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Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship

Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship

The Next Generation of Pediatric Endocrinology Care

With our unique position as a teaching hospital, our pediatric endocrinology fellows have the opportunity to treat children alongside the best pediatric endocrinologists in the nation.  

During clinical service months, each fellow attends several clinics each week, including a continuity clinic. As a fellow, you will work with nurses, diabetes educators, nutritionists, social workers and counselors.

In addition to clinical service, fellows attend regularly scheduled didactic sessions with weekly Pediatric Grand Rounds, Endocrine Case Conferences, Adult Endocrine Grand Rounds, and Diabetes Journal Club. Fellows join the Adult Endocrine and Reproductive Endocrine fellows for shared lectures and attend a common fellowship core curriculum twice a month.

Training Framework

The pediatric endocrinology fellowship is structured around the six competencies dictated by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). These are:

  • Patient care
  • Medical knowledge
  • Practice-based learning and improvement
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Systems-based practice

Research

Faculty are heavily involved in endocrinology and diabetes research. We have incredible resources and active ongoing projects. There are many potential collaborative research projects under the mentorship of Dr. Ralph DeFronzo. Other research opportunities include genetics, pulmonology and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.

Clinical Rotations

We offer several clinical rotation options. These include:

  • Adult diabetes and thyroid clinics
  • Adult reproductive endocrine
  • Border medicine research
  • Genetics
  • Osteoporosis

Volunteering

Additionally, each summer, fellows, residents and staff volunteer at Camp Independence as medical counselors to gain expertise in the real-life management of diabetes in children. Camp Independence is closed the summer of 2021 due to COVID-19.




Goals and objectives

The goals of a pediatric endocrinology fellowship at University Hospital aim to shape each fellow into a well-rounded caregiver and leader.

  1. Develop proficiency in pediatric endocrinology and diabetes clinical care.
  2. Learn to assess patients with endocrine and diabetes emergencies and to oversee immediate therapy.
  3. Develop a rapport and educate family members of patients with endocrine disease.
  4. Learn how to encourage specialists in various disciplines within the division to work together through demonstration of mutual respect for each person’s skills and talents.
  5. Gain experience and skill in the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis and endocrine emergencies.
  6. Learn to coordinate specialists who are jointly managing difficult cases and chronic care.
  7. Improve teaching skills to better serve residents, medical students, nurses, nutritionists and social workers.
  8. Learn to appreciate the role played by each member of the endocrine and diabetes care team.
  9. Serve as an example to other members of the division care team with one’s professionalism.
  10. Develop management skills and learn to delegate tasks appropriately.

How to apply

You must submit a complete application before scheduling a campus tour and interviews.

We accept applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). You can submit your application through ERAS beginning in July, and we will review it in August 2021.

The required common application forms outlined on the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) website are listed below:

  • Personal statement
  • United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) scores
  • Medical Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
  • Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) score with Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degrees
  • We require a minimum of three letters of recommendation.

NOTE: We prefer one letter of recommendation from your residency program director as well as from research mentors and recent professional supervisors to be included in these letters of recommendation. However, this is not required.

We will start scheduling interviews in late August. Please contact Ann Islas, our pediatric endocrinology fellowship program coordinator, with questions.

More resources

2021 Pediatric Endocrinology Handbook

ACGME Pediatric Endocrinology Program Requirements


Conferences

The following conferences are mandatory for all pediatric endocrinology fellows:

  • Weekly Friday morning Pediatric Endocrine and Diabetes case conference discussions/journal club and didactics
  • Friday Pediatric Grand Rounds
  • Monday Endocrine Grand Rounds

We encourage fellows to attend as many conferences as they are able to, including:

  • Tuesday Diabetes Journal Club
  • Fellows’ and Residents' Case Conference every Friday morning
  • Pediatric Journal Club
  • Pediatric Medical Research conferences held at the medical school
  • Adult and Family Practice Grand Rounds
  • Review of diabetes and metabolism course organized by Dr. Ralph DeFronzo every other year
  • Annual conference hosted by the Pediatric Endocrine Society of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas

Year 1 - Pediatric Level Year 4

During your first fellowship year, you will learn the basics of pediatric endocrine and diabetes patients. By the end of your first year, you will:

  • Become competent in most endocrine and diabetes areas.
  • Learn to care for patients in inpatient and outpatient settings
  • Understand pediatric endocrine and diabetes textbook materials
  • Have spent three months on research

Faculty supervision is mostly on-site, in-person and available day and night. We expect you to have already developed strong skills in the core competencies and in the general care of sick patients.

You will function at a level between that of a general resident and the faculty. You will develop assessments and plans with the general residents and then review the evaluation with the faculty physician.

Seeing and treating patients will guide what you learn in your textbooks. We expect you to use existing medical literature to guide your patient care. We encourage fellows to maintain this as a lifelong practice.

You will be closely supervised during patient consultations and clinic visits. You must review the symptoms, diagnosis, therapy and potential complications of your patient with the supervising faculty or senior fellow. You will remain supervised until the fellowship director deems you competent.

You should investigate possibilities for an area of research. You will dedicate about three months of your first year to research.


Year 2 - Pediatric Level Year 5

The second year of the fellowship is intermediate. By the end of your second year, you will:

  • Be able to use critical thinking skills to make decisions for patient care
  • Have dedicated nine months to research
  • Have presented your research topic and plan to the Scholarship Oversight Committee
  • Have taken medical ethics, grant writing and evidence-based medicine courses

You will have many of the same responsibilities as in year one. During year two, the faculty will supervise you depending on your expertise and the clinical circumstances.

Faculty will encourage you to take the lead on decisions for patient care. We will also encourage you to take part in the care of patients with rare diagnoses throughout the year.

We expect you to have mastered the material in a basic pediatric endocrine and diabetes textbook. You will have learned this material in year one. In addition to your courses, you must review the relevant literature on patients and on specific clinical situations.

You will spend about nine months on the research project. You should present your hypothesis, plan and progress to the Scholarship Oversight Committee mid-year.

By the end of the year, you will take medical ethics, grant writing and the evidence-based medicine courses. There are several endocrine-specific courses offered on a national level. These are either preceptorships (taught by a physician) or didactic (by textbook and lectures).


Year 3 - Pediatric Level Year 6

By the end of your third fellowship year, you will:

  • Have achieved clinical competence in the care of ill endocrine and diabetes patients
  • Have completed your research work
  • Have learned to think critically and maturely about patient care
  • Have functioned as an acting attending physician for three months

By your third year, you have not yet mastered clinical care, but are competent to provide more independent patient care.

The faculty physician is always available to consult your patients. They will meet with you at least once a day to review clinical details and answer questions. During these meetings, the physician will encourage you to think critically about the problems presented.

The primary goal of this year is for you to gain experience and maturity. You will also develop the leadership skills needed to supervise an academic service.


On-call responsibilities

Year 1

During on-call time, you will learn to check and treat patients. This is slightly more independent than the daytime rotation. The attending physician will supervise your on-call experience by phone and/or in person. For all critically ill patients, you will review their care plan with the attending. Call will take place from home in alternating one-week blocks divided between fellows.

Year 2

Three months of clinical rotations with home call will be rotated in one-week blocks with the other fellows and faculty. You will be more independent in developing assessments and plans than during your first year. You and the attending physician will discuss your level of responsibility, roles of teaching on rounds, and clinical supervision. Most fellows early in their second year would still be closely supervised by the attending. By the end of the year, you will be allowed more freedom when managing patients. You should discuss the management of patients with the attending physician, who will always be available.

Year 3

You will develop more independence and leadership skills this year. The attending physician will supervise you, as appropriate. The attending will still be responsible for the patient, but you will have the opportunity to act as an attending and run rounds. You will be more responsible for patient care, communication with the patient's family, and education of students and staff. Ideally, the attending will be less involved but will run rounds daily and be available to assist you. The attending will be familiar enough with the patients to accept responsibility for their care.



Research and scholarly activity

We aim to impart pediatric endocrinology fellows with a deep understanding of the field of pediatric endocrine and diabetes medicine. Learning the methods and science behind scientific inquiry is an integral part of this training. All fellows are required to plan and conduct a research project focused on their field.

The Department of Pediatrics will assign a Scholarship Oversight Committee to you. The committee contains at least three faculty members who are accomplished in scientific inquiry. The committee will help you plan your research and will supervise your research education. During your first year of fellowship, you will identify a research mentor.

Our goals are for you to:

  • Author several abstracts for national meetings
  • Present at a national meeting
  • Submit a first-authored article to be published in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Satisfy the research requirements of the Board
  • Develop a degree of expertise in investigative science

You can discuss your research goals during meetings with the program director and your research mentor. Your research mentor will help you plan your research to adhere to Board requirements. This means you will have a realistic timeline for finishing your research during the fellowship.


Current Fellow

Catherine E. Kerr, M.D. Catherine Kerr, MD

Education

BS, Biology, North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, 2012
M.D., Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Augusta, 2016

Training

Pediatric Residency, Children’s Hospital of Georgia, Augusta, 2016-2019

Recent Publications

Catherine Kerr MD, Gary Francis MD Ph.D. Thyroid Nodules in Children and Adolescents. Journal of Radiology and Imaging Science. J Radiol & Imaging Sci. 2020;1(1): 1-5.


Past Fellows

Recent Past Fellows  – 2013-2020

Sareh Cavazos, M.D.
Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship, UT Health San Antonio, 2020
Employment: Parsi Pediatrics, General Pediatrician
Research Interests: Infant and childhood nutrition obesity

Sanjeet “Sonny” Sandhu, D.O.
Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship, UT Health San Antonio, 2017-2020
Employment: Private Practice, Arizona
Research Interests: Fatty Liver Disease, NAFLD

Asaad Elbashir, M.D.
Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship, UT Health San Antonio,  2015 – 2018
Employment: Specialist, Private Practice, Valley Children’s Hospital, Madera, California
Research Interests: Type 1 diabetes in children; global health

Elia Nila Escaname, M.D.
Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship, UT Health San Antonio,  2014 – 2017
Employment: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at the UT Health San Antonio
Research Interests: Diabetes

Jessica Hutchins, M.D.
Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship, UT Health San Antonio, 2013-2016
Employment: Private Practice, Pediatric Endocrinologist, Atlanta, GA
Research Interests: Type 2 diabetes in children; Management of childhood obesity; Effects of maternal obesity and gestational diabetes on fetus

Mark Hamaker, M.D.
Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship, UT Health San Antonio,  2012-2015
Employment: Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT
Research Interests: Curriculum Development for Resident and Fellowship Training; Diabetes and the metabolic syndrome

Ana Paez, M.D.
Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship, UT Health San Antonio,  2010-2013
Employment: Pediatric Endocrinologist, Children’s Diabetes and Endocrine Center of South Texas, Driscoll Children’s Hospital, Corpus Christi, TX
Research Interests: Diagnosis, management, and long-term outcomes in patients with pediatric hypertension; cardiovascular complications of Diabetes Mellitus; Diabetes education and community resources

Maria “Sukie” Rayas, M.D
Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship, UT Health San Antonio, 2010-2013
Employment: Pediatric Endocrinologist, Assistant Professor, and Associate Program Director, University Hospital/ UT Health San Antonio Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship, San Antonio, Texas
Research Interests: Cystic Fibrosis

Salary and benefits

Benefits begin on the first official day of the fellowship.

Stipends

2020-2021 Annual Salary

PGY-I – $54,140.56

PGY-II – $55,632.13

PGY-III – $57,421.82

PGY-IV – $59,435.30

PGY-V – $61,473.66
PGY-VI – $63,213.76

PGY-VII – $65,475.78

PGY-VIII – $67,265.55

Vacation

All fellows receive 15 days of paid leave each year. Paid leave cannot be carried over except as determined by program and Professional Staff Services.

Sick Leave

All fellows get 10 working days paid leave per year. These cannot be carried over except as determined by program and Professional Staff Services.

Family and Medical Leave

Trainees with at least one full year of employment through University Hospital are eligible for up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for birth or adoption of a child or care of a seriously ill family member.

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides leave to care for:

  • A new-born child or a child placed in the employee’s home for adoption or foster care
  • An employee’s parent, spouse, son or daughter with a serious health condition
  • A serious personal health condition which prevents the employee from performing their job

Additional benefits information can be found in the Graduate Medical Education House Staff Benefits Guide.



Learn more
Meet our current fellow and faculty in this welcome video, where we answer questions and provide more information about this fellowship.

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