We appreciate your interest in the Gastroenterology and Hepatology fellowship training program at Cleveland Clinic Florida. Our department consists of 12 gastroenterologists, three transplant hepatologists, and six fellows. The goal of our training program is to provide our fellows with a learning environment that will allow them to develop into competent gastroenterologists. Our center is uniquely poised to develop skills that the trainee can subsequently transfer into either a private practice setting or an academic setting.

The endoscopy suite consists of seven procedure rooms where the majority of inpatient and outpatient endoscopic procedures are performed. In the endoscopy suite, the fellow gradually becomes comfortable and experienced with diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy and colonoscopy. Each fellow is expected to perform about 900 colonoscopies and 700 upper endoscopies throughout their training. In addition, fellows are introduced to and gain experience in advanced endoscopic procedures such as ERCP, EUS, EMR, and POEM.

Fellows will gain experience to a wide variety of gastrointestinal and liver diseases and during the second half of their training may elect to focus on various sub-specialties within gastroenterology and work with a mentor in inflammatory bowel disease, inherited cancer syndromes, motility, hepato-biliary, and nutrition.

We invite you to explore the website to learn more about the GI fellowship program that we offer.

Program Director

Fernando Castro, MD
Fernando Castro, MD
The Program

The Program

Curriculum & Schedule

The schedule is divided into thirteen 4-week blocks. The schedule is designed to provide first year fellows maximum time and experience in the inpatient setting as well as in endoscopy so they become comfortable with the foundations of GI. First year fellows do an average of six inpatient blocks and three endoscopy blocks. As training advances, the fellows is allowed to tailor their schedule while taking into account their inpatient responsibilities. Second year fellows do four inpatient blocks, and third year fellows are responsible for two inpatient blocks. During the second and third year, fellows are provided ample opportunity to experience “real world” gastroenterology with more time spent in outpatient/specialty clinics and endoscopy.

Fellows are responsible for a weekly half day continuity clinic. During their three years of training, fellows will build a panel of patients through new referrals, hospital follows ups, and inherited patients from previous fellows’ clinics. Fellows will precept all continuity clinic patients with Dr. Castro or Dr. Pimentel. Fellows are also expected to perform procedures on their patients when necessary.

Number of 4-Week Rotations

Level of Training PGY 4 PGY 5 PGY 6
EGD 3 3 2.5
OPD 3 2 2.5
Hepatology 2 2 2
Research 1 2.5 2.5
GI Hospital 4 2 0.5
Rad/Path   0.5  
Ohio   1  
Elective     2

Call schedule:

Weekday calls:

  • PGY 4: 3-4 per month
  • PGY 5: 3-4 per month
  • PGY 6: 1-2 per month

Weekend calls:

  • PGY4: 15 per year
  • PGY5: 9 per year
  • PGY6: 2 per year

Educational Conferences

The GI training program provides a robust, multi-disciplinary, academic environment.

State of the Art: An attending is responsible for presenting a topic of their clinical/research interest to the department. The attendings provide a critical review of the literature and analysis of the latest in evidence based gastroenterology.

Management Conference: The fellow is selected to provide a case based presentation of both common and uncommon GI illnesses. This is a dynamic and interactive conference where the fellow provides the latest updates on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of a topic of their choosing.

Journal Club: A monthly conference that is mentored by a different attending each month. The attending is responsible for choosing four articles that fall within their area of clinical/research interest. Four fellows will each present a brief review and analysis of the chosen article which is followed by questions and discussion.

Board Review: Board review is conducted twice a month. It’s an interactive session amongst faculty and fellows. Questions, answers, and discussions are drawn from a variety of resources including DDSEP, ACG and Steinberg’s Review.

IBD Conference: A monthly multi-disciplinary conference including GI, colorectal surgery, pathology, and radiology. Unique and challenging cases are presented, and this is followed by a group discussion on issues pertaining to each case.

Program Director Choice: The PD selects a talk or topic and involves the fellows in a discussion. This could relate to recently published guidelines, controversial topics or areas that are not often discussed.

Basic Sciences: A monthly, fellow driven conference where a chapter from Sleissenger and Fordtram’s textbook is reviewed.

Radiology Conference: A monthly conference conducted by a staff abdominal/body radiologist. At the beginning of the academic year, the conferences highlight the principles of GI imaging such as CT enterography and MRCP. As the year progresses, conferences focus on the analysis and interpretation of radiographic imaging in a case based format.

Pathology conference: Cases and their associated pathology are reviewed with the staff GI pathologist.

Research/QI conference: During this monthly conference, the fellows and attendings discuss research ideas and proposals. This forum also allows for fellows to provide updates on ongoing research in addition to updates on their quality improvement projects. Prior to an abstract presentation at conferences, fellows have the opportunity to rehearse their presentations and receive feedback and critique from their faculty and colleagues.


Gastroenterology Consult Service: The fellow is taught how to manage the hospitalized patient with GI disease in a cost effective and expedient fashion. The fellow is responsible for all GI consults that are received from the emergency department, wards, and ICU’s. Each block is usually four weeks long. The fellow is supervised and mentored by an attending who is responsible for the GI service. The on-call fellow will perform all inpatient procedures during regular hours. The fellow is exposed to a wide breath of GI pathology. The average census for the inpatient service is between 10-15 patients.

Hepatology Inpatient and Consult Service: The overall educational goal of this service is for the fellow to learn how to manage the hospitalized patient with liver disease in an effective and cost-effective manner. The fellow is responsible for those patients with complications of chronic liver disease, awaiting liver transplant, undergoing pre-transplant evaluation, and those with fulminant liver failure. In addition, the fellow is responsible for consultative services for patients with liver disease. The fellow will participate in multi-disciplinary transplant rounds as well as have the opportunity to attend and participate in the selection committee, chemical dependency committee, and weekly liver tumor board.

Endoscopy: Under the direct supervision of an attending, fellows are introduced to the basic principles of endoscopy at the very beginning of their training. During their endoscopy rotation, the fellow will become proficient in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy and colonoscopy. As their training advances, fellows have the opportunity to participate and gain experience in advanced endoscopic procedures such as ERPC, EUS, EMR, and POEM. While fellows gain adequate experience in advanced endoscopy, the goal of the three year fellowship is not obtain credentialing in advanced endoscopy as that is obtained after successful completion of a fourth year, advanced endoscopy fellowship.

Outpatient: During the outpatient rotation, the fellow is assigned to one attending and exposed to a variety of GI diseases. At the beginning of their training, the fellow is encouraged to build a foundation of general gastroenterology, however as their training progresses, fellows have the opportunity to tailor their outpatient experience to suit their clinical interests. Fellows have the opportunity to focus on hepatology, motility, nutrition, inflammatory bowel disease, hepatobiliary, or hereditary cancer syndromes.

Manometry and Capsule Endoscopy: During their training, the fellow will learn the methodology and interpretation of esophageal manometry, impedance and pH testing, capsule endoscopy, and breath testing. Fellows also gain experience in evaluating and interpreting capsule endoscopy. The fellow is responsible for the initial interpretation of all capsule endoscopies and their findings are reviewed with the ordering attending. Manometry and capsule endoscopy are incorporated into the outpatient rotation.

Application Process

Application Process

How to Apply

The Gastroenterology Fellowship Program participates in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) for all positions. You must complete all components of the ERAS Application in order for your application to be considered complete and to be reviewed by the Selection Committee. The selection committee will review all the applications received and grant an interview based on the overall qualifications of the applicant.

Visa information – We sponsor J-1 and H-1B visas



Benefits information including salaries, insurance information and more, can be found by visiting the Graduate Medical Education Benefits page.

Our Team

Our Team

Program Director

Associate Program Director

Teaching Staff

Program Coordinator

Janine S. Rodrigues, MS, CNS Candidate, MLIS, Notary
Senior Program Coordinator
Phone: 754.228.2734
Email: rodrigj17@ccf.org

Current Fellows

Current Fellows

Class of 2024

Prava Chadalavada, MD | Cleveland Clinic

  • Prava Chadalavada, MD

Jonathan Ragheb, MD | Cleveland Clinic

  • Jonathan Ragheb, MD

Class of 2025

No Photo Available

  • Ashraf Almomani, MD

Hammad Zafar, MD

  • Hammad Zafar, MD

Class of 2026

  • Zaid Ansari, MD, PGY-4
  • Akram Nazzal, MD, PGY-4


The Gastroenterology training program began in 2004 with 2 fellows and gradually expanded to our current complement of six fellows by 2013. We have had the same program director over this time period and all of our graduates have passed their boards in their first attempt. The names, positions and additional training of our graduates are below:

Class of 2007

  • Daniel Moore, MD, conducting a private practice in Quincy, Illinois his home state
  • Ramu Raju, MD, did advanced endoscopy fellowship at Maine Medical Center and MD Anderson and currently in private practice in Boulder, Colorado

Class of 2009

  • Tolga Erim, DO, did advanced endoscopy fellowship at Beth Israel, Boston and subsequently joined our faculty at Cleveland Clinic

Class of 2010

  • German Gonzalez, MD, private practice in South Florida
  • Matthew Thoma, MD, subspecialty in endoscopic ultrasound, private practice in South Carolina

Class of 2012

  • Einar Lurix, MD, private practice in South Carolina

Class of 2013

  • Brenda Jimenez, MD, was recruited to join our faculty at Cleveland Clinic where she has a special interest in hereditary colon cancer
  • Jorge Zapatier, MD, private practice in Des Moines, Iowa

Class of 2014

  • John Rivas, MD, did transplant hepatology fellowship at Cleveland Clinic Ohio and subsequently joined our faculty at Cleveland Clinic Florida

Class of 2015

  • Mariann Padron, MD, private practice in Worcester, Massachusetts

Class of 2016

  • Brent Murchie, MD, private practice in Sarasota, Florida
  • Alicia Alvarez, MD, advanced endoscopy fellowship at Beth Israel, Boston and subsequently joined private practice in South Florida

Class of 2017

  • Bahaa Ismail, MD, academic practice at University of Kentucky
  • Amar Podugu, MD, private practice in Canton, Ohio

Class of 2018

  • Leyla Maric, MD, Cleveland Clinic Florida
  • Sandra Rodriguez, private practice in South Florida

Class of 2019

  • Nikhil Kapila, MD, Transplant Hepatology Fellowship Duke University
  • Jose Melendez, MD, private practice South Florida

Class of 2020

  • Vaibhav Wadhwa, MD, UTH Health McGovern Medical School
  • Asad ur Rahman, MD, Cleveland Clinic Florida

Class of 2021

  • Daniel Castaneda, MD, Annie Penn Hospital, Cone Health
  • Badar Hasan, MD

Class of 2022

  • Adalberto Gonzalez, MD, Cleveland Clinic Florida
  • Kanwarpreet S. Tandon, MD, Advanced IBD Fellowship at Boston University Medical Center

Class of 2023

  • Mohammad Almoari, MD, Cleveland Clinic Ohio for an Advanced IBD fellowship. Will join the GI department at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) as an Assistant Professor the following year
  • Mamoon Rashid, MD, Borland and Groover Gastroenterology group in Jacksonville, FL

For More Information Contact

Program Coordinator

Cleveland Clinic Florida
2950 Cleveland Clinic Boulevard
Weston, Florida 33331
Phone: 954.659.5229




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