year Schedule

There are no assigned duties in the third year. Responsibilities and duties of the third year fellow will be determined on an individual basis by the fellow's designated mentor and the fellowship Program Director.

Professional Relationships

The fellow is expected to maintain the same professional attitude, dress and behavior as faculty members with whom they come in contact. This would include all students, residents, faculty, patients and community members.

Meetings and Conferences

Perhaps the greatest degree of learning occurs in the numerous clinical conferences that occur year-round at the University of New Mexico Hospital. Organization of these conferences is the primary responsibility of the clinical fellow. They include:

  • A weekly clinical case conference. Interesting and/or problematic cases are presented and discussed by the department members with frequent reference to the relevant medical literature.
  • A weekly textbook review conference. The conference is designed to cover the fundamentals of endocrinology over the course of the two-year curriculum and to provide preparation for the national board examination in Endocrinology and Metabolism.
  • A monthly endocrine pathology conference. Surgical pathology specimens and thyroid aspirate cytology specimens are reviewed with members of the pathology department.
  • A monthly neuro-endocrine conference. Current radiologic studies are reviewed with members of the neuroradiology department.
  • A monthly nuclear-endocrine conference. Isotopic studies of bone and the thyroid are reviewed and discussed.
  • A monthly journal club. Current articles are discussed in detail.

Case Conference

Clinical cases and pertinent articles are selected and presented by a fellow or resident at the weekly Case Conference. In attendance are fellows, faculty, residents, nurses, and Albuquerque endocrinologists. The endocrine faculty provides guidance and insight for clinical care. See a list of recent topics.

Didactic Sessions and Boards

Topic-oriented didactic sessions are organized each week by the Endocrine faculty. Fellows are expected to sit for the Endocrinology Boards at the end of the fellowship. For specific fellow requirements, you may look on the Fellow Duties and Responsibilities page and on the Fellowship Training page. You may find more information about the Graduate Medical Education Program on these pages, including application requirements, salary, benefits, etc. For more information about the University of New Mexico or the Health Sciences Center, you may find these pages useful.

Journal Club

Journal Club is a monthly dinner meeting attended by Endocrine faculty, fellows, residents, medical students, community endocrinologists and other invited guests to discuss important endocrine topics. Endocrine faculty members choose the topics and 3-4 research articles pertinent to these topics are chosen for discussion. First year endocrine fellows, housestaff, and students rotating on endocrine each present one of these articles. See a list of recent topics.

The Clinical Translational Science Center

The Clinical & Translational Science Center

Research Training

All fellows in the University of New Mexico program are expected to become involved in some of the many ongoing departmental research projects. The University of New Mexico has a strong reputation for producing important metabolic research. It is one of the foremost philosophies of the department that all endocrinologists, whether pursuing careers in academic or private medicine, need to develop an appreciation and understanding of the important scientific questions pertaining to metabolic disease and the methods used to address these questions in a laboratory or controlled clinical setting. Thus, it is a major goal of the training program that fellows develop their own interest and expertise in endocrinologic research.

Research activities are allotted equal time to clinical duties during the first two years of training, and an optional third year of training devoted entirely to research is available to individuals interested in an academic career. First year fellows spend three (3) months performing research with one of the department members, during which time they are expected to identify both a mentor among the department faculty and a potential research question to address during their second year. Second year fellows are allotted nine (9) months for research pursuits. Research duties are performed in conjunction with selected faculty members, and they include:

  • The formulation of a relevant question and development of a plan for addressing the question scientifically.
  • Drafting a description of the experimental protocol and guiding it through the necessary review process at UNM.
  • Patient recruitment and performance of all necessary clinical or laboratory studies.
  • Data analysis and preparation of scientific abstracts and/or manuscripts.
  • Presentation of study results at the appropriate regional or national scientific meetings.
  • Grant preparation in anticipation of becoming an independent investigator.

Faculty

Members of the University of New Mexico endocrinology section perform a diverse spectrum of research. This variety of research allows fellows exposure to virtually any avenue of investigation that they wish to pursue.