We aim to train the next generation of leaders in gastroenterology and hepatology practice, teaching and research. We offer three distinct fellowship tracks:
- Clinical Educator: a three-year program that emphasizes clinical gastroenterology and is intended to train fellows for clinical and academic practice. Specific education training and research opportunities are available.
- Clinical Outcomes (Epidemiology): supported by an NIH T32 training grant, this 4-year program provides advanced training in epidemiology and health outcomes research, including coursework leading to an MS or MSCR degree. Candidates complete clinical training in adult or pediatric gastroenterology, with an initial year of clinical GI training and subsequent participation in the training program.
- Basic Science: supported by an NIH T32 training grant, this 4-year program is designed to promote the development of promising MD and PhD postdoctoral fellows as independent basic science investigators and future university faculty members. Candidates complete clinical training in adult or pediatric gastroenterology after 2 years of participation in the basic science training program.
The number of openings in each track varies from year to year. Each track prepares fellows for eligibility to sit for GI board exams. While applicants may apply for multiple tracks, we recommend applying for only one or two tracks to help our selection committee best understand your future career goals. On certain occasions fellowship tracks can be combined (e.g., clinical outcomes with advanced endoscopy or transplant hepatology). To learn more about applying, please visit this page.
In addition, we offer training in:
- Advanced Endoscopy: a one-year fellowship focused on diagnostic and therapeutic ERCP, EUS, and other advanced endoscopic procedures that requires completion of a 3-year clinical GI training program from an accredited US institution for entry.
- Advanced Inflammatory Bowel Disease: a one-year fellowship focused on inflammatory bowel disease that requires completion of a 3-year clinical GI training program from an accredited US institution for entry.
- Transplant Hepatology: a one-year fellowship dedicated to liver transplantation that requires completion of a 3-year clinical GI training program from an accredited US institution for entry.
Why should I apply to UNC?
There are many, many reasons to apply to UNC GI Fellowship! Among the many reasons:
- The UNC School of Medicine is ranked among the top US Medical Schools, and has been ranked one of the top public Medical Schools for Research as well as the #1 Medical School for Primary Care. We are also closely partnered with the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, the #2 Public Health School in the US.
- Chapel Hill is ranked one of the nation’s top places to live and raise kids.
- You’ll work in a collegial atmosphere and regularly see patients with internationally-recognized faculty, who are among the best GI researchers, educators, and clinicians in the country. Our faculty members serve at the highest levels of many national organizations, including the American Gastroenterological Association, the American College of Gastroenterology, the National Commission for Digestive Diseases, and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. We published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals last year, received more than $20 million in grant funding, and completed more than 15,000 procedures. Our patient satisfaction surveys are consistently high.
Our Division’s services are based at UNC Medical Center (800 inpatient beds as well as outpatient services) and our two satellite locations: UNC at Meadowmont and UNC at Hillsborough. UNC Medical Center is adjacent to the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, School of Public Health, School of Pharmacy, and undergraduate campus. We also provide ancillary services at Carolina Point 1 in Durham and Chatham Medical Center in Siler City.
In our clinics we staff more than 17,000 visits, including more than 3,500 new patients each year. In our busy procedures units we perform more than 15,000 endoscopic procedures each year, including more than of 6,500 colonoscopies, 5,000 upper GI endoscopies, 500 ERCPs, 500 EUSs, 250 esophageal dilatations, 280 esophageal manometric studies, 150 sphincterotomies, 100 PEGs, 75 esophageal banding procedures, 200 video capsule endoscopies, and 100 small bowel enteroscopies. Our GI Motility Unit offers esophageal and anorectal manometry, esophageal pH and pH-impedance testing, breath testing, and pelvic floor biofeedback.
Luminal Consultation Service
On the Luminal Consultation Service, fellows develop expertise in the diagnosis and management of hospitalized patients with various gastrointestinal illnesses and complaints related to the luminal GI tract. Under the supervision of a GI Division faculty member, fellows on the Luminal Consult Service learn these skills by performing consultations requested from other clinical services at UNC Medical Center (including North Carolina Memorial Hospital, North Carolina Neurosciences Hospital, North Carolina Women’s Hospital, North Carolina Children’s Hospital, and the North Carolina Cancer Hospital). During this rotation, fellows see patients with a variety of GI disorders, including upper & lower GI bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease, functional bowel & motility disorders, dysphagia, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. For continuity of care, fellows are encouraged to perform the endoscopic procedures on these patients, especially in emergency cases. Patients seen in consultation who are not previously seen by a specific GI faculty member or fellow at UNC are subsequently managed by the fellow in continuity clinic, should follow-up become necessary. This service often has one or more rotating residents and medical students on the team, which provides extensive opportunities for fellows to hone their cognitive and bedside teaching skills. In addition, fellows are scheduled for inpatient consult service at our Hillsborough facility.
Hepatology Consultation Service
On the Hepatology Consultation Service, fellows develop expertise in the diagnosis and management of hospitalized patients with liver diseases. Similar to the Luminal Consult Service, fellows perform consultations on hospitalized patients requested by other clinical services at the UNC Medical Center. The Hepatology service is staffed by one of our five full-time hepatologists. During this rotation, fellows see patients with disorders such as acute liver failure, decompensated liver diseases, variceal bleeding, hepatic encephalopathy, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, post-liver transplant complications, abnormal liver enzymes/function tests, and various other conditions. For continuity of care, fellows are encouraged to perform the liver biopsies and endoscopic procedures on these patients, especially in emergency cases. Patients seen in consultation who are not previously seen by a specific GI faculty member or fellow at UNC are subsequently managed by the fellow in continuity clinic should follow-up become necessary. This service also often has one or more rotating residents or medical students on the team, which provides extensive opportunities for fellows to hone their cognitive and bedside teaching skills, and to lead a healthcare team.
The Ambulatory Rotation is one of the unique features of the UNC GI & Hepatology Fellowship Program. During the Ambulatory Rotation, fellows spend half-days rotating through our numerous sub-specialty programs, working alongside expert faculty in inflammatory bowel disease, esophageal diseases, functional bowel disorders, motility disorders, pancreaticobiliary disease, general and transplant hepatology, and viral hepatology. Within these clinics, fellows get experience seeing tertiary and quaternary care referrals while working with world-renowned experts like Balfour Sartor (IBD), Nick Shaheen (esophageal disease), and Mike Fried (hepatology). During ambulatory time, fellows also have exposure to urgent care.
During the Endoscopy Rotation, fellows receive dedicated training in both the cognitive and procedural aspects of endoscopy. Fellows learn the skills needed to perform diagnostic, screening, and surveillance upper endoscopy and colonoscopy, as well as therapeutic aspects of the endoscopy, such as mucosal biopsy, polypectomy, hemostasis, stricture dilation, and gastrostomy tube placement. Fellows who develop proficiency in the required aspects of training have the opportunity to learn more advanced skills and procedures, such as ERCP, endoscopic mucosal resection, and radiofrequency ablation. Fellows have the opportunity to work in our three locations: UNC, Meadowmont, and Hillsborough.
Throughout training, GI fellows longitudinally manage outpatients with various gastrointestinal illnesses in their own continuity clinic. Patients seen in the fellows’ continuity clinic are screened by a GI faculty member and scheduled with a specific fellow. Although continuity clinic is supervised by a GI faculty member, fellows assume the role of primary GI physician for these patients through the course of their illness. In continuity clinic, fellows typically see 2 – 3 new patients and 4 – 6 return patients per session. One particularly attractive feature of our program’s continuity clinic is the ability to spend part of the fellowship program within one of the subspecialty clinics to allow fellows to tailor their training for their personal career goals.
Aside from the core rotations noted above, fellows may also do elective rotations in motility, functional GI, nutrition, inflammatory bowel disease, and biliary disease. Other elective rotations can be facilitated after discussion with the program director. Most rotations are 2 – 4 weeks long.
A number of didactic conferences are provided to complement the patient care experiences:
- Core Curriculum Conference
- GI Grand Rounds
- GI Medicine – Surgery Conference
- Journal Club
- Research Seminar
- GI Epidemiology Conference
- Hepatobiliary Conference
- Pelvic Floor Disorders Conference
Our nationally and internationally recognized researchers have interests that span the full spectrum of gastrointestinal and liver diseases. We provide fellows extensive research opportunities, training, and mentoring.
Salary and Benefits
Research fellows are paid according to the NIH pay scale. Clinical fellows are appointed through our Office of Graduate Medical Education and are paid by the Department of Medicine in accordance with the GME pay scale. Benefits are found on this site as well.
We appreciate your interest and invite you to read more about our fellowships, as well as our clinical and research programs. The Fellowship Program Coordinator is Steve Kennedy (919-966-2514). We welcome your questions and look forward to your application and possibly meeting you for an interview in Chapel Hill!
Millie D. Long, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, UNC Gastroenterology & Hepatology Fellowship Program
Vice Chief for Education
University of North Carolina School of Medicine