Gastroenterology requires increasingly complex decision making; mastery of a growing number of endoscopic techniques, both diagnostic and therapeutic; an understanding of the sensitivity, specificity, risk-benefit, and cost-benefit of a broad array of diagnostic techniques and therapeutic options; and knowledge of the increasingly complex science that underlies gastroenterological practice.
The Albany Medical College Gastroenterology Subspecialty Training Program seeks to provide the highest standard of training which will allow the SSR to acquire the knowledge and skills at the completion of the fellowship training to demonstrate and execute expertise as a consultant in the subspecialty of Gastroenterology. The program and the specific training process to achieve this goal is defined and organized as outlined in the following curriculum. The curriculum requires a minimum of 3 years of training. The core curriculum requires a minimum of 18 months of clinical training in traditional inpatient and outpatient consultation as well as conference and didactic sessions. Central to training in gastroenterology the guidelines for endoscopic competency are structured on the accepted ASGE recommendations. An additional substantial period of time is allotted to acquire specialized training (electives) in focused areas such as nutrition, inflammatory bowel disease, motility and therapeutic endoscopy.
Approximately 30% of this training experience consists of clinical training in hepatic diseases. An outpatient continuity experience is required for the full 3 years of training. The curriculum strongly encourages independent scholarly activity and research with a designated protected period of 6 months dedicated to clinically based research projects. The program recognizes the need for flexibility within the curriculum to allow trainees to tailor their training to a individual plan of study which attends to the SSR’s interests and the programs strengths leading to career paths in academic or clinical practice. Lastly the curriculum and program reinforce the importance of clinical practice and research based on the highest principles of ethics, humanism, and professionalism.
TRAINING THROUGH CONFERENCES:
The training program emphasizes self-instruction and teaching to prepare the SSR for lifelong learning based on independent and critical thinking and a will for self-improvement. The ability to synthesize current clinical knowledge and to apply this cognitive knowledge appropriately in clinical situations is central to the current practice of gastroenterology. In addition, it is essential to be able to critically interpret relevant literature and present it to a target audience in a succinct manner. The trainees have extensive involvement in researching, organizing, and conducting conferences.
The trainee through independent study will be able to research relevant gastrointestinal topics using available resources (medical college library, online computer-assisted research tools, electronic information networks, textbooks and journals).
The didactic training relies on the SSR coordinating and conducting conferences, which are assigned from the core curriculum topics and conference schedule. In addition the SSRs are provided ample opportunity to attend and participate in seminars and conferences presented by attending faculty and visiting professors. Conferences are scheduled biweekly during the academic calendar. Conferences are mandatory for SSRs and program faculty (attendance is recorded) but in addition are open to internal medicine residents, medical students and other faculty. The conferences are generally multidisciplinary with overlap of disciplines. Specific conferences scheduled within a month may include:
Lastly SSRs are allotted protected leave and supported financially to attend at least one national meeting or postgraduate review course per year. The first year SSRs are advised to attend a general review course (i.e. Harvard review course, or Hopkins sponsored GI/surgical review), the second year SSRs attend DDW or ASLD and the third year SSRs may attend an advanced endoscopy conference.