We’re excited to celebrate our Graduate Medical Educationprogram through a blog series that will culminate with GME Appreciation Day on February 16. Get to know the names and faces of our program! The GME department is comprised of residents, fellows, program directors, associate program directors, program administrators and GME office staff.
“Love what you do and do what you love.”
At the risk of sounding cliché, I’ve wanted to be a pediatrician ever since I can remember. And here I am: a pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital, where I am lucky to be part of a wonderful group of faculty, staff, residents, and medical students.
As a pediatric gastroenterologist, I care for children with intestinal and nutritional problems. This includes meeting with families and patients at the Children’s Specialty Center, rounding on hospitalized patients on the pediatric inpatient ward, and performing endoscopies and colonoscopies in the endoscopy suite. A typical day usually includes a few hours in the endoscopy suite, a meeting with our Inflammatory Bowel Disease quality improvement committee, rounding on patients around the lunch hour, and seeing children in the outpatient clinic in the afternoon.
Throughout the day, I teach. There is almost always a third-year medical student rotating on the pediatrics service present in endoscopy clinic. Often, there is a resident who spends an entire month with our gastroenterology team, learning about how to care for nutritional and intestinal problems in children. We discuss each patient together and then the learners actively participate in the care of the patients. At night, if a child comes into the hospital with an intestinal concern, I spend time speaking with the resident caring for the child. This is often a great opportunity for teaching and learning! These interactions keep me on my toes, and I enjoy the challenge.
Aside from one-on-one teaching, there are lots of opportunities to interact with the medical students, residents, and fellows. I work with first year medical students during their course in Nutrition, Metabolism, and GI. As part of this course, we work together in small groups discussing diseases including Celiac Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, and Hepatitis C. The residents in pediatrics meet with the pediatric gastroenterology faculty on a regular basis to discuss specific topics in pediatric GI, including evaluation of the jaundiced infant and how to care for a child with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)—for example. I also participate in the education of fellows in adult gastroenterology.
I am privileged to have the opportunity to work at the UVM Children’s Hospital and the Larner College of Medicine at UVM. As a graduate of the Larner College of Medicine at UVM, the UVM Pediatric residency program and pediatric chief resident year, it makes working and teaching here even more meaningful. As a pediatric resident and chief pediatric resident at UVM, I was appreciative of the opportunities to “own” my patients, while under the watchful eye of the faculty; I aspire to continue that experience for our residents.
Jillian Sullivan, MD MSCS, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Larner College of Medicine at UVM and a Pediatric Gastroenterologist at the The University of Vermont Children’s Hospital at the University of Vermont Medical Center.