Dr. Kambiz Kadkhodayan, program director for the Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship at AdventHealth Center for Interventional Endoscopy (CIE).
Tell us about the endoscopy fellowship program and why it is so special.
The advanced endoscopy fellowship at CIE is one of the premier programs of its kind in the country. The fellowship is structured to provide a rigorous advanced endoscopic curriculum, exposing our fellows to all facets of advanced endoscopy. During the first six months of training, our fellows are trained in the basics of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), luminal intervention and resection. The latter six months are tailored to meet the clinical interests of our fellows. They may pursue interventional endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), advanced pancreatic endoscopy, third space endoscopy and bariatric procedures based on their clinical and research interests.
So, the learning opportunities are not limited to the hospital setting?
Our fellows participate in conferences that include monthly journal clubs, faculty lectures, pathology conferences and bi-weekly clinical conferences. They are encouraged to participate as junior faculty in our many symposia and clinical conferences. Research is highly encouraged, and fellows have the opportunity to pursue self- initiated research and/or participate in several ongoing clinical research trials here at AdventHealth. By the end of their training, our fellows average 800 EUS procedures, 600 ERCP’s, and approximately 2,500 total advanced endoscopy procedures. These numbers far exceed established thresholds for training by the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). We’re training medical professionals who will be our future caregivers at AdventHealth and wherever they practice medicine.
A unique aspect of our program is the camaraderie amongst the faculty and staff. Each of our faculty have had distinguished careers in teaching, and have been directors of advanced endoscopy programs. This brings together a rich milieu of teaching experience from which our fellows benefit each day. Dedication to teaching and instruction here at CIE, is what truly sets us apart.
Do you anticipate the program to grow over the next 5-10 years with CIE as a national hub for advanced endoscopy? If so, why?
CIE has a rich and celebrated history of being a major center for advanced endoscopy, both within the United States and internationally. With our renowned faculty and staff, outstanding fellowship program, cutting-edge research presence, and dedication to excellence in patient care, I strongly believe that CIE is positioned to be a national and global leader in advanced endoscopy. I am truly proud of what has been built here, and excited for what is to come!
Q&A with Tony Brar and Hafiz Khan, advanced endoscopy fellows, AdventHealth Center for Interventional Endoscopy
Tony Brar and Hafiz Khan came to AdventHealth Center for Interventional Endoscopy in June 2021. They will complete their fellowship in July 2022.
What attracted you to the Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship Program at AdventHealth CIE?
Brar: “I was studying with University of Florida Gastroenterology before coming here. There are roughly 80 programs that offer similar fellowships throughout the country. I interviewed with about 15 of them and compared each one to see what they could offer regarding interventional endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) procedures to ERCP to pancreaticobiliary work and third space endoscopy. AdventHealth CIE met all the criteria and could offer great exposure for our work. The faculty here loves the team and gives us ample time to learn and train. I wanted to stay in Florida and love the location in Orlando.”
Khan: “I came from Guthrie Medical Group in Pennsylvania. When considering fellowships, I looked at the enormous number of cases and procedures that were performed at AdventHealth CIE, some extremely rare. That’s what I wanted to do, particularly the endobariatrics and therapeutic endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) procedures. I’m also becoming comfortable with third space endoscopy procedures, including POEM and ESD. I had no prior relationship with the faculty (endoscopists) at AdventHealth, but a few friends had highly recommended this program. I took their advice and am extremely happy with that decision.
What do you enjoy most about the fellowship experience at CIE?
Brar: “I work closely with each physician and am able to get exposure to all disciplines. It’s all advanced training – zero “scut work” that doesn’t involve our skill set. Everything you do is directly involved in endoscopy cases, anywhere from 8-14 cases each day, all different types. On top of that, most fellows need about 12 months to meet their projected targets. I met them all in three months. It’s a terrific, hands-on learning experience.”
Khan: “It’s not only about watching and learning. The program is active, involved and advanced. We are offered a lot of hands-on experience with patients in a variety of cases. This program encourages the fellows to get involved. We observe for the first month, but after that, we are engaged in every single procedure. It’s the best way to learn and grow in confidence.”
What are the next steps in your career at the conclusion of the Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship at AdventHealth CIE?
Brar: “I’ve already signed my new job. In September, I’ll be going back to Gainesville to work with Digestive Disease Associates at North Florida Regional Hospital. The fellowship at AdventHealth CIE has a great reputation and I’ve learned so much. I feel ready to practice independently if I need to, but I know I’ll be part of a group of gastroenterologists and I’ll arrive as one of the best trained. This has been humbling and very rewarding.”
Khan: “I’ve always been interested in medicine, and that’s not surprising. My youngest sister is a physician in Pakistan, and my wife is a physician in upstate New York. At the conclusion of the AdventHealth CIE fellowship, I’ll enter an academic program at a hospital in New York. I’m excited because I know I’m ready for success.”