Program Summary

Endoscopy Research Fellowship Program
Therapeutic Endoscopy Center of Excellence
Digestive Disease Institute, Virginia Mason

Introduction and Background

Established in 1920, Virginia Mason is an award-winning, non-profit organization offering a network of primary and specialty care clinics throughout the Puget Sound region and a 336-bed hospital in Seattle. The Digestive Disease Institute at Virginia Mason was established to bring our accomplished group of digestive disease specialists and investigators together in a highly collaborative environment.

Our active therapeutic endoscopy program is internationally renowned and sees over 2,500 patients every year. The Digestive Disease Institute at Virginia Mason has created the Endoscopy Research Fellowship in keeping with the Institute's mission to optimize patient care through innovations in research, education, and a multidisciplinary approach to treatment of digestive and liver diseases.

Andrew Ross, MD, Endoscopy Research Fellowship Program Director, works closely with the Digestive Disease Institute Executive Director Richard Kozarek, MD, to ensure a valuable educational experience. Endoscopy research fellows work with business analysts and multidisciplinary providers, as well as program faculty.

Program Faculty

Supervision and mentoring will be provided by Andrew Ross, MD, Fellowship Director, and other faculty (listed below) depending upon specific areas of engagement. These faculty members are part of the Digestive Disease Institute and include surgeons, gastroenterologists, pathologists and radiologists with expertise in the treatment and research of digestive disease.

  • Andrew Ross, MD, Director, Therapeutic Endoscopy Center of Excellence and Director, Endoscopy Research Fellowship Program
  • Richard Kozarek, MD, Executive Director, Digestive Disease Institute
  • Shayan Irani, MD, Associate Director, Pancreatic Center of Excellence
  • Michael Larsen, MD, Gastroenterologist
  • Donald Low, MD, Director, Esophageal Center of Excellence
  • Scott Helton, MD, Director, Liver, Pancreas & Biliary Surgical Center of Excellence
  • Russell Dorer, MD, PhD, GI Pathologist
  • Hejin Hahn, MD, GI Pathologist
  • David Coy, MD, GI Radiologist

Duration of Fellowship

The duration of training is one year. This duration of time can be modified in special circumstances to two years.

Number of Positions



The Endoscopy Research Fellow will receive a competitive salary and benefits at the appropriate regionally-determined PGY level, depending on level of training. Additionally, the Fellow is entitled to a $2,000 conference stipend + $1,000 for statistical coursework fees.

Prerequisites for Training

Trainees for the Endoscopy Research Fellowship must have an MD degree or equivalent, have completed residency, and have an interest in advanced therapeutic endoscopy. Non-native speakers of English must take and submit TOEFL scores that meet minimum requirements.  Submission of a goal statement, curriculum vitae and three written letters of recommendation with phone and email contact information are required. International applicants who are not US citizens must be eligible for a H1-B Visa or equivalent. Applicants with J1 visa status are ineligible for the Endoscopy Research Fellowship.

Selection Criteria

Each applicant to the Endoscopy Research Fellowship program will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Has the applicant submitted each Application Requirement in its entirety? (Y/N)
  • How well will the applicant meet program goals? (Likert Scale, 1–5)
  • How well will the applicant achieve expected products and activities? (Likert Scale, 1–5)
  • How well did the applicant respond in an interview? (Likert Scale, 1–5)
  • Overall ranking of the applicant (Likert Scale, 1–5)

Program Goal

The goal of the Endoscopy Research Fellowship program is to provide a unique and challenging experience for the fellow to:

  1. Perform meaningful, supervised research and engage in scholarly activities. The fellow will not participate in clinical patient care.
  2. Examine records from a population of endoscopy patients in the context of a high-volume service, both outpatient and inpatient.
  3. Learn a multidisciplinary team approach to medical research. Fellows are expected to shadow and observe the work of major providers in four main areas — gastroenterology, surgery, interventional radiology and pathology — and serve as valued and important contributors to the team.
  4. Study, analyze, present and publish on multiple aspects of endoscopy at Virginia Mason.


By the end of the fellowship year, the fellow will be able to:

Medical Knowledge

  • Demonstrate understanding and application of medical knowledge in the assessment of endoscopic clinical data.
  • Apply knowledge of medical literature to evaluation of clinical data and profiles of patients treated endoscopically.
  • Use medical knowledge and analytical thinking to develop presentations and manuscripts that will contribute significantly to the literature.

Research Skills

  • Design and execute scientific research projects.
  • Apply knowledge of Human Subjects Research ethics and institutional review board requirements to submission of projects for approval.
  • Apply various statistical methods to analysis of clinical data.
  • Use Access or other database skills to report from and analyze data.

Interpersonal Skills, Communication Skills and Professionalism

  • Complete assigned tasks, including documentation, reliably and in a timely manner.
  • Demonstrate integrity, respect for others, honesty and compassion.
  • Set a tone of respect and collegiality for individuals and the team.

Expected Activity

1. Design and complete at least three research projects in endoscopy. If a project cannot be finished before the Fellow graduates, the project will be continued by the incoming Fellow, who then becomes a co-author.

         a. Identify a topic/project — meet with a member of the faculty to identify/confirm potential topic, data needed or available, and knowledge necessary to investigate further.

         b. Formulate a hypothesis — using the knowledge you have gained, formulate a hypothesis about a cause or effect of the phenomenon, or the relationship of the phenomenon to some other phenomenon.

         c. Test the hypothesis — plan and carry out tests of the hypothesis, including gathering and sorting data as needed.

         d. Analyze the data — use proper mathematical analysis to see if the results of the experiment support or refute the hypothesis.

         e. Draft a manuscript — use AMA formatting to draft a publishable academic research article; provide initial and subsequently improved drafts to faculty member to receive input for improvement; identify appropriate peer-reviewed journals for submission

         f. Submit manuscript — follow publisher guidelines for submitting manuscript, make changes in response to reviewer feedback, and re-submit in a timely manner

2. Interact daily with supervisor to identify next steps on research plan(s), collaborate on analysis and submission, enhance research methodology, perform statistical review, and build on database creation and analysis skills.

3. Work with DDI business analysts and multidisciplinary providers to determine appropriate inclusion/exclusion criteria for use in building robust databases.

4. Participate actively in grand rounds, regularly scheduled conferences and Journal Club:

  • Grand Rounds — Every Friday, 7:30-8:30 a.m., Volney Richmond Auditorium
    Weekly education is provided on wide variety of medical topics. Attendees can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for Grand Rounds by completing a registration form and sending it to the CME department.
  • GI Cancer Conference — Every other Tuesday from 5-6 p.m., Rad-Onc Conference Room
    Bi-weekly cancer conference focuses on gastrointestinal cancers. Faculty and fellows from gastroenterology, hepatology, surgery, pathology, interventional radiology and oncology meet weekly to present, review and discuss the medical conditions and treatment options of individual patients with gastrointestinal and pancreaticobiliary cancers. Consensus recommendations for further evaluation and treatment for each patient are documented and communicated to patients and treating physicians.
  • GI Pathology Conference — 4th Thursday of the month from 7:30-8:30 a.m., Pathology Conference Room
    Meet monthly with pathologists, radiologists, and gastroenterologists to review biopsy specimens. Some of the biopsies have been performed by the Radiology Department, referral hospitals and/or referral physicians. The number of biopsies reviewed will vary. For any patient who has an autopsy, the results will be discussed during the conference as well. All explants will be reviewed during pathology conference.
  • GI Radiology Conference — 3rd Wednesday of the month from 7:30-8:30 a.m., Correa A Conference Room
    Faculty, gastroenterologists, surgeons, general radiologists, interventional radiologists and fellows meet monthly to review computed tomography, magnetic resonance, angiograms and ultrasonography on selected patients to be discussed. Indications, contra-indications, limitations, and complications of all radiologic procedures pertinent to the subspecialty of pancreatic cancer are also discussed.
  • Journal Club — 1st, 2nd, 3rd Thursday of the month from 7:30-8:30 a.m., Correa C Conference Room
    Providers meet weekly to discuss the latest news from literature published for physicians and health care providers.  

Conference Schedule

Conference Director
AHPBA Grand Rounds
1st Wednesday, every month, 2:00pm
Rad/Onc Conference Room, Buck 1
GI Journal Club
1st, 2nd, 3rd Thursday, every month, 7:30am
Buck 5 Radiology Conference Room
GI / Pathology
Regularly 4th Thursday, every month, 7:30am
Pathology Conference Room, Buck 6
GI / Radiology
3rd Wednesday, every month, 7:30am
Correa B, Central Pavilion 4
GI / M&M
1st Wednesday, every month, 7:30am
Correa B, Central Pavilion 4
GI Cancer Conference
Rocha (Pancreas-Biliary), B. Lin, Song (Luminal GI)
Every Tuesday, 5:00pm
Rad/Onc Conference Room
Hepatology Didactics
Burman and Helton
Every Wednesday, 2:00pm
Hill Library
Liver Conference
Burman and Helton
Every Tuesday, 4:15pm
Rad/Onc Conference Room
Thoracic Cancer Conference
Every Wednesday, 4:00pm
Rad/Onc Conference Room, Buck 6
Hepatology/Pathology Conference
Every Wednesday, 1:00pm
Pathology Conference Room, Buck 6
Multidisciplinary Team Conference for IBD
First Thursday, 5pm Followed by City-Wide IBD Journal Club
Buck 327 Conference Room

In the first quarter, the fellow will:

  1. Complete CITI GPC/Ethics Training and Statistics course.
  2. Attend the Wilske Research Symposium in September.
  3. Develop studies and submit IRBs.
  4. Complete data collection and present to Fellowship Director.

In the second quarter, the fellow will:

  1. Develop additional studies and submit IRBs.
  2. Present research findings at DDI Director’s Meeting in December.
  3. Submit abstracts to Digestive Disease Week by December.
  4. Finalize analysis; write and distribute manuscripts.

In the third quarter, the fellow will:

  1. Finalize approval of manuscripts.
  2. Finalize analysis; write and distribute new manuscripts.
  3. Submit 3+ manuscripts for publication.
  4. Present at University of Washington Frontiers in GI in March/April.

In the fourth quarter, the fellow will:

  1. Complete all revisions on studies and manuscripts and resubmit.
  2. Submit report for all IRB approve studies.
  3. Present research findings at Digestive Disease Week and DDI Director’s Meeting in May/June.


Expected Products/Outcomes

  1. At least three publications on endoscopic topics in peer-reviewed journals per year, co-authored with mentoring providers.
  2. Presentation of research at a minimum of one national or international meeting.

Evaluation and Feedback

The fellow will meet with the Program Director regularly and will receive verbal and written evaluations quarterly. The fellow will be expected to provide confidential assessment and feedback about the program and faculty. DDI faculty, research support staff, DDI business analysts, and other staff who interact with the fellow may also be asked periodically to evaluate the Fellow. Assessment will focus on the goals, objectives, activities and outcomes above.

Related Information

Eligibility Requirements
Endoscopy Research Fellowship Home