Juan Echavarria, MD
Juan Echavarria, MD, Associate Professor/Clinical Program Director, GI Fellowship Director of Gastroenterology Education

Message from the Fellowship Program Director

The Division of Gastroenterology & Nutrition appreciates your interest in the Gastroenterology Fellowship Program at UT Health San Antonio.

We offer a premier training experience with comprehensive clinical training in gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy, and opportunities in research. The primary goal of our fellowship program is to train excellent clinical gastroenterologists with broad-based experience and procedural skills via core training in endoscopy and consultation at three major training facilities including a new, state-of-the-art outpatient facility within the University Health System, Audie L. Murphy Veterans Administration Hospital and San Antonio Military Medical Center.

Our fellows pursue post-training opportunities in both private practice and academic gastroenterology and are well-versed in managing both common and advanced disease states. We seek to recruit the highest quality of applicants and invite you to give our training program your serious consideration.

Our goal is to train physicians who aspire to be both thoughtful, astute diagnosticians and expert endoscopists and who will leave our program prepared for success in either clinical practice or academic medicine.

Our three-year fellowship program accepts four fellows each year.

About our Fellowship Program Structure

The Division of Gastroenterology & Nutrition at UT Health San Antonio offers a fully accredited three-year fellowship training program in Gastrointestinal Diseases designed according to guidelines for training Gastroenterology put forth by the American Board of Internal Medicine and by the Gastroenterology Core Curriculum directive put forth by the American College of Gastroenterology, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American Gastroenterological Association Institute and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Core training in our fellowship is composed of rotations that cover the spectrum of clinical gastroenterology and hepatology. We offer a specialized and unique diagnostic and therapeutic approach to both inpatient and outpatient consultations, a broad array of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic and other investigative procedures and mentorship in the management of chronic liver disease including outpatient consultation as well as longitudinal care for the patient both pre- and post- liver transplantation. Courses in conducting research are available to help fellows interested in research.  Our goal is to provide outstanding and comprehensive care to our community via core training in endoscopy and consultation at three major training facilities including a new, state-of-the-art outpatient facility within the University Health System, Audie L. Murphy Veterans Administration Hospital and San Antonio Military Medical Center. Fellows will have the opportunity to gain further experience in selected subspecialties such as pancreatobiliary (exposure to advanced endoscopy including ERCP and EUS), abdominal radiology, pediatric gastroenterology, colorectal surgery, oncology, women’s health, inflammatory bowel disease, obscure bleeding evaluation and hepatology with renowned and invested faculty. Our goal is for our trainees to successfully complete the ABIM certifying examination in Gastroenterology with our support, mentorship, and commitment to the highest degree of fostering professionalism and academic preparation.

Training by the year

The first year of the fellowship focuses on an introduction to endoscopy and consultative gastroenterology and hepatology in the inpatient and outpatient settings with a weighted emphasis on inpatient training. The second and third-year curriculum broadens to include continued training in endoscopy and consultative services while also including opportunities to participate in electives across five fields of subspecialty. There are expectations and ample opportunities to develop and complete clinical research and quality improvement projects as well as to receive training in up-to-date technology in including interpretation of high-resolution esophageal manometry, esophageal wireless pH studies, wireless capsule endoscopy, breath hydrogen studies, anorectal manometry and training in device-assisted enteroscopy. Fellows in the program will gain exposure to ERCP and EUS but will not necessarily be trained to competency in these procedures, both of which require a separate additional year of clinical training that is also offered as a (competitively recruited) fourth-year option at our institution.

On Call Schedule

In regards to on-call schedule, no in-house call is required during the Fellowship Program. Fellows provide beeper call for clinical emergencies during weeknights and weekends. Averaged across the three-years, a call is every 6th week. The duty hours and call schedule conform to the requirements of the residency review committee of the ACGME.

Conferences & Rotations

Regarding gastroenterology conferences, there are weekly mandatory conferences that include the Fellows’ rotating conference topics (Journal Club, Board Review, Complications, Pancreatobiliary Series, Guest Speakers’ Series), Pathology Conference, Core Curriculum Conference Series, Grand Rounds, “Box of Chocolates” interactive staff presentations and Fellow Case Presentation conference, for a total of five-six hours of conferences per week. Each fellow is also encouraged and financially supported to attend at least one national academic conference per year as a presenter and attendee and we also attempt to support top-tier trainee attendance for away rotations to heighten exposure to specialty areas of interest.

Fellowship Administration

NameTitleEmailTelephone #
Juan Echavarria, MDProgram Directorechavarriaj@uthscsa.edu210-567-4880
Ailene AlcarazSenior Program Coordinatoralcaraz@uthscsa.edu210-567-4928

Featured Fellow: Farah Ladak, MDFarah Ladak, MD

GI Fellow – PGY6

Dr. Ladak studied at Eastern Virginia Medical School for medical school and completed her residency at UT Health San Antonio. Her clinical interests are topics related to inflammatory bowel disease and nutrition.

Featured Fellow: Mason Adams, MDMason Adams, MD

GI Fellow – PGY7

Dr. Adams studied at LSUHSC School of Medicine – New Orleans. His clinical interests are different applications of EUS, endohepatology, and endobariatrics.

Fellowship Structure

San Antonio RiverwalkLiving in San Antonio

A modern, vibrant city, rich in heritage with colorful personality forged across three centuries. Its unique mixture of native Mexican, German and Spanish influence is noticeable in the city’s distinctive architecture, music, arts, and cuisine.

Learn more about San Antonio