AGA CORE Program

The AGA Clinical Observation and Research Education (CORE) Program has been developed as a response to our international gastroenterology and hepatology colleagues who have expressed interest in participating in clinical and research opportunities in the U.S.

The AGA International Committee has taken a leadership role in this matching process and will make available the necessary information so that interested members can be paired with mentors and institutions who can provide the desired experience. The purpose of this program is to attract early-career international doctors/trainees into the U.S. by providing basic research opportunities (one or two years) and clinical observerships (one to three months).
The program does not provide funding, but serves as a channel to facilitate connections between interested members and institutions. Applicants and/or institutions are required to have adequate funding to cover their expenses. Arrangements including logistics and specific requirements might change from place to place.
General Program Requirements:

  • All applicants must be proficient in English.
  • At the time of participation, they must be in the last year of their GI fellowship or within five years of graduating from their fellowship training program.
  • The applicant must be an AGA Member (international).

To apply, please reach out to the appropriate contact person, listed below. Be sure to mention the "AGA International CORE Program".

Participating Institutions

If you are interested in hosting an AGA international member for a clinical observership or research opportunity, please complete the application for institutions/mentors and email to Monique Dyson at Applications will be reviewed for final selection by the AGA International Committee.

Download Application

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Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas

Funds available: For some programs
Months program is available: January - December

Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas is home to more than 20 medical specialty centers, many of which are ranked among the top 50 hospitals in the country. Baylor Dallas offers four distinctive opportunities for gastrointestinal clinical observerships and research opportunities: At the Baylor IBD Center, clinical trainees gain confidence in managing IBD and have the opportunity to co-author an original paper while shadowing Dr. Themistocles Dassopoulos. Research trainees at the Center for Gastrointestinal Cancer Research and the Center for Epigenetics, Cancer Prevention and Cancer Genomics will be mentored by Ajay Goel, Ph.D., while working on various basic and translational aspects of gastrointestinal cancers. In the Mucosal Pathobiology Lab, research trainees will work with Arianne Theiss, Ph.D., performing basic science/translational research experiments utilizing human intestinal mucosal biopsies, novel mouse models of spontaneous ileitis, intestinal organoids, and cultured epithelial cells. Research trainees at Baylor Institute for Immunology Research will work under Venuprasad K. Poojary, Ph.D., on highly sophisticated cell, molecular biological and immunological approaches.


Themistocles Dassopoulos, M.D.
Director, Baylor Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Ajay Goel, Ph.D. – Center for Gastrointestinal Research; Director, Center for Epigenetics, Cancer Prevention and Cancer Genomics
Venuprasad K. Poojary, Ph.D. – Baylor Institute for Immunology Research (BIIR)
Arianne L. Theiss, Ph.D. – Baylor Research Institute - GI


Research Opportunities:
Stella Richter, Department of Medicine

Clinical Opportunities:
Themistocles Dassopoulos, M.D.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Funds available: No
Months program is available: September - April

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is a major teaching hospital of Harvard University School of Medicine and one the nation’s preeminent leaders in “bench-to-bedside” research and medical education – including several areas of excellence in Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Pancreas, Digestive Cancer and Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. The Digestive Disease Center team is comprised of more than 30 gastroenterologists, all of whom are also faculty members at Harvard Medical School. Their knowledge and experience has led to international renown and made the Digestive Disease Center one of the most distinguished in the U.S. At BIDMC, visiting professionals will have the opportunity for clinical observerships of one month in duration, observing endoscopy and attending the IBD clinic. Clinical observerships are supervised by Dr. Alan Moss and Dr. Adam Cheifetz, and offer exposure to management of complex cases of IBD, surveillance chromoendoscopy, stricture dilatation, and the opportunity to participate in clinical research projects. More information available from the mentors.


Alan C. Moss, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Adam S. Cheifetz, M.D. – Gastroenterology


Judi Hansjon
Medicine, Gastroenterology Division
330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215

Virginia Mason Medical Center

Funds available: No
Months program is available: January - December

Established in 1920, Virginia Mason began as an 80-bed hospital with six physician offices. Today, Virginia Mason Medical Center is recognized as one of the nation's best health care facilities encompassing 7 centers of excellence including IBD, hepatology, nutrition, bariatric treatment, endoscopy, pancreas and biliary disease and esophagus. Virginia Mason has strong ties with its affiliated Benaroya Research Institute, a leading center in immunology research and the current seat for the Immune Tolerance Network program. The Virginia Mason Medical Center offers both clinical observerships and research opportunities to potential trainees. Clinical observerships include shadowing all three members of the IBD group as they provide clinical services and perform procedures. The estimated length of the observership is five days per week for two months. Research opportunities include working with two clinical investigators with experience in clinical outcomes research and clinical trials, and/or one translational T-cell immunologist who is involved in basic science, translational work, and clinical trials. The estimated length of the research opportunity is nine months.


Michael Chiorean, M.D.
Medicine – Gastroenterology
1100 Ninth Ave Seattle, WA 98101
206-625-7373 x66526

Elisa Boden, MD – IBD Center
James Lord, MD, PhD – IBD Center
Anjali Kumar, MD – Colorectal Surgery, IBD Center
Ravi Moonka, MD – Colorectal Surgery, IBD Center


Terri Davis Smith – Project Coordinator, Digestive Disease Institute,
Virginia Mason Medical Center, 1100 Ninth Ave, G250B, Seattle, WA 98101,
(206) 515-5397

Virginia Tech Carilion Clinic

Funds available: For selected projects
Months program is available: January – December 
More information on available opportunities : | Download PDF

Carilion Clinic and the Virginia Tech School of Medicine and Research Institute (VTC) leverage Virginia Tech world-class strength in the basic sciences with Carilion Clinic highly experienced medical staff and rich history in medical education. The multidisciplinary IBD Center at Carilion Clinic, directed by Dr. Dario Sorrentino, is committed to conducting groundbreaking research in IBD while offering the highest standard of care. Opportunities for international visitors include several clinical IBD focused research projects (1 year) as well as clinical observerships (1 to 3 months) of tertiary level IBD clinic and IBD endoscopy. IBD surgery, led by Dr. Sandy Fogel, is a busy service with up to 50-80 procedures performed each year making the Center one of the leaders in the U.S. Procedures performed include: resections, stricturoplasties, diversions, colostomies, Ileostomies, pouch procedures (including J pouch), restorative procto-colectomies, revision/repair of continent ileostomies, fistula resections, open drainage of abscesses. One to three months observerships in IBD surgery are available to international visitors. The Advanced Endoscopy Center, directed by Dr. Paul Yeaton, specializes in pancreatobiliary endoscopy focusing on complex diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including EUS, EMR, ERCP, and many others. One to three months observerships in pancreatobiliary endoscopy are available to international visitors. Basic research projects are tutored by Dr Irving C. Allen at the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg and include evaluating novel infammatory signaling in IBD; developing human intestinal organoids to evaluate host-microbiome interactions and utilizing genetically engineered pigs to model NLR infammasome function in IBD.


Dario Sorrentino, M.D.
Professor of Medicine, Director IBD Center
Division of Gastroenterology
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
3 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016

Sandy Fogel M.D. Department of Surgery, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Paul Yeaton M.D. Division of Gastroenterology, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Irving C. Allen, Ph.D. Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech


Wendy O’Rourke
3 Riverside Circle, 4th Floor, Roanoke, Virginia 24016,

Yale School of Medicine

Funds available: No
Months program is available: September - May

Founded in 1810, the Yale University School of Medicine is a world-renowned center for biomedical research, education and advanced health care. Potential trainees may participate in clinical observerships or research opportunities. Clinical observerships include shadowing Dr. Deborah Proctor in mostly IBD outpatient clinics; however, some inpatient hospital experience is also available. The length of the clinical observership would be four to eight weeks. Research opportunities include research experience with Dr. Fred Gorelick whose laboratory focuses on basic science research on the pancreas and enzyme activation. Trainees would learn about the basic techniques that are used in Dr. Gorelick’s lab. The length of time would preferably be 6-12 months, but trainees could participate for a minimum of 3 months.


Deborah D Proctor, M.D.
Internal Medicine, Section of Digestive Diseases
Section of Digestive Diseases

Fred Gorelick, M.D.
Yale M.D., Ph.D. Program


Deborah D. Proctor, M.D.
40 Temple Street, Suite 1A, New Haven, CT 06510,


If you have questions about the CORE Program, please review the list of FAQs below for more information. For answers to questions not listed below, please contact Monique Dyson via email or by phone at (301) 272-1188. 

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How can I maximize my chances of being selected for a program?

AGA does not make any decisions regarding applications, nor can we guarantee your acceptance in any program. We can, however, offer these suggestions for applicants looking to put forward the best application:

Each of the programs listed receive numerous requests from individuals looking for clinical or research opportunities. However, programs listed are affiliated with members of the AGA International Committee who are eager to host AGA’s international members. We recommend that you clearly define your goals for the program prior to submitting an application. You may also want to indicate qualities that make you stand out above other applicants (prior research experience, career achievements, board scores, etc). It may also be helpful to research the institution and its faculty by visiting the institution’s website so that you can clearly articulate how your goals for your clinical/research experience align with the interests and mission of the program.

Will I need a visa to enter the U.S.? How can I obtain one?

Individuals should visit the U.S. Visas website of the U.S. Department of State for more information on travel requirements. AGA is unable to assist with visa applications. The contact person at each institution can provide information on how to obtain a visa, and any other travel requirements


If funding isn’t provided for the program, what options are available to me?

Once accepted to a program, work with your program’s coordinator to see if they are aware of any funding opportunities for which you may qualify. Also, an online search may help you to identify funding opportunities while participating in an international exchange to the U.S.

Can AGA staff ensure that my application will be accepted?

AGA does not make any decisions regarding applications, nor can we guarantee your acceptance in any program.

What type of experiences will I have while participating in the program?

Opportunities vary among programs, with some offering customizable experiences. Please contact the representative of the institution you are interested in visiting for more information.

Will lodging and accommodations be provided?

There may be local facilities available for lodging and accommodations, but this will vary by program. The contact person at each institution can provide you with housing information.

Where can I learn about U.S. culture and etiquette?

Once accepted into a program, your institution will be a valuable resource to prepare for your arrival. Consider also contacting your country’s embassy for more information (


AGA has created this site as a service to our members and in furtherance of the society’s mission. AGA does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information listed herein. Further, AGA assumes no responsibility for consequences resulting from use of the information contained herein, and is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, reliance on or performance of such information.