Obesity Medicine Fellowship Program

Nutrition and Metabolic Disease

A program tailored to serve our patient population

Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism has a more than 50-year history training endocrine fellows who have advanced into physician-scientists and leaders at academic institutions in the United States and around the world. 

Over the past several years, VUMC has engaged in thoughtful introspection and strategic planning, and has identified obesity as a major area of focus given the magnitude of the problem in the southeast and in our patient population. It is in this context that we are wholly committed, as a pillar of our efforts to address obesity in our region, to our one-year Obesity Medicine Fellowship Program, with a focus on Nutrition and Metabolic Disease.

This commitment is consistent with our academic missions to teach, perform research, and deliver outstanding clinical care, and will extend our impact across our network by training and retaining the next generation of physician leaders in nutrition and metabolic disease. 

Clinical and research expertise

As a leading academic medical center, we increasingly sense the opportunity to develop and implement obesity and metabolic health solutions at the patient, community and population level to impact the health of the communities we care for. We have tremendous breadth and depth of clinical and research obesity expertise, and are well poised to focus these resources in the training of world-class obesity medicine specialists.

Thought leaders at the Vanderbilt Weight Loss Center have come together to bridge knowledge in obesity medicine, standardization of obesity care pathways, clinical and translational research, population health perspectives, specialized population considerations and practice organization to broaden our fellows’ clinical immersion in obesity medicine. The field of obesity medicine is growing, and being at the forefront allows our fellows to work collaboratively in multidisciplinary team dynamics while simultaneously garnering a strong sense of knowledge and passion as future specialists in this field.    

During the first year, the fellow spends a significant portion of time in outpatient obesity medicine consultations, continuity obesity clinics, and obesity medicine practice management at Vanderbilt Weight Loss. In addition, there is opportunity to rotate with the bariatric surgery team and select elective specialty rotations. 

The program commitment to the fellow is consistent with VUMC’s academic mission to teach, perform research, and deliver outstanding clinical care, and to extend VUMC’s impact across its network by training and retaining the next generation of nutrition and metabolic disease physician leaders.  

All clinics as well as inpatient hospital consults include an attending teaching physician. The attending spends time with the fellow reviewing patient care, answering questions, and discussing plans for patient care. In the inpatient setting, the supervision includes in-person bedside rounds and review of plans throughout the call block. 

In addition to regular didactic teaching, fellows are also required to attend related conferences and educational programs, including Endocrine Grand Rounds and the Joint Obesity Medicine & Bariatric Surgery Journal Club. 

Mentoring Committee  

A fellow mentorship and evaluation committee, including Drs. Gitanjali Srivastava and Kevin Niswender, and one additional core faculty member, will meet quarterly to review fellow progress. More in-depth evaluation of fellow and program faculty will be accomplished twice yearly with completion of evaluation forms and discussion with the fellow. The fellow will also meet individually with the program director quarterly to discuss overall career goals and progress, identify strengths weaknesses of the program and the fellow, and clinical productivity. 

VUMC has a national and international reputation in graduate medical education with outstanding programs in Medicine, Surgical Sciences and Pediatrics. During the one-year  Nutrition and Metabolic Disease Fellowship, fellows spend a significant portion of time in outpatient obesity medicine consultations, continuity obesity clinics, and obesity medicine practice management at the Vanderbilt Weight Loss Center. In addition, there is an opportunity to rotate with the bariatric surgery team and select elective specialty rotations, including Pediatric Obesity, Women’s Health, NASH clinic, PCOS clinic, Diabetes, Lipid, Hepatology and Sleep Medicine. The fellow will also take call responsibilities for the medical obesity program.   

Clinical Practice Areas 

The Vanderbilt Weight Loss Center, located at Vanderbilt’s One Hundred Oaks campus, will be the primary site of training for our fellows. It is a tertiary referral base for the entire region for adult obesity and weight management. This multidisciplinary weight loss clinic consists of medical doctors, bariatric surgeons, nurse practitioners, registered dietitians, psychologists, and exercise physiologists who are cross-trained and can seamlessly evaluate and provide care for surgical and medical weight management patients. Fellows will train under a preceptorship model with primary faculty who have expertise in medical management of obesity and in preceptorship-based teaching. Beyond obesity, we also see complex patients with severe obesity such as pre- and post-transplant patients in renal, heart and liver, and cancer survivors. We provide streamlined access to subspecialty clinics in adult and pediatric medicine, including Sleep Medicine, Hepatology, Endocrinology, Lipids, Women’s Health, Dayani Center for Health and Wellness, and Eskind Diabetes Clinics, and fellows rotating in these clinics will learn how obesity comorbidities are managed. 

The Section of Surgical Sciences is a top-tier surgical program with a bariatric surgery division that performs over 600 bariatric procedures per year. They are active participants in the academic mission, contributing to teaching and researching our understanding of the biological mechanisms of bariatric surgery and implementation of surgical procedures in a surgical center of excellence. Our surgical colleagues are true partners in our integrated weight loss clinical enterprise where optimal weight loss strategies, whether they be medical or surgical, are devised for each individual patient with Nutrition and Metabolic Disease faculty and trainees. For the past 18 years, VUMC’s surgical program has trained bariatric surgeons who have excelled as prominent leaders in the field. 

The Department of Pediatrics is a nationally recognized program with substantial expertise in pediatric obesity medicine. Our Nutrition and Metabolic Disease training program faculty is comprised of individuals who are nationally and internationally recognized in pediatric interventions at the family and community level. Clinically, our faculty have expertise in identifying and managing syndromic obesity, Prader Willi and, in general pediatrics, the identification and management of metabolic risk in children with obesity. We have an academic combined Medicine-Pediatrics section through which clinical exposure to primary care approaches to obesity prevention and management will be obtained. 

National Meeting Participation  

Nutrition and Metabolic Disease fellows are expected to attend, and strongly encouraged to prepare a poster presentation for, the annual Obesity Society meeting held during ObesityWeek. Attendance and participation at the annual Blackburn Course in Obesity Medicine in Boston is also expected. Obesity medicine fellows from across the United States participate in Obesity Medicine Interhospital Rounds (case presentations) during the Blackburn Course. This is an excellent opportunity to meet world-renowned faculty in obesity medicine. 

VUMC and the Department of Medicine’s Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism have a rich history of collaborative and multidisciplinary research. Fellows can choose research mentors and obtain guidance on projects from any one of the Vanderbilt faculty working in the areas of obesity, metabolism and hormonal disorders, diabetes, cardiometabolic hormones and genetic obesity.  

In addition to basic science, we have a large research portfolio in obesity that includes behavioral and health system interventions, addressing obesity prevention and management in children and adults through projects affiliated with the Vanderbilt Center for Health Services Research and the Stakeholders, Research and Technology (STAR) Clinical Research Network. We have implemented multiple instances of the Diabetes Prevention Program, the gold standard behavior, weight and metabolic risk management group program, providing trainees an opportunity to learn about weight-management interventions outside of a traditional fee-for-service model. 

In addition, the Nutrition and Metabolic Disease fellow will also have an opportunity to study clinical retrospective and prospective outcomes data generated within the Vanderbilt Weight Loss Center. The center is actively engaged in many active clinical obesity trials. Scholarly activity in the field of obesity medicine is strongly encouraged during the one-year fellowship program. 

The Nutrition and Metabolic Disease Fellowship Program is integrated within the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism. Our existing adult and pediatric endocrinology fellowships are outstanding models on which the Nutrition and Metabolic Disease Fellowship is synergized. Robust conferences, including case conference, journal club, didactics, tumor boards and grand rounds, as well as quality improvement mentoring, occur regularly. 

In addition, our Nutrition and Metabolic Disease fellows have opportunities to participate and teach in a unique Integrated Science Course (ISC) for medical students. Our faculty co-direct an ISC for third- and fourth-year medical students entitled “The Skinny on Obesity: What Every Health Provider Needs to Know” (MED IDIS 5622). This four-week course is offered to students six times a year. 

Applicants are encouraged to submit an application through the Obesity Medicine Fellowship Council

At this time, we only accept applications from U.S. Citizens/permanent residents. 

Application requirements: 

  • Completion of at least three years of ACGME-accredited Internal Medicine or categorical program 
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Three letters (3) of recommendation 
  • A letter from residency director is encouraged 
  • Personal goals statement, including long-term career goals 
  • Completion of the USMLE Parts I, II and III 
  • Board Eligible or Board Certified in a completed specialty 
  • Recent photo 
  • TN State Medical license 

Jasmyne Mitchell

Program Coordinator

Email: jasmyne.mitchell@vumc.org

Program Leadership

Gitanjali Srivastava, MD

Professor of Medicine
Director, Obesity Medicine Fellowship Program 

Kevin Niswender​​​​​​​, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Obesity Medicine Fellowship Program

Anna Beth Bradley, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Assistant Program Director, Obesity Medicine Fellowship Program