Marshall Approved for New Gastroenterology Fellowship

Huntington– The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine received initial accreditation to establish a new gastroenterology fellowship program in its department of medicine.

Approval for the gastroenterology fellowship was issued April 9 by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the national accrediting body for post-M.D. training programs in the U.S.

 “Fellowship programs provide long-term benefits in terms of high-level patient care and the opportunity to retain well-trained young specialists to stay and practice in our region, addressing, in this case, a shortage of gastroenterologists in West Virginia,” said Paulette S. Wehner, M.D., vice dean of graduate medical education at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. “The gastroenterology fellowship will also strengthen our core internal medicine residency program by way of teaching, research and recruitment of strong residents.

Under the leadership of Internal Medicine Chair Mehiar El-Hamdani, M.D., the School of Medicine has recruited new gastroenterology faculty members and designated as its division chief Ahmed Sherif, M.D., a fellowship-trained gastroenterologist with 20 years of experience. Uma Sundaram, M.D., vice dean of research and graduate education at the school of medicine and a practicing gastroenterologist, has grown the research and academics of the division with targeted research studies and clinical trials. 

The gastroenterology fellowship is a three-year program with an approved complement of nine total positions, according to Wesam Frandah, M.D., who will serve as program director for the new fellowship, which will welcome its first cohort of fellows in July 2021. Applicants must first successfully complete a residency in internal medicine before beginning a gastroenterology fellowship.

“We have been working toward this fellowship for a number of years,” El-Hamdani said. “Our gastroenterology division has blossomed quickly under the leadership roles of Drs. Sherif and Frandah. This fellowship not only advances us in the realm of education and research but brings new innovations and opportunities to our patients right here at home. This growth is key to providing top-notch, evidence-based care.”  

With approval of the new fellowship, the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine now offers 10 accredited residency and 13 fellowship programs.