The University of Michigan Division of Endocrine Surgery was the first of its kind in the country. Established by Norman W. Thompson in 1979, a founding member of both the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons and the International Association of Endocrine Surgery, the Division is one of the largest and busiest in the country and has a rich history. Many past and present leaders in endocrine surgery have come through our doors to train here or visit, and numerous breakthroughs in the fields of endocrine surgery, endocrinology, endocrine radiology and nuclear medicine have occurred within our walls.
Established in 1984, and the first Fellowship of its kind in the country, the Norman W.Thompson Fellowship in Comprehensive Endocrine Surgery is designed to facilitate the transition of trainees to independent endocrine surgeons who can confidently manage the full spectrum of endocrine surgical problems encountered in their patients.
Core Program Faculty
The Norman W. Thompson Fellowship in Endocrine Surgery is designed to allow the fellow to build a strong foundation in the clinical care of patients with basic and complex endocrine surgical disorders. The goal of the fellowship is to facilitate the graded transition of the trainee to an independent endocrine surgeon who is confident in the management of patients with the full spectrum of endocrine surgical disorders.
The Division of Endocrine Surgery performs about 1000 endocrine operative cases annually. This includes 400-500 thyroid, central neck and lateral neck operations, 350-400 parathyroidectomies, 10-15 endocrine pancreas operations, and 40- 70 adrenal operations each year, providing ample clinical training. Complex re-operative cases are routinely performed, and the Fellow has the opportunity to maintain some routine general surgery as well. However, no trauma or acute care surgery call is required.
The Thompson fellow begins the year learning management and technical principles paired 1-on-1 on a weekly basis with the other endocrine surgical faculty on a rotating basis in both the clinic and operating room. A graded progression of and transition to increased independent responsibility occurs during the year. When appropriate, based on progress made during the year, the Fellow will eventually maintain their own clinic and operative schedule, including operating with general surgery trainees. Fellows develop skills in numerous operative techniques, including modified radical neck dissection, minimally invasive thyroid and parathyroid techniques, and retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy among others. The year also includes exposure to outpatient clinical care, endocrine pathology, radiology and nuclear medicine, and intraoperative parathyroid hormone monitoring. Training to hone skills with cervical ultrasound and laryngoscopy will be incorporated as well.
The University of Michigan Endocrine Oncology program is world renowned for its adrenal cancer program and sees one of the highest volumes of adrenal cancer patients in the world. Extensive contact with endocrinologists, endocrine pathologists, radiologists, oncologists, and nuclear medicine specialists is ensured.
Fellows are considered members of the faculty and are funded for 1 year as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Surgery, enjoy numerous opportunities to advance their clinical skills participate in clinical and/or basic science research, and are afforded all of the rights and responsibilities as a faculty member. An administrative assistant, OR scheduler, inpatient physician assistants and outpatient clinical nurses are provided as support. There is also a CME fund for the fellow.
Fellows participate in weekly Endocrine service teaching conferences as well as monthly Division, General Surgery Section and Departmental meetings. Fellows participate in medical student and resident educational lectures, review sessions, practical hands-on skills labs, and Endocrinology Fellow conferences. The weekly Multidisciplinary Endocrine Oncology tumor board offers a unique opportunity to discuss complex cases and is a model for other centers around the country. Experience in practice building, leadership development, and the business of medicine is also provided.
Research & Academic Opportunities
Contributions to the field of endocrine surgery through clinical research are provided and encouraged. A robust clinical database system with thousands of patients provides ample material for clinical research projects. Opportunities for basic science research are considered on an individual basis and are wide ranging given the top tier research setting at University of Michigan.