Clinical training is concentrated in outpatient clinics of the American Family Children's Hospital, which serve a population of over two million and provide over 2,400 endocrinology visits and 1,200 diabetes visits per year. During the first year, fellows see patients ranging in age from infancy to college-age youth in the diabetes clinic, endocrinology clinic, endocrine oncology clinic, polycystic ovary syndrome clinic, and pediatric fitness clinic. Fellows also assume appropriate clinical responsibility for inpatient consultations and admissions to American Family Children's Hospital. During the second and third years of fellowship, fellows increase their time commitments to research activities but continue to receive experience, teaching, and mentorship by attending one diabetes clinic and one endocrine clinic per week and by completing three four-week blocks of clinical service. Other clinical experiences are provided by rotations in genetics, endocrine laboratory medicine, adult endocrinology service, endocrine disease imaging (with nuclear medicine and radiology), and lipid disorders management in preventative cardiology.
First-year fellows complete the University of Wisconsin Clinical Investigator Preparatory Program Short Course in Research. Two months in midyear are set aside for formulation of a research proposal and for preparation and submission of draft IRB and grant applications documents. Progress in research planning is monitored by the Departmental Subspecialty Fellowship Scholarship Oversight Committee. During an eight-month period in both the second and third years, the fellow completes and submits a grant proposal and obtains IRB approval for the research project, develops the necessary research skills, conducts a research project, and prepares results for presentation and publication. Current focus areas for research within the division include:
- Prevention and treatment of insulin resistance and inflammation associated with overweight and poor physical fitness;
- Defining mechanisms of insulin secretion and insulin resistance;
- Growth hormone treatment for children with Prader-Willi syndrome;
- Public health assessment of childhood fitness in the school setting;
- Multidisciplinary treatment of adolescents with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Educational responsibilities include attendance at all Subspecialty Fellowship Core Curriculum conferences, participation in all division education conferences, small group leadership in the School of Medicine and Public Health Endocrine Pathophysiology course, and preparation of a monthly Subspecialty Resident's Evidence-Based Medicine topic-review lecture. Attendance and participation in at least two national endocrinology meetings is supported by the division. Completion of a research project, presentation at pediatric grand rounds, submission of an abstract to a national meeting, and submission of a manuscript for peer review are all required during this year. Coursework provided to build research skills includes two semesters of biostatistics and study design, completion of the separate Clinical Investigator Preparatory Program workshops in scientific manuscript writing and grant preparation and submission, and medical ethics. Progress toward these goals is monitored by the program director and also independently by the subspecialty residents Scholarship Oversight Committee.