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Endocrinology and Metabolism Fellowship

The mission of the Phoenix city-wide Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism training program is to graduate physicians who are competent to practice Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism independently with a high degree of professionalism and humanism and who also possess sufficient research and teaching experience for successful entry into academia or industry.

General Description

General Description

We offer a two-year training program sponsored by Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center and the Phoenix VA Health Care System with an optional third year for those interested in furthering their skills in biomedical research. The first year emphasizes the basic skills necessary for the practice of general endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism on rotations such as the VA Hospital Consult Service, Banner Good Samaritan Hospital Consult Service, Office Endocrinology, Pediatric Endocrinology, and Neuroendocrinology. The second year provides exposure to more advanced skills including thyroid ultrasound and fine needle aspiration. The second year also offers more specialized training as well as clinicical and/or basic science research. By structuring the rotations based on the fellows’ increasing levels of knowledge and sophistication, we provide progressive addition of responsibility and training in specific skills. An example of a typical schedule:

  • Year 1 - VA Endocrine Consult Service (six months), Banner Good Samaritan Endocrine Consult Service (three months), Phoenix Children's Hospital Pediatric Endocrinology (one month), Barrow's Neurologic Institute Neurosurgery/Pituitary Rotation (two months)
  • Year 2 - Basic and/or Clinical Research (nine months), elective (three months)
  • Year 3 (optional) - Independent supervised research (12 months)

During the second year, fellows will complete a nine-month minimum research requirement with appropriate protected time either at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center or NIDDK, NIH Phoenix branch. Current ongoing research is in the areas of:

  • Genetics and epidemiology of diabetes in the PIMA Indian Population
  • Macrovascular complications of diabetes
  • Vascular biology
  • Novel risk factors for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular outcomes
  • Epidemiology of diabetes and atherosclerosis  
  • Health delivery systems to improve diabetes and its complications
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary hormone deficiency and growth hormone replacement
  • PET and MRI imaging in vascular disease and endocrine disorders
  • Obesity and related metabolic disorders
  • Smartphone applications in health care implementation
  • Male reproductive endocrinology
  • Testosterone and estrogen replacement therapy
  • Nutritional effects on immune regulation and insulin resistance
  • Novel applications of diabetes medications

With available funding, fellows may choose to expand their research skills during a third year of training during which they will perform independent supervised research. Third year fellows would be expected to design, prepare and conduct a research project. Manuscript(s) preparation for publication in a peer-reviewed journal is expected.

Endocrinology and Metabolism Fellowship – Rotations

Year 1 Rotations

  • VA Hospital Endocrine Inpatient Consult Service (six months)

  • Banner Good Samaritan Endocrine Inpatient Consult Service (three months)

  • Phoenix Children's Hospital Outpatient & Inpatient Pediatric Endocrinology (one month)

  • Neurosurgery/Pituitary Inpatient & Outpatient Rotation at the Barrow Neurologic Institute (two months)

Year 2 Rotations

  • Research (nine months)

  • Good Samaritan Nuclear Medicine Rotation (elective)

  • Reproductive Endocrinology (elective)

  • Maricopa County Hospital Endocrine (elective)

  • Office Endocrinology (elective)

  • Bariatric Surgery (elective)

Continuity Clinic

Year 1

  • (2) half day clinics in the General Endocrinology clinic

  • (1) half day clinic in the Bone & Thyroid clinic

Year 2

  • (2) half day clinics in the General Endocrinology clinic

  • (2) half day clinics in the Thyroid Ultrasound & Thyroid Nodule Biopsy clinic (alternating with the other second year fellow)

Endocrine and Metabolism Fellowship - Research Programs

Research Rotation Years 1-2

All endocrinology trainees are required to participate in research. Participation should involve developing a research question or hypothesis, formulating a research plan, writing it up for review by a mentor, and if appropriate, other review committees. Fellows are then expected to carry out the research under the supervision of their mentor, analyze the data, and present it at an endocrinology section conference. This is the minimum requirement. The trainees are also encouraged to submit abstracts to regional and national meetings, present papers at these meetings, write manuscripts for submission to journals and eventually publish their work in a peer reviewed journal.

Each fellow is given 9-12 months time during the two-year training program to do research. Each of the major teaching hospitals in the program have committed to allowing the fellows protected time for performing research activities free of clinical responsibilities. The trainees usually take this time on a weekly basis where 85% of their time can be devoted to research. Under special circumstances, block time is given to the trainee free of any clinical responsibilities. Most endocrinology fellows elect to at least start their research participation with clinical projects, although a full range of basic science projects with endocrinology faculty and Ph.D.'s are available for the trainees.

Potential research mentors/interests at VAMC:

  • Dr. Mitch Harman (aging, hypogonadism, pituitary insufficiency)
  • Dr. Elena Plummer (transgender care)
  • Dr. Peter Reaven (atherosclerosis, vascular biology, lipoproteins, obesity, diabetes)
  • Dr. Jerome Targovnik (vascular biology, diabetes)
  • Dr. Raymond Migrino (vascular biology, atherosclerosis imaging, clinical research informatics)
  • Dr. Dawn Schwenke (epidemiology of metabolic disorders and obesity)
  • Dr. Beejal Shah (thyroid cancer, endocrine tumors)

Potential Research mentors at the NIH/NIDDK:

  • Dr. Jonathan Krakoff (diabetes physiology and biochemistry)
  • Dr. William Knowler (diabetes epidemiology)
  • Dr. Clifton Bogardus (diabetes, genetics)

Potential Research mentors at the Arizona State University:

  • Dr. Matthew Buman (health implementation via technology)

Optional Research Training

With appropriate funding, endocrinology fellows can take an additional year of research experience at the NIH branch of the NIDDK or with a VA investigator funded to do research. This additional year of training can be either in basic or clinical research with some ongoing clinical activities permitted. The latter usually represents approximately 15% of the trainees' time, either in a continuity clinic or taking night and weekend call. The rest of the time they are performing research. The trainees are encouraged to take one class per semester at Arizona State University. The recommended courses include statistics, scientific writing and any subjects that would contribute to their research project.

Master Conference Schedule

Endocrine Conference Day Time Conference Room Fellow's Didactic Conference 1st Thurs 10-11 a.m. Phoenix Children's Hospital 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Thurs 10-11 a.m. Banner Good Samaritan Hospital Journal Club 1st Thurs 11 a.m.-noon Phoenix Children's Hospital 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Thurs 11 a.m.-noon Banner Good Samaritan Hospital Fellows Case Conference 1st Thurs Noon-1 p.m. Phoenix Children's Hospital 2nd, 3rd, 5th Thurs Noon-1 p.m. Banner Good Samaritan Hospital Research Conference 4th Thurs Noon-1 p.m. Banner Good Samaritan Hospital Pathology Conference 1st Fri, every 3 months Noon VA Pathology Department Neuroendocrine Conference 3rd Tues 7:30-8:30 a.m. Barrows Neurological Institute Head and Neck Conference 3rd Fri, every other month 12:15 p.m. VA Pathology Department

Division Conferences

There are nine required core conferences for which fellows are excused from clinical duties.

  1. Basic & Clinical Science Didactic Conference (weekly) – Didactic sessions that cover a core curriculum in endocrinology in both basic science and clinical endocrinology. Topics include cellular and molecular biology, hormone receptor interactions, genetic control of hormone function, genetic disorders and gene therapy, performance of various hormone assays, normal endocrine physiology, endocrine disorders, prevention of disease, endocrine therapies/treatment, surgery and health care delivery. The goal of this conference is to review topics as well as questions in general endocrinology, reproductive endocrinology and pediatric endocrinology every 24 months as well as to improve test-taking skills in anticipation of becoming board certified in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. The format utilizes a major textbook such as Becker's Principles and Practice of Endocrinology, Williams Textbook of Endocrinology, DeGroot's Endocrinology textbook, and the Endocrine Self-Assessment program (ESAP). The lectures are given by the endocrinology fellows and endocrine faculty. Clinical topics constitute 50% of this conference, with basic science the other 50%.
  2. Journal Club (weekly) – Held weekly to expose trainees to critical reading of endocrine literature. Following a scheduled rotation fellows will take turns critically reviewing recent peer reviewed original research papers that have been announced and distributed to the attendees in advance. Emphasis is placed on study design, patient population selected, specific methods and analytical/statistical methods. The major goal of this conference is to teach critical review of the literature for medical decision making. An additional goal is to keep abreast of developments in endocrinology – both basic and clinical. The faculty encourages the selection of a wide range of basic and clinical articles. Lastly, this conference allows the trainees to gain teaching experience.
  3. Fellows case conference (twice monthly) - Clinical case conference that emphasizes in-depth investigation of pathophysiology or diagnostic and/or management issues as they relate to endocrinology. The goal of this conference is to review new advances in pathophysiology, investigative techniques and new therapies for endocrine disease. Fellows prepare 100% of these conferences utilizing an up to date MedLine search and bibliography. Clinical topics make up 80% of this weekly conference with 20% basic science.
  4. Endocrine Grand Rounds (monthly) – At these conferences members of the PVAHCS faculty, both from the endocrine division and other subspecialties present hormone-related research findings from their own work, or work by others in their fields. Prominent outside speakers are invited to present endocrine-related research quarterly. These conferences help fellows to criticize research design, familiarize them with state of the art methods, and provide an appreciation of where endocrine science is headed.
  5. Research conference (monthly) - Held monthly to acquaint trainees with principles of research and data analysis prior to their required research rotation. The emphasis is on research study design, responsible use of informed consent, research methodology, collection and interpretation of data, medical statistics and critical assessment of new therapies and advances in endocrine research. Trainees participate in the interactive didactic sessions with a biostatistician and learn to critique research design and data analysis. Both basic and clinical research is discussed. The goals of this conference are to provide fellows with the ability for critical medical decision making at a minimum, and the skill and foundation necessary to embark on a research career if chosen by the trainee.
  6. Neurosurgery Pituitary Conference (monthly) - A joint conference with Neurosurgeons from Barrow's Neurological Institute and endocrinologists in the Phoenix metro area. Trainees present cases with hypothalamic/pituitary disease for discussion of the underlying pathophysiology, imaging, and appropriate surgical as well as medical management of pituitary tumors. This conference is 100% clinical.
  7. Insulin Pump Conference (monthly) – An interactive conference lead by an expert in insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor therapy. Challenging and interesting cases are discussed with detailed review of their pump or CGM download. The goal is to provide recommendations for management of the patient’s diabetes. 
  8. Thyroid / Parathyroid Surgical Conference (bimonthly) - A multi-disciplinary VA conference composed of head and neck surgeons, nuclear medicine radiologists, pathologists & endocrine providers. Endocrine Surgical cases are presented for discussion of pathophysiology, imaging, and appropriate surgical and medical management of thyroid and parathyroid disease. This conference is 100% clinical.
  9. Pathology conference (quarterly) – A joint conference between the VA Pathologist and Endocrine providers. Fine needle aspirate specimens and endocrine anatomic pathology are reviewed utilizing a teaching microscope. Correct FNA cytologic techniques and interpretation are stressed. This conference is 100% clinical.

Endocrine Section Directory

VA Endocrine Faculty

S. Mitchell Harman, MD, PhD
Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
CAPT US Public Health Service, retired
Professor, Clinical Medicine, U of AZ College of Medicine
Director, Research, Kronos Institute

Peter Reaven, MD
Director, Diabetes Research Program
Professor of Clinical Medicine, U of Arizona
Adjunct Research Professor, ASU

Beejal Shah, MD
Staff Physician

Elena Plummer, MD
Staff Physician
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, U of Arizona


Jerome Targovnik, MD
Staff Physician 

Sylvia Vela, MD
Deputy Chief of Staff

VA Research Faculty

Janet Fawcett, PhD
Research Methodologist

VA Radiology/Nuclear Medicine

Michelle Dorsey, MD
Physician, Nuclear Medicine, Dept. of Radiology

Edwin Goldstein, MD FACR
Chief, Nuclear Medicine & PET/CT

Thyroid & Parathyroid Surgery

Richard Lopchinsky, MD
Clinical Professor of Surgery,
University of AZ School of Medicine – Phoenix Campus
VA Chief, ENT / Head & Neck Service

Banner Good Samaritan Hospital Endocrine Faculty

Vijaya Chockalingam, MD
Sathya Jyotinagraram, MD
Philip Levy, MD

Off-site Volunteer Faculty

Joan Bailey, MD
Endocrinology Private Practice

Dan Duick, MD
Endocrinology Private Practice

Richard Gerkin, MD
Epidemiologist, Banner Good Samaritan Hospital

William White, MD
Neurosurgery Barrow’s Neurological Institute

Endocrine Fellows (2014)

Manal Alhakim, MD

Gauri Behari, MD

Richa Bhattarai, MD

Brown, Steven L., DO

Endocrine Staff

Garner, Cynthia E.
Nurse Practitioner

Williamson, Kristin A.
Physican Assistant

John Matchette
Physican Assistant
Certified Diabetes Educator 

Stephanie Brigham BSN, RN

Becky Miller
Endocrine PSA 

Endocrine Fellowship Coordinator 

Antoinette Whatley
Fellowship Coordinator
Pulm/Critical Care, GI, Endocrine
Banner University Medical Center-Phoenix
1111 E. McDowell Rd.
Medical Education, LL2
Phoenix, AZ 85006

Application Instructions

Applicants must go through ERAS to be considered for this program.  All required information must be submitted to ERAS.  If you are submitting an initial application, use the checklist below to ensure your submission is complete.

  • Application - ERAS website:  

  • Personal statement;

  • Curriculum vitae;

  • Three (3) reference letters (Must match the names submitted on the application form);

  • Copies of United States Medical Licensing Examination Scores, Parts 1, 2, and 3 or FLEX or COMLEX.

Graduates of Foreign Medical Schools also need to submit the following:

  • ECFMG certificate;

  • Visa status – Please note that we cannot sponsor H1B Visa applicants.

Deadline for Application September 1