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Endocrine Fellowship at UC San Diego

Fellows and Dr. Seth Field. 

The UC San Diego Endocrine Fellowship is a two-year, ACGME-accredited program designed to prepare fellows for a career in endocrinology, with an emphasis on academic endocrinology. In addition to well-rounded clinical training, the program provides opportunities in endocrine research (including basic bench research, translational research and clinical research). 

In the 2015 anonymous survey conducted by the ACGME, our fellows rated the program a 5 out of 5 overall (compared to the national average of 4.3). Unique features of our program include a good balance between learning vs. clinical service, fellows’ ownership of patient care, fellows’ input into curriculum and regular face-to-face interactions with otolaryngology surgeons, endocrine surgeons, neurosurgeons, reproductive endocrinologists and pediatric endocrinologists.

How to Apply

We receive applications exclusively through ERAS and we participate in NRMP.  A detailed explanation of the process and relevant links can be found at the ERAS Fellowships Applicant Site

For the incoming class of 2016, we plan to recruit three fellows.

For international medical graduates (IMGs), we consider applicants with exceptional research experience who are completing residency in an ACGME-accredited program and are seeking J1 (not H1) visa support. IMGs are required to obtain a PTAL (post-graduate training authorization letter) prior to the interview, and a California Medical License prior to the NRMP match.

Clinical Training

The UC San Diego Endocrinology Fellowship Program provides rigorous clinical training in three teaching hospitals, each with its own inpatient and outpatient components. The three hospitals provide complementary experiences serving diverse patient populations.

Each fellow is assigned to the Inpatient Consult Service for 2-3 non-consecutive months a year. The Consult Service generally consists of a fellow, a resident or a student, and a consult attending(s). It covers all three UC San Diego-affiliated hospitals. The Service sees a diverse array of patients and endocrine-related problems.

The majority of clinical instruction occurs in the outpatient setting, reflecting the major venue of health-care delivery in the endocrine subspecialty. Fellows develop outpatient practices in three continuity clinics: the Endocrine/Diabetes Clinic at UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, the Endocrine Clinic at the VA San Diego Healthcare System, and the Diabetes Clinic at the VA. A wide variety of endocrine problems are seen in these clinics, covering the spectrum of diabetes, adrenal, pituitary, thyroid, and reproductive endocrinology.

In addition to continuity clinics, first-year fellows rotate through four specialty clinics (three months each): Weight-Control Clinic (VA, weekly), Thyroid/ENT Clinic (Thornton Hospital, twice a month), Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic (Rady Children’s Hospital, weekly), and Reproductive Endocrinology Clinic (Kaiser Permanente, weekly).

Second-year fellows have the option of taking multiple 3-month electives in the Lipid Research Clinic (Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, monthly), Thyroid Eye Clinic (Shiley Eye Center, weekly), High-Risk OB Clinic (UC San Diego Sorrento Valley Clinic, weekly), and Kaiser Permanente Endocrine Clinic (weekly).

Most of our didactic teaching activities occur at the VA Medical Center. These include Endocrine Grand Rounds and Core Curriculum Lectures (Wednesdays), diabetes post-clinic case conference (Tuesdays), endocrine post-clinic case conference (Thursdays), and the monthly Journal Club.

Clinical Training Schedule

  Morning   12:30 - 1:30 Afternoon 
Monday FNA Clinic
# Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic
  * Diabetes Clinic
Tuesday * Diabetes Clinic Diabetes Case Conference  § Kaiser Endocrine Clinic
Wednesday Medicine Grand Rounds Endocrine Grand Rounds Core Lectures   * UCSD Endocrine Clinic
Thursday * VA Endocrinology Clinic
§ Thyroid Eye Clinic (monthly)
Endocrine Case Conference Journal Club (monthly)
Friday # Reproductive Endocrinology Clinic (Kaiser)
# Thyroid/ENT Clinic (twice monthly)
§ High-Risk OB Clinic
  # Weight-Control Clinic
§ Lipid Research Clinic (monthly)

* Continuity clinic.
# Three-month rotation for first-year fellows.
§ Three-month rotation for second-year fellows.


For information about our clinical training sites, please see the Clinical Environment page.


We offer fellows ample opportunities for mentored research in diverse endocrine topics. Research into hormone action is extremely strong at UC San Diego, including within the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, other faculty at UC San Diego and several neighboring institutions, including the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, The Scripps Research Institute, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology.

Karen and Susan

Each fellow and faculty mentor jointly design a research project (clinical or basic science) that can be completed during fellowship. Fellows conduct research concurrent with clinical rotations (no designated research blocks). Although the ABIM board eligibility requires only two years of endocrine fellowship (including at least 12 months of clinical training), some of our fellows continue to train under the research mentor for additional years prior to launching an independent academic career.

Fellows are given the opportunity to present their work in various local and national forums, including presentations at Endocrine Grand Rounds at UC San Diego, scholarly meetings and publications in peer-reviewed journals. The fellows are also encouraged to apply for mentored career-development awards (such as National Institutes of Health K08 awards) to facilitate the transition toward independent faculty positions.

More About Hormone Research at UC San Diego.

Career Mentorship

Opportunities abound to obtain mentorship, both from the faculty in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and from formal training programs at UC San Diego. Discussion with individual research mentors provides a good starting point to tap into these resources.

Salary, Benefits, Policies and Procedures

Contact Us

Nai-Wen Chi, MD, PhD

Program Leadership

Nai-Wen Chi, MD, PhD
Program Director 

Christopher Hupfeld, MD
Associate Program Director