Welcome to the Arnold G. Diethelm Fellowship in Abdominal Transplant Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This program is designed to provide comprehensive training in multi-organ transplantation at one of the nation's busiest transplant centers. The program is accredited by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons/Transplant Accreditation and Certification Council and offers fellows the opportunity to become proficient in kidney and liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery. Additional experience is provided in pancreas and uterus transplantation, pediatric transplantation, and dialysis access procedures.

The strength of the UAB transplant program lies in its sheer surgical volume. UAB consistently ranks among the highest-volume transplant programs in the United States, typically performing nearly 300 kidney transplants, 100 liver transplants, and 10 pancreas transplants annually. Diethelm Fellows also participate in approximately 125 annual deceased-donor organ recoveries with Legacy of Hope, our local OPO. In addition to organ transplant procedures, transplant surgery fellows will receive exposure to laparoscopic donor nephrectomies, hepatobiliary procedures and dialysis access procedures to supplement their experience. Trainees will also receive broad training in immunosuppressive management, preoperative evaluation, post-transplant care and long-term follow-up. Fellows are offered the opportunity to participate in clinical research, and attendance at national meetings is encouraged and supported. Graduates of the Diethelm fellowship have been recruited to faculty positions in top transplant centers around the U.S.

Additional Program Highlights:

  • Broad hepatobiliary experience, covering the full spectrum of benign and malignant liver lesions, including management of liver-directed therapies
  • Exposure to Uterus Transplantation in the nation’s only program offering uterine transplant outside of clinical trials
  • Exposure to the Xenotransplantation Program at UAB, which performed the first clinical-grade xenotransplant into a human decedent recipient
  • Developing living donor liver transplantation and robotics programs

Program Description

The Diethelm Fellowship in Abdominal Transplant Surgery is a two-year fellowship for individuals who have completed a general surgery residency and wish to specialize in multi-organ abdominal transplant surgery. The transplant surgery fellowship is accredited by the ASTS/TACC and accepts one fellow per year. Each fellow will spend a total of 12 months on the kidney/pancreas/dialysis access service and 12 months on the liver/hepatobiliary service during their fellowship. Both fellows perform deceased-donor organ recovery with faculty members and evenly share call responsibilities. The transplant services are supported by advanced practice providers 7 days per week. Additional trainees include residents from UAB General Surgery Residency, Baptist General Surgery Residency, and UAB medical students.

Case Volume

Diethelm fellows complete a large number of cases over the course of their fellowship, typically exceeding the ASTS/TACC minimum volume requirements within the first year of their fellowship experience. An example case log from a recently graduated fellow:

Procedure

Primary Surgeon

First Assistant

Kidney Transplant

178

8

Liver Transplant

58

2

Pancreas Transplant

4

1

Deceased- Donor Organ Recovery

95

1

Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy

18

0

Hepatobiliary

39

0

Application Guidelines

The program welcomes applications from general surgery residents who will have completed their residency training by the time the fellowship begins. All applicants must be eligible to obtain a medical license in the state of Alabama. In order to obtain an unrestricted medical license in Alabama, graduates of medical schools outside of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico must have completed at least three years of residency training in the United States. UAB participates in the San Francisco Matching Program’s Abdominal Transplant Surgery Fellowship Match. Applications should be submitted through the San Francisco Match. The application cycle for fellowships beginning in August 2024 opens on Jan. 11, 2023. There is no deadline to apply; however, it is recommended that applications be completed by Feb. 8, 2023, in order to have ample time to schedule interviews.

Resources for fellows:

Please direct program inquiries to:

Program Director
Douglas J. Anderson, M.D., M.S.

Email
douglasanderson@uabmc.edu

Phone
205-934-7449

Fax
205-975-8452

Mailing Address
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Fellowship Director, Abdominal Transplant Surgery
Faculty Office Tower, Room 754
510 20th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35294