DDW News


GI Fellows: Make the Most of Mentorship and Training to Gain Advanced Endoscopy Skills

Gastroenterology fellows seeking to gain valuable advanced endoscopy skills must take the initiative in finding good mentorship and broadening their training, according to Victoria Gómez, MD, associate professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic in Florida, who spoke on the topic during Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) 2024.

Victoria Gómez, MD, associate professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic in Florida

“Mentorship is everything. Every fellow needs to find at least one good mentor to guide them throughout their career,” Dr. Gómez says, “The specialty you end up in is often a result of meaningful mentorship that extends beyond the fellowship.”


“I always loved gastroenterology. To me it feels like detective work. But I also love working with my hands. I was fortunate to be guided by wonderful mentors who provided me with opportunities, and I developed a love for advanced endoscopy,” she says.

With advanced endoscopy rapidly evolving, fellows also have more options to learn about rewarding specialties, but they need to be proactive in broadening their training. She shared her advice on how  GI fellows can get a “sneak peek” of advanced endoscopy procedures, including some early hands-on work, during their three-year fellowship:

Get exposure to as many procedures as possible.

“The more you see, the more you learn, even if you’re not the one holding the scope,” says Dr. Gómez.

She advises keeping an open mind during your fellowship and participating in as many procedures as possible, no matter how simple or complex.

Curate your curriculum and rotations.

The earlier you express interest in a given technique or skill, the easier it will be to tailor your rotation, says Dr. Gómez. “Good, timely communication with your program director and the coordinator is important. These rotations are built out months in advance. Be proactive and speak up. Your program director has your best interest at heart.”

Participate in research.

Research can play a major role in defining your interests and sharpening your skills in particular specialties, she says, “Participating in research shows that you’re committed to learning more than just the technical skills to really understanding the procedure.”

 Seek out opportunities for ex vivo training.

“If you want to learn a unique skill that comes with known adverse events, there’s no better place than outside the patient setting,” says Dr. Gómez. “Simulation allows for a lot of repetitive instruction in a low-stress and safe environment.”

Not all programs have a simulation center for fellows, so she recommends reaching out to your mentors, program director or industry to find training opportunities.  She also advises keeping track of the simulation cases you do to document your hands-on training.

Coordinate with an endoscopy coach.

Beyond mentorship, endoscopy coaching has emerged as more formal endoscopy training programs have evolved. Endoscopy coaches are familiar with the training and competency requirements that fellows need to accomplish and can help to develop an individualized learning plan based on the trainee’s strengths and learning style, says Dr. Gómez.

Dr. Gómez’s oral presentation, “Learning unique endoscopic skills during your 3-year fellowship” on Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. EDT is part of the session “The Endoscopist of the Future: How to Get the Most Out of a GI Fellowship.”

If you’re attending DDW, your registration includes access to a recording of this session, available to watch at your convenience until May 16, 2025. Session captures will be released 24 hours after the session ends. Non-attendees can also purchase access to DDW On Demand to watch session recordings starting June 5.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *