The AGA Trainee and Early Career Committee was formed in 2013 to address the needs of those at the beginning of their careers in gastroenterology. The committee is composed of 12 trainee and early career members, whose mission is to develop and support programs relevant to the needs of young clinicians and researchers in the field of GI. In an initial needs assessment, a survey of GI fellows/trainees was undertaken, which revealed a gap in preparation for the transition from fellowship to practice. In particular, respondents expressed a desire to better understand issues related to practice skills, including health care economics, billing/coding, contract negotiation, and health policy. In addition, some trainees felt uncomfortable bringing questions about their private practice job search to academic faculty, who in turn may not have the necessary experience to provide answers regarding various private practice models and opportunities. Furthermore, fellows have little time and opportunity to learn about the rapidly shifting health care environment that will directly affect their future GI practice. To address these unmet needs, the AGA Trainee and Early Career Committee (in partnership with the Practice Management and Economics Committee as well as the Education and Training Committee) developed a workshop to educate fellows and early career GIs about practice and employment models, contracts and negotiations, compliance, health care policy, and other pertinent topics.
These workshops were designed with a half-day curriculum and based regionally to facilitate attendance as well as to capture the local practice patterns in different regions. They were launched during the 2014-2015 academic year in three cities – Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago – and received extremely positive feedback from participants.