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The latest information for our transplantation health professionals. Find information about continuing education, resources, fellowship and other professional programs.

ASTS Abdominal Transplant Surgery Fellowship Programs

What are you looking for in an applicant?

We are looking for outstanding individuals to immerse in a high volume environment that offers high quality, scientifically advanced care in an economically savvy environment. We seek the most promising physicians as demonstrated leadership abilities, academic productiveness, knowledge base, and positive personal qualities among applicants from diverse backgrounds.

What is your application process?

Cleveland Clinic has minimum requirements for fellowship application and employment. We use Cleveland Clinic Internal GME Fellowship application and applicants must participate in the NRMP subspecialty match. We review every submitted application completely and carefully, and a selected group is offered on-site interviews.

Application requirements:

Cleveland Clinic GME Internal Application Form

  • Cover Letter and CV
  • Support documentation ECFMG and Steps 1, 2,3 (as applicable)
  • Diplomas, other certificates
  • 3 letters of recommendation

All documents are to be submitted to:

Beth Christoff
Program Coordinator

APPLICATION DEADLINE is FEBRUARY 1 of the previous year, the NRMP Match is in May/June.

(Example: if you are applying for 2016 fellowship position – application deadline is Feb 1, 2015)

What are your NRMP program codes?

Multi-Organ Abdominal Transplant Fellowship AAMC ID: 1968S02F0

Liver Transplantation Fellowship AAMC ID: 1968S02F2

Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Fellowship AAMC ID: 1968S02F1

What are your fellows' employment benefits?

Residents are Cleveland Clinic employees with standardized salaries and other benefits.

What VISAs are supported by Cleveland Clinic?

Clinical Programs

For graduate medical education purposes (residency, fellowship and clinical research fellowship), Cleveland Clinic will accept H-1B temporary worker or J-1 exchange visitor (alien physician category – sponsored by the ECFMG) visas. International students enrolled in U.S. medical schools may use the post-graduate year of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for the first year of residency training. Information on this process should be obtained from the Designated School Official (DSO) at the medical school. Cleveland Clinic does not sponsor immigrant (permanent resident) petitions for research or clinical trainees (residents, clinical fellows, clinical research fellows, research fellows or postdoctoral fellows).

Research Programs

The H-1B, the J-1 exchange Visitor (research scholar category – sponsored by CCF) or F-1 student (sponsored by a U.S. college or university) with employment authorization are accepted by Cleveland Clinic for research purposes. Cleveland Clinic does not sponsor immigrant (permanent resident) petitions for research or clinical trainees (residents, clinical fellows, clinical research fellows, research fellows or postdoctoral fellows).

Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Fellowship

The program is a 1-year training program, which begins July 1 and concludes June 30. At the end of the program, the fellow will qualify to serve as a medical director of a UNOS certified heart transplant program and be eligible for certification in the subspecialty, Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

Learn more about the program:

Transplant Hepatology Fellowship

The Hepatology Section of Cleveland Clinic's Digestive Disease Institute has had a long-standing fellowship program, which is designed to afford fellows the opportunity to receive sophisticated training in the care of patients with all forms of liver disease. In particular, the training program aims to give a broad base of experience in transplant hepatology, beyond what would be typically acquired in a general gastroenterology fellowship.

Director, Hepatology Fellowship
Robert O’Shea, MD
Cleveland Clinic - Department of Gastroenterology
Phone: 216.444.6518
Toll-free: 800.223.2273 ext. 46518

Program Coordinator
Cheryl Borowski

Learn more about the program:

Intestinal and Multivisceral Transplantation Fellowship

Specific Program Description:

I. Clinical Activities:

The intestinal and multivisceral transplant fellowship requires completion of general surgery residency program. The program is a full one-year of clinical and research fellowship designed for trainees who are seeking training in intestinal and multivisceral transplantation including a different combination of en bloc visceral organs such as stomach, duodenum, small bowel, pancreas and liver. During the fellowship period, trainees will participate in the management of both the adult and pediatric intestinal and multivisceral recipients.

The intestinal and multivisceral transplant fellowship has been designed to provide comprehensive training in patient care, surgical techniques, and clinical research. The medical management before transplantation focuses on the nutritional support of the short bowel syndrome patients, gut rehabilitation, pathology of the complex gastrointestinal disorders and candidate selection. Teaching the cutting edge surgical techniques of donor and recipient operations including allograft implantation aims to polish the surgical skills of the transplant fellow, increase the creativity and broaden the surgical ability to safely handle complex abdominal diseases. The transplant fellow will master the post-operative care of the most complex and highly immunogenic allograft recipients including monitoring of immunosuppression and critical care management with prompt response to the post-operative medical and surgical complications. With more than 200 patients being evaluated annually for gut rehabilitation including surgical reconstruction and transplantation, the intestinal and multivisceral transplant fellow is intended to develop a cumulative experience in the medical and surgical treatment of patients with intestinal failure. The case volume is an equal mix of both adult and pediatric transplants. In addition, the fellows will participate in a large number of ancillary procedures such as portal hypertensive surgery and intestinal reconstructive procedures.

The focus during the first 3 months of the fellowship year is on the state-of-art management of short bowel syndrome and postoperative care of both adult and pediatric intestinal and multivisceral recipients. Meanwhile, they participate in the donor operation learning the surgical techniques of retrieving the different types of intestinal allografts including intestine, en bloc liver/intestine, and multivisceral. They will also learn the bench technique of preparing the visceral allograft particularly the required complex vascular reconstruction. At the end of the first half of the year, fellows are able to take the lead in the donor operation and actively participate in the recipient procedure particularly removal of the native organs. During the second half of the fellowship period, the trainees are usually able to perform part of the lengthy and very challenging transplant operation including vascular reconstruction and restoration of continuity of the gastrointestinal tract. At the end of the fellowship, the fellow is usually capable of performing straight forward cases of isolated intestinal and combined liver/intestinal transplantation. Fellows with gifted hands and fine surgical techniques are usually able to take full responsibility in transplanting complex patients with multivisceral transplantation.

II. Clinical Research:

Intestinal and multivisceral transplantation is an evolving field with great opportunities for clinical research and establishment of a unique academic career for a young transplant surgeon. One of the academic goals of this highly specialized program is to assist the transplant fellow in conducting valuable clinical research activities that will help him to better understand the different aspects of the procedure. For further advancement of the field of intestinal and multivisceral transplantation, the program is currently focusing on the following areas of relevant clinical research:

  • Organ preservation and monitoring of ischemia reperfusion injury
  • Allograft Immunogenicity and induction of tolerance
  • Innate immunity and intestinal transplantation
  • Outcome analysis and causes of late graft loss
  • Long-term graft survival and risk factors
  • Chronic rejection particularly of the intestinal component of the visceral allograft
  • The immunoprotective effect of the concomitantly transplanted liver
  • Opportunistic infections and risk of post-transplant lymphoma
  • Monitoring of intestinal allograft functions and achievement of nutritional autonomy
  • Intestinal allograft recipients and micronutrients deficiencies

Didactic Components:

Outpatient clinics are held four times a week. All of the staff mentioned below participates in the relevant clinic with full-time clinical and teaching activities. Two clinics are designed for the adult pre-transplant evaluation and gut rehabilitation. One clinic is devoted for post-operative care and are staffed mainly by the transplant physicians and coordinators. The last clinic specifically for pediatric services. The Transplant Fellows participate in the decision making process of monitoring immunosuppression and prompt diagnosis of underlying pathology of patient symptoms. In addition, the fellows take part in the endoscopic examination of the intestine for monitoring allograft rejection. On a weekly basis, a morbidity and mortality conference, patient selection conference, and intestine pathology conference, for both the pediatric and adult services, are held for patient care and continued medical education. Furthermore, the research activities of the program are discussed on a regular basis for educational and publication purposes.

Teaching Staff:

The staff of the Center for Gut and Rehabilitation & Transplantation (CGRT) is a multidisciplinary team that includes surgeons, gastroenterologists, psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, nutritionist, pharmacist, social worker, case manager and transplant coordinators. The teaching physicians that carry full responsibility and supervise the fellows are:


A. Surgeons

  • Kareem Abu-Elmagd, MD
  • John Fung, MD
  • Cristiano Quintini, MD
  • Bijan Eghtesad, MD
  • Koji Hashimoto, MD
  • Masato Fujiki, MD
  • Ajai Khanna, MD

B. Gastroenterologist

  • Donald Kirby, MD
  • Abdullah Shatnawei, MD
  • Mansour Parsi, MD

C. Psychiatrist

  • Kathy Coffman, MD

Program Director:

Kareem M. Abu-Elmagd, MD, PhD, FACS
Director, Transplant Center
Director, Center for Gut Rehabilitation & Transplantation (CGRT)
9500 Euclid Avenue
Desk A100
Cleveland, OH 44195
Phone: 216-445-8876
Fax: 216-636-7060

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Call 855.REFER.123 or 855.733.3712


Cleveland Clinic’s Referring Physician Center has established a 24/7 hotline for referring physicians and their office staff to streamline access to our array of medical services. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you and your patients when you entrust us with their care.

Contact the Referring Physician Hotline to obtain information on our clinical specialists and services; schedule and confirm patient appointments; receive assistance in the resolution of any service-related issues; and connect with Cleveland Clinic specialists.

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We will work with your patient to complete the registration process and to schedule an appointment at the patient's convenience. You will be notified once the appointment is scheduled.

The Referring Physician Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling 855.REFER.123 (855.733.3712).

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Cleveland Clinic Transplant Center

  • 200+ Transplant Center specialists
  • 50+ years of transplantation experience
  • 4th-highest volume among U.S. transplant centers in 2013
  • 479 solid organ transplants and 191 blood and marrow transplants in 2013

Download our Transplant Center's 2013 annual report to learn who we are and what we are about, including treatment outcomes.

Transplant Center 2013 Annual Report

Cleveland Clinic Florida Launches Transplant Program Under Dr. Andreas Tzakis

Cleveland Clinic Florida performed its first organ transplants in July 2013 after receiving approval from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) for liver and kidney transplant services.

Through the end of 2013, surgeons at the Weston, Florida, facility successfully performed nine liver transplants and seven kidney transplants. The pace of transplants accelerated into 2014, and Cleveland Clinic Florida received Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approval for its liver and kidney transplant services in mid-2014.

Renowned surgeon at the helm

Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Transplant Program was launched following the hire of internationally renowned transplant surgeon Andreas Tzakis, MD, PhD. Dr. Tzakis was first engaged by Cleveland Clinic as a consultant because of his expertise in abdominal transplantation. In August 2012, he joined the health system to develop and direct Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Transplant Program.

With more than 215 physicians across 35 specialties, Cleveland Clinic Florida has the integrated clinical expertise to support comprehensive transplant services. “We have recruited an outstanding team of transplant professionals who are filling a critical need for highly specialized services from a growing number of patients who might otherwise have to seek care outside South Florida,” says Dr. Tzakis.

One program, two sites

Upon joining the Cleveland Clinic team, Dr. Tzakis spent countless hours over many months with his transplant colleagues in Cleveland to develop a program that was a mirror image of Cleveland Clinic’s Transplant Center on its main campus.

Although the Florida transplant program is distinct from the Cleveland program from a regulatory perspective, there’s no distinction from a cultural standpoint:

  • Staff from the two programs are in close and regular contact, discussing cases, sharing patient selection meetings and collaborating on administrative issues
  • The two programs share the same protocols, quality measures, electronic medical record system, transplant database — and even personnel. The Florida-based transplant surgeons have obtained licensure in Ohio, and a number of Cleveland-based transplant surgeons have licenses in Florida, to give the newer program the bench depth to offer 24/7 transplant availability

“It’s really one program with two sites,” says Charles Miller, MD, director of the liver transplant program in Cleveland and one of the Ohio surgeons with licensure in Florida. “No other U.S. center has this degree of integration of transplant programs across remote locations, with shared surgeons and dual licensures. Each site’s team runs its own program, but we’re communicating all the time.”

Dr. Tzakis continues to come to Cleveland regularly for unified strategic planning, and Transplant Center leaders from Cleveland play an active role in the Florida program’s ongoing development.

Enduring connections, expansive future

“We are delighted to have Dr. Tzakis as a partner to expand Cleveland Clinic’s transplant services in another part of the country,” says Kareem Abu-Elmagd, MD, PhD, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Transplant Center. “He’s an eminently accomplished surgeon who’s been a colleague of mine since 1990, when we worked together under Dr. Thomas Starzl.”

Dr. Tzakis’ expertise includes intestinal and multivisceral transplantation, and Dr. Abu-Elmagd hopes these services can be offered at Cleveland Clinic Florida before long.

Heart transplant services launching in 2014

The first area of the Florida program’s expansion is heart transplantation, following its mid-2014 receipt of UNOS approval for heart transplant services and the hire of Cedric Sheffield, MD, as surgical director of the facility’s adult heart transplant program.

Dr. Sheffield, a prominent heart transplant surgeon who recently served as director and CEO of the Tampa Transplant Institute, completed a fellowship in thoracic surgery and transplantation at Cleveland Clinic in 1999. He will work with Andrew Boyle, MD, who serves as medical director of Cleveland Clinic Florida’s new heart transplant program

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To find a transplant specialist for your needs, contact the Transplant Center at 216.444.2394 (or toll-free 800.223.2273, ext. 42394)

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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