Pediatrics

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Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology Fellowship

The Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology Fellowship at IU School of Medicine offers extensive clinical training and outstanding research training for future pediatric endocrinologists. This program has a strong track record in training combined medicine/pediatric endocrinology fellows who have dual board eligibility in four years.

Training by Endocrinology Experts

Faculty members are accomplished clinicians and are also nationally recognized in their respective areas of clinical or basic research. The division is known for its excellence in clinical areas of pediatric endocrinology, including general endocrinology, growth, pubertal development, bone disease, diabetes, and metabolic disorders.

Curriculum

Fellows in this program spend twelve months in clinical training and 24 months conducting either clinical or basic laboratory research. Eight months of the first year and two months in each of the subsequent two years are devoted to clinical training, with the remaining 24 months dedicated to research. A standard curriculum of pediatric endocrinology topics is covered during weekly division conferences.

Combined Medicine-Pediatrics fellows spend a total of 12 months on clinical Pediatric Endocrinology, another 12 months on clinical Internal Medicine Endocrinology, and 24 months conducting clinical or basic research. The overlap in research training between the Pediatric and Medicine fellowships allows combined fellows to become board-eligible for both the American Board of Pediatrics and American Board of Internal Medicine in four years.

Clinical Training with High Patient Volume

The pediatric endocrinology clinical service is busy and staffs more than 30 half-day endocrine and diabetes clinics that see 300 patients weekly. Most outpatient visits are at Riley Hospital for Children with others at satellite clinics in Indianapolis, Bloomington, South Bend and Evansville, Indiana. While on the clinical service, fellows are responsible for managing the care of inpatients and providing consults to other clinical teams. The inpatient team typically covers 3-10 endocrinology service patients and 5-10 consult patients.

When on the clinical service, on-call duty is every other night from home and every other weekend. Fellows cover a limited number of weekends when on research months. Three endocrine continuity clinics and one diabetes continuity clinic per month allow fellows to manage their own group of patients through the duration of the fellowship. Fellows also rotate through the sub-specialty endocrine clinics, allowing them to gain expertise in specific areas.

Education Experience

Pediatric endocrinology and diabetology fellows are encouraged to participate in the training of residents and medical students. On the inpatient service there are two pediatric residents and at least one medical student. The fellow develops supervisory experience in directing the trainees’ activities. Fellows present informal teaching sessions to these trainees at least weekly and formal conferences to the entire pediatric endocrinology team monthly. In addition, fellows deliver lectures to the pediatric residents, conferences at the campus-wide Endocrinology Grand Rounds, and journal club presentations.

Research

The American Board of Pediatrics requires fellows to engage in scholarly activity during their fellowship and this is one of the most important aspects of post-residency training. Participating in clinical or basic research gives the fellow a deeper understanding of the questions that must be asked to advance the field and methods used to answer these questions.

The research training program differs for each fellow depending on his or her individual needs and previous research experience. During their first months, fellows meet with program directors to explore research interests. By the end of six months, each fellow will have chosen a research project and mentor and begun research activities that continue throughout their training. The senior investigator on every project closely mentors the fellow with the fellow participating actively in the scientific design, execution, and interpretation of results from each experiment or project.

Structured mentorship and didactic courses in statistics, research ethics and clinical research methods or molecular biologic techniques prepare graduates for a career as a physician scientist. Fellows typically present their work at national meetings such as the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS), the American Diabetes Association, and the Endocrine Society. These presentations are carefully coordinated and the entire division participates in preparing the fellow for these public presentations. Fellows have numerous opportunities for authoring case reports, review articles and book chapters.

Endocrine Scientist Training Program

The Endocrine Scientist Training Program at IU School of Medicine is an NIH-funded program that prepares pediatric endocrinology and combined medicine-pediatric endocrinology fellows for a career in clinical or basic science research. This program is completed during the second or third year of fellowship training and consists of mentor-based training in clinical or laboratory research techniques as well as didactic courses in clinical research methods or molecular biologic techniques, research ethics and statistics.

This program consists of two tracks:  the Endocrinology Clinical Research Track and the Basic Science of Endocrinology Track. Fellows following the Endocrinology Clinical Research Track obtain a Master of Clinical Research degree at the completion of their three-year fellowship.

Endocrine Scientist Curriculum

During the first months of training, Endocrine Scientist Training Program fellows meet with the program directors to explore their interests. The directors review potential areas for research and discuss potential mentors. At the end of the first six months of training, fellows will have identified both a research mentor and a research focus and be actively involved in research activities that continue through the duration of their training. Fellows have the opportunity to present findings at national meetings upon the completion of their first year. Additional opportunities exist for authoring case reports, review articles and book chapters.

Clinical Research Track

Working with faculty mentors, fellows conduct original clinical research and advance research already underway. Fellows have the opportunity to simultaneously complete a master’s degree in clinical or translational research, with coursework including clinical research methods, clinical trials, research communications, biostatistics and research ethics. Areas of clinical research within the division include long term outcomes of central precocious puberty, osteogenesis imperfecta, hypophosphatasia, immunomodulatory therapies to prevent or modify type 1 diabetes, treatment of type 2 diabetes, and the relationship of sleep apnea to insulin resistance and obesity.

Basic Science Track

Many fellows pursuing basic science research receive training in the Wells Center for Pediatric  Research with the diabetes research team, although fellows may elect to train in labs in other pediatrics divisions or other departments. Diabetes researchers at IU School of Medicine are committed to understanding the biology and molecular mechanisms that lead to the development of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children and cultivate research that speeds the discovery of more effective therapies. Areas of laboratory based research include work on pancreatic islets, islet transplantation, pathophysiology of diabetes, molecular pathways, insulin-producing cells, stem cell therapies and targeted therapies.

Career Preparation

At the completion of their three-year fellowship program, graduates are prepared to become junior faculty at academic institutions and are able to successfully compete for research funding from the National Institutes of Health and non-governmental sources.