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Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship

The Esophageal Institute at Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh, PA, has a one-year Fellowship program in Minimally Invasive Surgery (Foregut).

The program is accredited by the Fellowship Council for three Fellowship positions, chosen through the Council’s match program each year. It is open to physicians trained in General Surgery who have an interest in diseases of the esophagus; general surgeons seeking to enhance their endoscopic and minimally invasive surgical skills. The Fellowship emphasizes advanced endoscopic, laparoscopic, and video-assisted techniques used in the management of patients with foregut diseases. Our clinical philosophy is to provide individualized care to patients utilizing a multidisciplinary team approach.

The Fellowship is a highly focused program that provides surgeons the opportunity to acquire specialized technical ability and knowledge in the field of
foregut.  In addition to extensive operative exposure to the spectrum of foregut diseases, fellows will have the opportunity to gain a unique clinical experience that focuses on diagnosis and management. At EL, fellows will build on basic endoscopic techniques, affording them the ability to be facile in both diagnostic and advanced therapeutic approaches to foregut disease. 

There are currently five general surgeons staffing the Esophageal Institute, who perform approximately 3,500 procedures each academic year1. We use an apprenticeship model whereby each fellow spends time with providers
in an individual training rotation of one to three months. The fellow is the primary resident with the assigned surgeon so that there is no competition for procedures. The program is one of the busiest Esophageal Surgery practices in
the country. Fellows can expect to perform a broad mix of procedures, including
lap Nissens, Nissen redos, gastroplasty, Heller myotomy, paraesophageal hernia
repairs, Zenker’s diverticular repairs, and many magnetic sphincter augmentation device (LINX) implantations. We also perform approximately 50 esophagectomy cases per year and our surgeons are pioneers in endoscopic therapies such as POEM and TIF.  Our highest-volume cases are therapeutic and diagnostic endoscopies using EUS, NVLE, RFA, cryoablation, stents, and other techniques.

The Esophageal Institute partners closely with Allegheny Health Network’s Cancer
Institute to treat esophageal cancer patients. Fellows attend and present at a
weekly multidisciplinary tumor board for esophageal disease. They participate
in weekly didactic lectures in esophageal surgery and monthly M&M conferences for continuous improvement in quality of care, as well as Journal Club and other educational opportunities. It is expected that each fellow will design, conduct, and complete clinical research projects under the guidance of senior faculty members. We provide opportunities for them to present their work locally and to submit to national conferences as appropriate. Access to an onsite, state-of-the-art laboratory is also available to fellows if they wish to pursue bench research. We expect as successful applicant to participate in the full range of esophageal endoscopic and surgical cases, learn the multidisciplinary management of esophageal cancers with special emphasis on emerging therapies through our robust trial programs, and contribute to clinical research.

To be eligible, candidates MUST be board-certified or board-eligible in General
Surgery or Cardiothoracic Surgery from a U.S. residency program. At this time,
we cannot accept applications from ECFMG candidates. The candidates must also demonstrate eligibility to obtain a full Pennsylvania medical license. Interested prospective fellows should apply through the Fellowship Council Match program, which opens in January of each calendar year. Candidates without a complete application will not be considered. Applications must include: Personal Statement including your reasons for selecting the program; current CV; all available ABSITE, COMLEX, and USMLE scores; current contact information; three letters of recommendation, including at least one reference from your current program.

The Fellowship Council Match Program will open in January 2021 for recruitment to the 2022-2023 academic year. If you have questions about the Esophageal
Institute Fellowship, please email the Fellowship coordinator at ELI.fellowship@ahn.org.

1Based on total case volumes 8/1/18-7/31/19

About Graduate Medical Education

The Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship program is part of the graduate medical education (GME) opportunities offered by the AHN Medical Education Consortium. Learn more about graduate medical education.

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