Endocrine Fellowship Program with Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Background
The Endocrine Fellowship Program with Harbor-UCLA was expanded to include an additional site at City of Hope’s Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism, which offers advanced clinical programs in diabetes, thyroid cancer, neuroendocrine tumors, osteoporosis, calcium and electrolyte disturbances, and sexual and reproductive disorders. The department also offers several clinical and basic science research programs such as molecular signaling, hormonal factors and hormone discovery, cellular mechanisms of atherosclerosis, development of advanced glycation end-products (AGE) inhibitors and AGE breakers, as well as diabetic immunology and islet isolation, proliferation and transplantation. Additionally, joint studies with the departments of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and Medical Oncology are being conducted to evaluate endocrine-related complications of cancer and cancer treatment.
 
Diabetes Training
Fellowship training at City of Hope focuses on treatment options for patients with diabetes, including patients with type 1, type 2 and those with drug and disease-induced forms of diabetes, such as that seen in cancer patients on steroid therapy and IV nutritional support. Fellows gain experience with advanced monitoring and treatment strategies for diabetes, including continuous glucose monitoring, oral medications and insulin pump therapy. At City of Hope, fellows also participate in the ongoing clinical islet transplantation program and are involved in the screening and follow-up care of islet transplant recipients with and without prior renal transplants. Training highlights also include experience with the diagnosis and management of diabetes-related complications and diabetes-associated disorders such as acute metabolic deteriorations, retinopathy, neuropathy, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, coronary disease, peripheral vascular disease and sexual dysfunction. Fellows also receive training on the implementation of non-drug strategies for the management of diabetes and its complications, including weight reduction and behavioral modification.
 
Other Endocrine Disorders
At City of Hope, fellows receive in-depth training in other endocrine disciplines, including: thyroid disorders and thyroid cancers, adrenal gland dysfunctions and tumors, pituitary gland disorders, metabolic abnormalities associated with cancer and its treatments, and osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases.
 
Program Benefits
The training at Harbor-UCLA is useful to City of Hope endocrine fellows as it provides an introduction in the care of underserved populations. Fellows gain experience with management of disease manifestations and disorders that are not frequently encountered in the populations seeking care at City of Hope (e.g., severe neuropathy requiring leg amputation and vision-threatening retinopathy) as well as gestational diabetes. Another benefit from City of Hope’s association with Harbor-UCLA is the continuing interactions with the faculty and trainees of each highly-rated program. Physicians participating in the joint fellowship program at City of Hope and Harbor-UCLA have the opportunity to receive training in islet transplantation that prepares them to meet the requirements set by the United Network of Organ Sharing, a national organ procurement agency, for establishing new islet transplantation centers.
 
Curriculum
City of Hope endocrinology fellows are primarily allocated to the City of Hope site, where they receive the majority of their training. A segment of their education is also completed at the Harbor-UCLA program site. Similarly, endocrine fellows at Harbor-UCLA have the opportunity to receive a portion of their training at City of Hope. This type of curriculum exposes fellows to a wide range of endocrine disciplines including: type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, diabetes-related complications, diabetes-associated disorders, clinical islet transplantation, thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer, adrenal gland dysfunctions and tumors, pituitary gland disorders, metabolic abnormalities associated with cancer, osteoporosis and sexual dysfunction. Upon completion of the program, endocrine fellows are fully trained in the treatment and management of endocrinology-related diseases and disorders.
 
Training Requirements
Physicians with an M.D. degree at any stage of their postdoctoral training will be considered for the program. Preference is given to those who have completed residency in internal medicine, pediatrics, ob/gyn, urology or other related specialties. The program is also well suited for postdoctoral training for candidates with Ph.D. degrees. All candidates who have completed at least three years of residency in the United States must possess a California license to practice and do clinical training.
 
Program History
City of Hope was established in 1913 as a charitable hospital supported by a philanthropic volunteer organization. Today, the organization is dedicated to the prevention and cure of life-threatening diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, through both innovative research and compassionate patient care. City of Hope’s diabetes program was established in 1971 by Rachmiel Levine, M.D., and is currently led by Fouad R. Kandeel, M.D., Ph.D., in the Leslie & Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Diabetes & Genetic Research Center, a state-of-the-art research building.