Endocrinology Clinical Fellowship Program

Excellent endocrine training in a collegial setting 

The goal of the Endocrinology Clinical Fellowship Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is to train excellent physicians who will be scholars and national leaders in their fields. Our individually tailored program will launch each fellow into a successful clinical or research career.

Since its inception in 1956, the program has trained over 200 graduates who have gone on to productive careers in academic research, teaching and patient care. In a 30-year period, 75% of MD or MD/PhD trainees have pursued careers in academia, industry, or government.

The program consistently evaluates how fellows are trained and seeks ways to provide the best endocrine training in a collegial and stimulating academic environment. As a result, the Vanderbilt Endocrinology Clinical Fellowship Program is one of the leading programs in the country, as reflected by its funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and recognition in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.

As a program, we strongly value diversity and make intentional efforts to foster an inclusive fellowship community. We have a dedicated DEI task force for fellowship recruitment that continuously evaluates our recruitment process so that it is as equitable as possible. Learn more about our division's committment to diversity here

A firm clinical foundation to help meet future career goals 

The adult Endocrinology Clinical Fellowship Program offers a two-year clinically intensive or three-year research-intensive program. The base of the program is intended to provide a firm grounding in clinical endocrinology after which the fellow will continue this clinical focus or pursue their research. This prepares all fellows to have strong clinical skills and allows for those interested in research to develop their specific careers. 

Personalized Training Program

Our fellowship is focused on providing an excellent clinical foundation for all fellows. We recognize that within the field of endocrinology, future career goals vary. As a result, we have tailored the second and possible third years of fellowship to the needs and interests of each individual fellow. Toward the end of the first year, each fellow will meet with program leadership to develop their second-year curriculum, which is designed to align with the goals the fellow has established with their mentoring committee.

Mentoring Committee

In the first year, each fellow assembles a mentoring committee consisting of their continuity clinic director, the fellowship program manager, a possible research advisor, and one or two other faculty members within, or outside, the division whose career may be similar to what the fellow envisions for themselves. The committee meets at least yearly to ensure the career goals of the fellows are being met regarding clinical training, research training, grant proposals, and the job application process.  

Grant Applications 

Research fellows are expected to apply for individual grant support. Previous fellows have been awarded individual fellowship awards (NRSA) and career-development (K08) grants from the NIH, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Endocrine Fellows Foundation (EFF) and others. Learning the grant application process with the help of an experienced mentor is essential for the career development of academic physicians. Engaging in this process early in the trainee’s fellowship helps establish a track record of success as fellows begin their transitions to independent academic careers. 

National Meeting Participation

Endocrine fellows are expected to attend and prepare a poster presentation for a national meeting. Our fellows regularly present at the annual Endocrine Society Meeting where many have received poster awards and have been selected to give oral presentations. The division supports attendance at this conference, which is an excellent opportunity for trainees to share their work, develop clinical and research ideas, and to network and promote their career development. 

Inpatient services include both the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and the Nashville VA Medical Center, which are adjacent to one another. Outpatient services include the Vanderbilt Eskind Diabetes Clinic, a state-of-the-art facility housing both adult and pediatric endocrinology and diabetes clinics at Vanderbilt. At this full-service clinic, fellows benefit from a coordinated team approach to diabetes care, as well as multidisciplinary thyroid and pituitary clinics. 

The Nashville VA outpatient clinic, staffed by members of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism and nurse practitioners, also offers excellent training opportunities for conducting clinical research. It is a key component in the Endocrinology Clinical Training Program. 

Year 1 

  • Clinical focus with outpatient experience 
  • Consults at VUMC and the Nashville VA Medical Center under guidance of an experienced teaching faculty member 
    • Rotations include thyroid cancer, thyroid biopsy, bone disorders, intensive diabetes, gestational diabetes, lipids, obesity, PCOS, reproductive endocrinology, pituitary and adrenal disorders, pediatric endocrinology and general endocrine clinic 
  • Built-in time to initiate research projects and establish a mentor 

Year 2 

  • Focus depends on fellow's interests and future plans 
  • Second-year clinical fellowship plan 
    • Meet with the program directors toward the end of first year to come up with a tailored clinical schedule for second year 
    • Can include non-core rotations such as neurology, podiatry, endocrine surgery and maternal-fetal medicine 
    • Significantly less time on the inpatient consult service as compared to the first-year fellows 

Year 3 

  • Research focus with ongoing exposure to outpatient endocrinology 
  • Third-year clinical fellowship plan 
    • Continue continuity clinic as a second-year, but spend the remaining time in the laboratory setting  
    • Minimal inpatient consult time 
    • Fellows may choose to continue half-day continuity clinic or instead use that time to rotate through elective subspecialty clinics.

The Department of Medicine’s Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism has a long track record of training academic endocrinologists. 

VUMC has a rich history of collaborative and multidisciplinary research. This is reflected in the research programs of the more than 100 faculty and fellows within the division and the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center (DRTC). Although many fellows select projects under the guidance of division faculty, fellows can choose from a large and diverse group of research mentors from any Vanderbilt faculty in the areas of diabetes, hormonal and metabolic disorders, obesity and endocrinology. Upon selection of a research mentor, the fellow will work in their mentor’s research area.  

Diabetes-related research areas 

  • Hormone action in animals and humans as it relates to diabetes and obesity 
  • Intermediary metabolism 
  • Pancreatic islet biology 
  • Micronutrient effects on metabolic disease 
  • Metabolic regulation 
  • Molecular genetics of metabolic disease 
  • Causes and treatments of obesity 
  • Translation of diabetes care delivery        
  • Type-1 diabetes mechanisms and prevention 

The Vanderbilt laboratory and clinical research facilities are extremely strong. The research laboratories of the division occupy approximately one to two floors of Medical Research Building IV. This space includes individual research laboratories, a fully-equipped conference room, tissue culture facilities, animal preparation rooms, and shared facilities such as central offices, a break room, instrument rooms and cold rooms. There is additional research space at the Nashville VA ACRE building.  

Vanderbilt and the DRTC offer a variety of core facilities, including histology, microscopy, molecular biology, mouse metabolic phenotyping, mouse neurobehavior, islet analysis and preparation, mass spectroscopy, and hormone assay, that are useful for individual research projects. The key to training in clinical research is the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, which is funded by the NIH through a Clinical and Translational Service Award. This facility includes inpatient beds, an outpatient center, as well as a metabolic balance core. It also provides funding and support for individual research projects by the trainees of this program. 

Endocrinology fellows have well organized didactic sessions that take place for one hour twice weekly. Lecturers include division faculty as well as faculty outside the division who have subject matter expertise. These encompass the complete breadth of endocrine education. 

Journal Club and Monthly Case Conferences 

Once monthly Journal Club and once monthly Case Conference are also geared toward the fellows, but with faculty participation. In Journal Club, the first half of the year is dedicated to learning how to read the medical literature accurately, with each session focused on a different type of study design. Basic statistics is also reviewed. 

Endocrine Grand Rounds 

Endocrine Grand Rounds is held weekly. Speakers include Vanderbilt adult and pediatric endocrinology faculty as well as guest speakers who are internationally known in their field. 

Endocrine Tumor Board 

Endocrine Tumor Board is a multidisciplinary conference that includes surgery, radiology, pathology, oncology and endocrinology. This is a fun and interactive meeting where much is learned from our interdisciplinary discussion. 

Pituitary Conference 

Pituitary Conference is held weekly with endocrinology and neurosurgery. Fellows learn surgical indications, biochemical evaluations and how to read MRIs. 

The Vanderbilt Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism participates in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP or The Match) through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).  

To maintain and continuously improve our broad perspective and understanding of our patients and each other, our program strives toward diversity within our training program. In order to facilitate this and ensure that applicants are viewed without bias, some of the interviews are blinded, which means that the interviewing faculty member will not have access to the applicant’s file, and all impressions will be based on the interview alone.  

The following are required from ERAS: 

  • Your ERAS-generated biosketch 
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation 
  • If possible, please include a letter from your residency program director 
  • If you have trained as a resident at more than one institution, please submit at least one letter from each institution 
  • Personal goals statement (Please address your long-term career goals) 
  • COMLEX transcript 
  • USMLE transcript 

If you have additional questions, or wish to speak with someone about our program, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Dr. Lindsay Bischoff, lindsay.bischoff@vumc.org  

Program Manager, Jan Botts Hicks 

Program Leadership

Lindsay Ann Bischoff, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, Endocrinology Clinical Fellowship Program

Sally Friedman, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Endocrinology Clinical Fellowship Program

Jim May, MD

Professor of Medicine
Assistant Director, Endocrinology Clinical Fellowship Program