Gastrointestinal Surgical Outcomes Research Postdoctoral Fellowship



Over the course of their lives the average American will undergo nearly nine surgical procedures, many related to diseases of the digestive track or conditions associated with obesity. Despite being some of the most commonly performed interventions, most of these procedures have not been subjected to rigorous scientific evaluation. For almost all of these procedures, fundamental questions regarding surgical epidemiology, clinical effectiveness, best practices to accomplish best outcomes, population-level results, patient-reported perspectives, and cost considerations have yet to be addressed. As healthcare delivery is reformed and as we strive towards building a learning healthcare system, addressing these questions is critical. To address this need, we started the Gastrointestinal Surgical Outcomes Research Postdoctoral Fellowship.

General Structure of Program

This NIDDK-funded fellowship involves didactic training and practical experience in advanced research methodology focused on interventions related to the gastrointestinal system, obesity, and obesity-associated conditions. The training is focused in six areas:

  1. Research using observational data.
  2. Patient-centered outcome and preference assessment.
  3. Health economics and behavioral economics.
  4. Policy and implementation science research.
  5. Clinical / translational research.
  6. Research operations management.

The didactic component of this fellowship includes coursework that results in a Masters of Public Health (MPH) or Masters in Science (MS) degree through the University of Washington School of Public Health. The T32 Fellows will also participate in unique community, regional, and national research initiatives including Washington State’s Comparative Effectiveness Research Translation Network (CERTAIN), theSurgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program (SCOAP) and a program aimed at optimizing patients before hospitalization called Strong for Surgery (S4S).

Current Fellows:
Anne Ehlers, MD
Lucas Thornblade, MD

Future Fellow:
Matthew Bartek, MD
Francys Argueta, MD

Past Fellows:
Steve Kwon, MD, MPH
Timo Hakkarainen, MD, MS
F. Thurston Drake, MD, MPH
Meera Kotagal, MD, MPH
Vlad Simianu, MD, MPH

More information on the fellows including their research interests can be accessed here:
Resident Research Current Projects >>

Postdoctoral Fellowship Application Guidelines

For more information on qualifications to apply, click here (.pdf)>>. Interested candidates may contact Director, Dr. David Flum, at to discuss research opportunities. Two fellowship positions are now available each year. Fellowship positions begin annually on July 1. Please note that applications are due 18 months prior to the fellowship start date. We are currently accepting applications for July 2018 positions.

The deadline to apply for 2018 positions is January 15, 2017.

To apply, please combine the following items into one single PDF file:

  1. Application form >> (.docx)
  2. A current curriculum vitae.
  3. A 2-3 page letter of interest, outlining your research interests as they relate to the program, your career goals, current positions and progress towards your goals, and how this position would contribute to your goals.
  4. (Optional) A brief personal statement:  SORCE welcomes fellows who have varied cultural experiences or educationally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds and will therefore contribute to the intellectual and social enrichment of the program.  If you wish to have these factors included in the review of your application, please provide a statement concerning your personal history, family background, and influences on your intellectual development.  This statement should include cultural and educational opportunities (or lack thereof), social and economic disadvantages that you may have had to overcome, and the ways in which these experiences affected you.  Include your special interests and abilities, career plans, and future goals.

For University of Washington applicants (if you have an active UW NetID) please submit your materials via >>

For all other applicants, please send your application form and required documents to

**Submit 2-3 letters of reference either under separate cover or with the above application package. See application form for more information.**

This fellowship is supported by the National Institute Of Diabetes And Digestive And Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number T32DK070555. The research content is solely the responsibility of the Investigators and Fellows and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Modified December 12, 2016 – MDH