SAN FRANCISCO — In this exclusive video at The Liver Meeting 2015, Lisa B. VanWagner, MD, MSc, assistant professor of gastroenterology, hepatology and preventive medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, discusses her presentation on what works in the transplant hepatology from a trainee’s perspective.
“Over the past decade, we’ve seen an increase in the prevalence of liver disease in our country but, at the same time, we’ve not seen an increase in the number of physicians choosing to specialize in hepatology,” VanWagner told Healio.com/Hepatology. “As a group and a society at AASLD, we will talk about how we can improve and increase that workforce and how we can plan our training programs so we can produce effective transplant hepatologists so we can meet the needs of patients in the U.S.”
There are currently two ways one can be trained to become a transplant hepatologist, according to VanWagner: the fast-track training program implemented in 2012 by the AASLD and American Board for Internal Medicine or classic training program. The classic training is when one participates in an internal medicine program, then a traditional gastroenterology training and then a fourth year of advanced training in hepatology. The ABIM program allows exceptional gastroenterology fellowship candidates to choose to go on an accelerated pathway of transplant hepatology training, where they complete 2 years of gastroenterology and hepatology training and then year 3 of their fellowship is dedicated to specific transplant medicine training, according to VanWagner.
“These programs allow us to train excellent, clinical transplant hepatologists, as well as excellent transplant hepatology researchers,” VanWagner said.
VanWagner further stated the trainees need to understand what works and what will make them successful in their first faculty position.
“We will have been training for a long period of time. … Understanding the skills and what the goals are will allow the program to hit the target as far as training a successful candidate.”
Disclosures: VanWagner reports no relevant financial disclosures.