Postfellowship Pathways

Developing a career in medical pancreatology: An emerging postfellowship career path


 

Insights from other medical pancreatologists and therapeutic endoscopists are provided in Figure 2.

Courstesy Dr. Sajan Nagpal

Figure 2. Insights from medical pancreatologists and therapeutic endoscopists are given.

Education

Having a dedicated medical pancreatology clinic has the potential to add a unique element to the training of gastroenterology fellows. In my own experience, besides fellows interested in medical pancreatology, even those interested in therapeutic endoscopy find it useful to rotate through the pancreas clinic and follow patients after or leading to their procedures, becoming comfortable with noninterventional pain management of patients with pancreatic disorders and risk stratification of pancreatic cystic lesions, and learning about the management of rare disorders such as autoimmune pancreatitis. Most importantly, this allows trainees to identify cases where endoscopic intervention may not offer definitive treatment for complex conditions such as pancreatic pain. Trainee-centered organizations such as the Collaborative Alliance for Pancreatic Education and Research (CAPER) enable trainees and young investigators to network with other physicians who are passionate about the pancreas and establish early research collaborations for current and future research endeavors that will help advance this field.

Research

Having a trained medical pancreatologist adds the possibility of adding a unique angle to ongoing research within a gastroenterology division, especially in collaboration with others. For example, during my fellowship training I was able to focus on histological changes in pancreatic islets of patients with pancreatic cancer that develop diabetes, compared with those that do not, in collaboration with a pathologist who focused on studying islet pathology and under the guidance of my mentor, Dr. Suresh Chari, a medical pancreatologist.2 I was also part of other studies within the GI division with other medical pancreatologists, such as Dr. Santhi Vege and Dr. Shounak Majumder, who have continued to serve as career and research mentors.3 Collaborative, multicenter studies on pancreatic disease are also conducted by CAPER, the organization mentioned above. A list of potential collaborations for the fellow interested

in medical pancreatology is provided in Figure 3.

Courtesy Dr. Sajan Nagpal

Figure 3. Potential collaborations for the fellow interested in medical pancreatology are shown.

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