Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program

The Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program at Michigan is designed to train the next generation of leaders in academic endocrinology. The program is led by Director, Tobias Else, MD, along with Andrew Kraftson, MD, who serves as the Assistant Director. The program is monitored by the Endocrinology Fellowship Steering Committee to ensure that educational goals and compliance are met, and to continuously improve our activities. The committee is composed of several core faculty members with particular interest in the training of endocrinologists and also serves as the Annual Program Review Committee. The committee meets regularly to review evaluations and feedback, set priorities, establish new educational initiatives, and identify potential deficiencies or opportunities. The Steering Committee members are Richard Auchus, MD, PhDPalak Choksi, MDNazanene Esfandiari, MD, Ronald Koenig, MD, Andrew Kraftson, MD, and Jennifer Wyckoff, MD (lead faculty member).

A Message from Our Director

U-M MEND Division, Tobias Else, MD
Tobias Else, MD

If your goal is to obtain the best possible training in endocrinology, then look no further. We have a rich history and tradition of excellence in endocrinology, with many famous faculty members and graduates from our program, several of whom are now members of our faculty or faculty elsewhere now.

Few programs offer the depth of clinical training we feature at Michigan, with specialized clinics in pituitary diseases, endocrine tumors and genetics, endocrinopathies in pregnancy, intensive diabetes care, bariatrics, and metabolic bone diseases. Our fellows receive fabulous clinical training from a large and diverse patient population served by a growing number of dedicated faculty members, who are not only experts in their fields but who love to teach. This specialty clinic focus provides an excellent opportunity to learn from experts, but does not come at the expense of training in general endocrinology. Fellows can translate their gained knowledge into the care of their own patients in their weekly continuity clinic and have plenty of rotations with general endocrinologists. We strongly believe that endocrinologists will only identify diseases they have encountered in their practice. Practical experience is worth far more than textbook knowledge!

Beyond learning clinical endocrinology, the research opportunities for endocrinology fellows are superb, including a wide range of basic, clinical, and translational projects and mentorship from a highly productive faculty. Primary aldosteronism, meta-iodobenzguanine (MIBG) imaging, selective pancreatic sampling for neuroendocrine tumors, and the genetic basis of maturity onset diabetes of youth (MODY) are just a few of the major endocrine discoveries at Michigan. Today, that tradition of discovery and excellence continues, and our fellows are a vigorous part of that legacy. All of our fellows will have plenty of opportunity to match with a research mentor and conduct successful research.

Over the last years under the leadership of Dr. Rich Auchus, the fellowship has developed into an excellent program, and with our Fellowship Steering Committee, we have initiated a series of rotation changes and expanded the didactic curriculum. I have been involved in the fellowship program since I graduated as the first Chief Fellow in the program. Therefore, I am excited to continue in the spirit of our prior leadership, together with Dr. Kraftson as the Associate Program Director and an expert steering committee, both providing continuity of a strong leadership. Our goals are to make best use of the opportunities and expertise at Michigan and to prepare our fellows to be leaders in their areas of focus. Clinical training is focused in the outpatient setting, which is where most of endocrinology is practiced.

We have one match system. We previously offered several predetermined tracks, but have transitioned to a system that allows tailoring the fellowship experience to the individual interest and future career plans of our fellows. All fellows follow the same first-year schedule, which focuses on clinical training and features over 50% of time spent in outpatient clinic rotations. The second year offers a flexible schedule consisting largely of research and elective outpatient clinic rotations, with up to 80% protected research time for fellows planning a research career and up to 40% for fellows focusing on a Clinical Educator Track. We have been consistently successful in continuing NIH support with training grant T32DK007245, which has been training academic endocrinologists for over four decades. I, myself, have benefited from this T32 and it provides a great opportunity for our fellows to be supported in their research career. Most importantly, the University of Michigan has a unique commitment to train and retain their successful fellows by giving them the opportunity to transition to a faculty position in their last year. This provides young physician scientists with a greater autonomy in patient care and provides a next stepping stone towards an independent career. 

If you are an enthusiastic medical student or resident, please do contact us and consider the great opportunities at the University of Michigan – all of our faculty are happy to convince you that MEND provides a stellar opportunity to become an academic endocrinologist. We all love what we do and are excited to share our enthusiasm.

Sincerely,

Tobias Else, MD
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Director, Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program

Meet Our Program Coordinator

U-M Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes
Dawne Vowler

Hello and thanks for visiting our website! I have been in healthcare administration for my entire career, and the vast majority of it has been as a Program Coordinator. I have worked at three major healthcare institutions in Michigan, and have developed long-term relationships, both professional and personal, from all of them. Many of these relationships/friendships are with former residents and fellows.

I have been at the University of Michigan since 2008, and I enjoy the fact that the University is a thriving place to work and learn. Even in a "non-academic, administrative" position, there is always something to learn here. The networking of our Program Coordinators and Program Directors allows us to pool resources and experiences to ultimately help our residents and fellows, and to improve all of our programs. We have the support of a strong and dedicated Graduate Medical Education Department to help maintain continuity and ensure our policies and procedures are in compliance with the national governing bodies. What does this have to do with you? Well, it insures that the University of Michigan has some of the very best, most reputable programs in the entire United States.

On a less serious note, the biggest reason I enjoy being a Program Coordinator is the human touch. Program Coordinators are "mother hens" and that comes naturally to me. I am originally a small-town girl and enjoy time spent getting to know fellows on a personal level, if they so choose.

I am married and have two daughters. We love the University of Michigan so much that our oldest daughter chose to be a student here - Go Blue! I enjoy cooking and baking with my daughters, reading, socializing with friends, traveling, and keeping up with my girls' schedules and the revolving door of teenagers at our home. Most of my spare time is spent with my family, as family is my passion in life.

I look forward to the possibility of meeting you in the future.

Dawne Vowler
Program Coordinator, Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program

Tracks

In past years, the program consisted of two tracks, the Research Track and the Clinician-Educator Track, which had different match lists. However, we have now reverted to a single match list. The main reason is that we would like to provide the best opportunities to everybody and we certainly acknowledge that some fellows are somewhat undecided in terms of their career path. Therefore, we continue to provide both tracks, as outlined below, but do not require a full commitment prior to starting your fellowship. We also would like to point out that appointments to all tracks are generally possible for all fellows and are not the result of internal competition. We believe that we only make a difference by supporting the individual interests, needs, and career choices of our fellows!

Research Track

The Research Track is a three-year program intended only for trainees committed to careers as independent investigators in endocrinology. After a year of intensive clinical training (refer to the Clinical Training section below), the following two years are 80% protected research time. Clinical training during Year 2 includes Continuity of Care Clinic, bone clinic, thyroid sonography/FNAB training, and exposure to inpatient intensive glycemia service. In Year 3, successful fellows will have 80% research time. Clinical activities are required, but entirely elective. Most importantly, the third year is not spent as a ‘fellow’, but in the rank of faculty, providing ‘fellows’ with experience in autonomous patient care and further allowing them to continue working with their research mentors and build the basis for a future career as an independent researcher and leader in endocrinology.

Research opportunities (refer to the Research Training section below) in endocrinology at Michigan span the full spectrum, including basic science, translational studies, and clinical investigation. Applicants to this program are encouraged to explore these options and to meet with potential mentors during their interview visits.

The research years are supported via the NIH training grant T32DK007245, which has enjoyed over 40 years of continuous funding. Research Track Fellows are required to submit a F32, K08, K23, AHA, or other similar grant proposal during their second year, although funding is available from the training grant for Year 3 as well. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to be appointed to the training grant.

Individuals accepted to the University of Michigan Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) complete two years of internal medicine residency, followed by four years of fellowship training. Those PSTP residents who choose endocrinology for their fellowship will be assigned to the Research Track.

Clinician-Educator Track

The Clinician-Educator Track is a two-year program geared for applicants who wish to become skilled clinical endocrinologists and to incorporate teaching and clinical training in their career path. The first year is intensive clinical training in an inpatient and outpatient setting. The second year is approximately 60% clinical activities, which include Continuity of Care Clinic, bone clinic, thyroid sonography/FNAB training, inpatient intensive glycemia service, and elective clinics. The remaining 40% time can be customized to include research - including research in teaching and learning methods - specific training in education skills, and additional clinical activities. Fellows in the Clinician-Educator Track may apply for a third year of research training through the training grant when positions are available.

Program Track Schedules & Conferences

The first-year schedule is the same for both the Research and Clinician-Educator Tracks. The second-year schedules for the two Tracks have some identical required clinical components, but differ in how the majority of the time is spent, as outlined below. The Clinician-Educator Track is a two-year program. The Research Track is a three-year program, with the third year being primarily devoted to building upon research started earlier in the fellowship.

Year 1 - Both Tracks

  • 3 months of University Hospital Consult Service
  • 3 months of VA Hospital Consult Service
  • 6 months of Outpatient Clinics
    Fellows typically rotate services at the beginning of each month.

University Hospital Consult Service - During this rotation, fellows are primarily responsible for the busy inpatient endocrine consult service at the University of Michigan Hospital. In addition to seeing the inpatient consults and rounding with the attending, the fellows contribute to the education of the team of residents and medical students who are rotating on service. During this rotation, the only outpatient clinic assigned is the U-M Friday morning Continuity of Care Clinic.

VA Hospital Consult Service - During this rotation, fellows are primarily responsible for the inpatient endocrine consult service at the University of Michigan Hospital. In addition to the inpatient responsibilities, there are usually two VA General Endocrine clinics: the VA Insulin Pump Clinic and the VA long-distance Outpatient Virtual Clinic. During this rotation, fellows also continue their U-M Friday morning General Endocrinology Continuity Clinic.

Outpatient Clinics - During this rotation, fellows continue their U-M Friday morning Continuity of Care Clinic and are required to rotate through U-M subspecialty clinics.

Elective time for further outpatient clinic rotations is scheduled during the Outpatient Clinics rotation as well. A one-week rotation during the first-year Outpatient Clinics block is spent orienting to the Inpatient Hyperglycemia Consult Service. Fellows may attend the week-long diabetes camp for children (Camp Midicha) in June as medical volunteers to experience real-life type 1 diabetes management for several days.

Year 2 - Clinician-Educator Track

Fellows in both Tracks are required to complete an amount of clinical training in the second year. In addition to the U-M Friday morning Continuity of Care Clinic, there are required rotations in metabolic bone disease and Thyroid FNA. Those fellows in the Clinician- Educator Track also rotate on the Inpatient Hyperglycemia Consult Service for one week, every two to three months, and may be assigned for up to one month on the inpatient consult service at the University or Ann Arbor VA Hospitals. The second year of the Clinician-Educator Track allows for a great deal of elective time, which can be divided between clinical electives, research, and formal didactic training in medical education.

Year 2 - Research Track

Fellows in both Tracks are required to complete some clinical training in the second year. In addition to the U-M Friday morning Continuity of Care Clinic, there are required rotations in metabolic bone disease and Thyroid FNA, but little, if any, inpatient activities. While the Research Track second year is devoted to protected research time (80%), there is some limited time for clinical electives.

Year 3 - Research Track

Research Track third year is at least 80% protected research time, but as there are no required clinics, there is time for clinical electives (up to two half-days a week). Successful fellows will continue working with their research mentor, but are usually appointed as faculty in order to provide them with greater autonomy for grant application and patient care. 

Weekly Fellowship Conference Schedule

Other educational conference opportunities include:

Clinical Training

For the first year, fellows rotate on a monthly basis between the University of Michigan Hospital inpatient consultation service, the Ann Arbor Veteran's Administration (VA) Hospital inpatient consultation service with outpatient clinics, and a series of outpatient clinics. The clinic rotations change every three or four months, such that each fellow has the opportunity to experience a month of several different clinics during their first year. Several clinics are mandatory, and others are elective.

As the year progresses, the number of elective clinic rotations increases. Fellows may repeat specific rotations, choose to work with specific faculty, or design their own rotations to suit their unique needs. The U-M Continuity of Care Clinic is Friday morning, and all fellows attend this clinic for two years.

Research Training

We firmly believe that research is an integral part of endocrinology fellowship training. The University of Michigan boasts a rich history of major discoveries in endocrinology and a broad portfolio of ongoing research excellence. All fellows select a faculty mentor during their first year, with whom they will conduct research during their second and possibly additional years.

Second- and third-year fellows on the Research Track are appointed to the T32 training grant until they secure independent funding. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to be appointed to the training grant. The T32 provides 80% protected time for research activities. PSTP fellows are guaranteed three years of 80% protected research time. These research activities span a broad spectrum, which reflects the diversity of faculty research interests: basic laboratory research in biochemistry and cell biology; whole-animal physiology and molecular biology; human genetics, physiology, and pathophysiology investigations; pharmaceutical trials in human beings; epidemiology and outcomes research focused on endocrine diseases and their sequellae.

Second-year Clinician-Educator Track fellows are also required to conduct research. The amount of time and types of projects will vary with each fellow’s interests and other activities. Generally, 25-50% of their time during the second year will be devoted to some form of clinical investigation, as approved by the Program Director. Clinician-Educator Track fellows may apply for a third year of research training.

Every summer, we hold a series of didactic lectures on research methodology. Fellows entering the second year deliver a formal presentation describing their proposed research and submit a short written proposal for approval by the Program Director. Fellows are expected to submit at least one abstract for presentation at a national meeting during their fellowship time and to write at least one scholarly manuscript with a faculty member as well.

Current Fellows

1st-Year Fellow

Kathryn Bux, MD
Kathryn Bux, MD

Kathryn Bux, MD
Medical School: The University of Toledo College of Medicine
Residency: Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Track: Clinical

 

 

 

 

Debbie Chen, MD
Debbie Chen, MD

Debbie Chen, MD
Medical School: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Residency: Thomas Jefferson University
Track: Research

 

 

 

 

Xin He, MBA, MD
Xin He, MBA, MD

Xin He, MBA, MD
Medical School: Yale School of Medicine
Residency: University of Michigan
Track: Clinical

 

 

 

 

Daniel Shelden, DO
Daniel Shelden, DO

Daniel Shelden, DO
Medical School: Nova Southeastern University
Residency: Oakland University William Beaumont Hospital School of Medicine
Track: Clinical

 

 

 

2nd-Year Fellows

Alison Affinati, MD, PhD
Alison Affinati, MD, PhD

Alison Affinati, MD, PhD
Medical School: Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Residency: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Track: PSTP Research
 

 
 
 
 
 

Joshua Evron, MD
Joshua Evron, MD

Joshua Evron, MD
Medical School: Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Residency: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Track: Clinical
 

 
 
 
 
 

Raad Haddad, MD
Raad Haddad, MD

Raad Haddad, MD
Medical School: Jordan University of Science and Technology, Ar Ramtha, Irbid, Jordan
Residency: Hurley Medical Center/Michigan State University, Flint, MI
Track: Research
 

 

 

 

Third-Year Fellow

Rachel Reinert, MD, PhD
Rachel Reinert, MD, PhD

Rachel Reinert, MD, PhD
Medical School: Vanderbilt University, Nashville
Residency: University of Michigan
Track: Research

 

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in our Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program at the University of Michigan. Please contact us any time (telse@med.umich.edu, dvowler@med.umich.edu) with further questions. We welcome anyone interested in our fellowship to contact us and particularly would like to encourage everyone with an interest in the ABIM residency/fellowship research pathway to establish a contact with us as early as possible. We love working with you in order to identify mentors and research opportunities!

Our training program utilizes the ERAS web-based system for processing fellowship applications.

No paper applications are accepted. Thank you!

Life in Ann Arbor

Learn about life in Ann Arbor.

Contact Us

For more information about our Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program, please contact:

Dawne Vowler
Endocrinology Fellowship Program Coordinator
Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes
Domino's Farms, Lobby G, Suite 1500
24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive
Ann Arbor MI 48106
Phone: 734-615-6964
dvowler@med.umich.edu