Endocrinology and Diabetes | Fellowship | Fellow’s Welcome

Pediatric Endocrinology Fellows

Dear potential applicant,

First of all, congratulations on choosing a career in Pediatric Endocrinology! The fellowship program at Washington University in St. Louis is rigorous and offers a wealth of clinical exposure and research opportunities. As fellows, we have the privilege of seeing our own clinic patients with staffing provided by designated teaching attendings. This ensures better continuity of care, strong family-physician rapports, and an optimal learning environment. Our division also admits patients to our own service, which offers similar advantages. When working with attendings, it is apparent that they have excellent scientific and clinical knowledge through a wealth of experience. However, fellow autonomy and leadership are strongly encouraged, especially with progression through the program.

My clinical experience has been diverse at Washington University in St. Louis. Therefore, I feel I’ll be well prepared for independent practice by the time I complete my training. Through our busy inpatient and consult services, we are exposed to conditions like type 1 and type 2 diabetes, numerous genetic disorders, neonatal and childhood hypoglycemia, pituitary problems, neuroendocrine disorders, neuro-oncological conditions, adrenal dysfunction, thyroid and parathyroid abnormalities, disorders of water balance, metabolic bone conditions, and disorders of sexual development.

The fellowship can be tailored to an individual’s career path, such as focus placed on an area of interest or time reserved primarily for research - basic science, translational, or clinical. My area of interest is in metabolic bone disease. Therefore, I have been working with my research mentor, Dr. Michael P. Whyte, at the Center for Metabolic Bone Disease and Molecular Research at Shriners Hospital in St. Louis. This has been an invaluable and unique clinical experience that most programs cannot offer (just one example of the opportunities offered by Washington University in St. Louis). Through my fellowship experience, I have gained a new appreciation for clinical research, which is now an area I wish to incorporate in my future endeavors.

The program supports outside activities, including national/international conference attendance, organization events, and Pediatric Endocrinology board prep courses. For example, I will be participating in The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) 2018 Annual International Meeting this year. Fellow education is highly valued. Thus, the program continues to evolve to incorporate more formal teaching sessions and activities. For instance, we participate in combined weekly conferences with the adult pediatric endocrinology program. This is a great opportunity for shared teaching and management approaches. I feel these sessions are great examples of exemplary teaching for those wanting to pursue a clinical educator position after fellowship. This is the track I plan to pursue upon fellowship completion.

In summary, I hope I was able to adequately convey the opportunities offered by Washington University in St. Louis and wish you luck during this stressful match process. I’d also like to thank you for considering our program and am hopeful we’ll have the chance to meet during the upcoming interview season!

Best Wishes,
Pamela Smith, MD
Pediatric Endocrinology Fellow, 2016 - 2019

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