Factors influencing decisions about a career in hepatology: A survey of gastroenterology fellows

Sarah M. Ordway*, Manish B. Singla, Patrick E. Young, Rohit Satoskar, Ryan M. Kwok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Despite an unmet need for hepatologists in the United States, every year transplant hepatology (TH) fellowship positions remain unfilled. To address this, we investigated factors that influence trainee decisions about pursuing a career in hepatology. We invited current gastroenterology (GI) and TH fellows from all Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited programs for the academic year 2014-2015 to participate in an online survey about factors influencing decisions to train in hepatology. The same paper-based survey was distributed at a nationally recognized GI board review course. The survey was completed by 180 participants of which 91% were current GI or TH fellows and 24% were not aware of the pilot 3-year combined GI and TH training program. A majority of respondents (57%) reported that a shorter time (3 versus 4 years) to become board certification eligible would influence their decisions to pursue TH. The most common reasons for not pursuing hepatology were less endoscopy time (67%), additional length of training (64%), and lack of financial compensation (44%). Personal satisfaction (66%), management of complex multisystem disease (60%), and long-term relationships with patients (57%) were the most attractive factors. Sixty-one percent of participants reported having a mentor, and 94% of those with mentors reported that their mentors influenced their career decisions. Conclusion: We have identified several factors that affect fellows' decision to pursue TH. Shorter training, increased financial compensation, and increased endoscopy time are potentially modifiable factors that may increase the number of trainees seeking careers in hepatology and help alleviate the deficit of hepatologists. (Hepatology Communications 2017;1:347–353).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-353
Number of pages7
JournalHepatology Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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