Pediatric Colorectal Research Fellowship :: Nationwide Children's Hospital
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Pediatric Colorectal Research Fellowship

The Pediatric Colorectal Research Fellowship is a one- or two-year program focusing on the treatment and long-term outcomes of patients with pediatric colorectal problems.

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(614) 722-0449

About the Pediatric Colorectal Research Fellowship

The Pediatric Colorectal Research Fellowship is a one- or two-year program. The fellow will conduct research on the treatment and long-term outcomes of patients with pediatric colorectal problems and may also possess surgical assistant responsibilities. Based on fellow interest, collaboration with our basic science colleagues in the area of tissue engineering will be encouraged and fostered.

In April 2014, Nationwide Children’s Hospital formed The Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction: one of the first centers in the world to formally integrate all specialties involved in providing complete care of the colon and rectum in kids. This environment provides a unique experience for Pediatric Colorectal Research fellows.

What you need to know

Program Overview

Clinical and research components
The fellow’s experience will be in advanced colorectal surgery and collaborating specialties, including GI Motility and pelvic reconstruction. The Colorectal Research fellow will participate in data collection and QI projects focused on colorectal surgery in pediatric patients, as well as the study of optimal curriculum development for pediatric surgical education in the area of colorectal surgery. Tissue engineering experience is also available through collaboration with the basic science labs of Christopher Breuer, MD and Gail Besner, MD. The fellow is expected to submit at least two papers for publication.

Supervisory and patient care responsibilities
The fellow will participate as a teaching assistant for junior residents. In addition to research responsibilities, the fellow will review colorectal, GI motility and urologic/gynecologic reconstruction cases.

Didactic sessions and teaching methods
The fellow will participate in the robust teaching conferences offered by the Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction Surgery, as well as pediatric surgery, pediatric urology, pediatric gynecology and/or pediatric GI. The fellow will participate in weekly meetings with the reconstructive and motility/fecal incontinence teams, in which case presentations and discussions will demonstrate case selection, operative planning, medical management, and identification of complications and pitfalls in order to identify optimal approaches to solving colorectal problems.

Fellow supervision and evaluation
The Pediatric Colorectal Research fellow will participate in research under the mentorship of the Program Director and designated research mentors.

The Program Director will meet with the fellow quarterly to review overall performance. A final summative evaluation will be provided at the conclusion of the program.

Education and Training

Objective: To conduct research on the treatment and long term outcomes of patients with pediatric colorectal problems, including but not limited to:

  • Newborn assessment of anorectal malformations: Urologic, Spinal, Sacral, Gastrointestinal, Gynecologic
  • Different types of anorectal malformations: Rectoperineal fistula, Rectourethral fistula, Rectovestibular fistula, No fistula, Cloacal malformation
  • Proper newborn radiologic evaluation for anorectal malformations: AP Spine, Sacral X-rays, Abdominal ultrasound, Renal ultrasound, Spinal ultrasound, Cross-table lateral X-Ray
  • Correct newborn surgical intervention in anorectal malformations: Anoplasty, Colostomy, Hydrocolpos drainage
  • Newborn assessment and treatment of Hirschsprung’s disease: Radiologic evaluation, Irrigations, Primary pull-through, Colostomy
  • Surgical management of index colorectal conditions
  • Medical management for variety of colorectal problems: idiopathic constipation, constipation in anorectal malformation, constipation in Hirschsprung disease, hypermotility in anorectal malformations, hypermotility in Hirschsprung disease, entercolitis
  • Medical management and surgical interventions of fecal incontinence: Sigmoid resection, Malone procedure
  • Assessment of complex Hirschsprung disease in postoperative soiling or obstructive symptoms - medical management, rectal biopsy, indications for re-operation
  • Medical and surgical management of intractable idiopathic constipation: laxative trial, colonic resection therapies, motility evaluation

Surgical Assistant Responsibilities

Fellows who wish to participate in colorectal cases as a surgical assistant must have current ABSA certification in good standing.

This limited, added patient care responsibility is assigned and monitored by the Program Director for the sole purpose of providing additional clinical educational experiences under the following limitations: supervised by attending surgeon, practice limited to OR and defined by the surgical assistant scope of practice, and cases of patient care and clinical research interest in the Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery. The patient care responsibilities will not interfere with or replace duties performed by general surgery, pediatric surgery, and surgical subspecialty residents and fellows.

Fellows will directly observe, and as scope of practice allows, participate in the procedures on which they are conducting research. This will enhance the educational value of the overall fellowship experience, enable fellows to maintain some surgical skills previously acquired in residency, and increase generalizability of experience to future clinical settings as an attending surgeon.

Application and Eligibility


Eligible candidates should have completed at least 2 years of general surgery training at an ACGME-approved (or international equivalent) general surgical residency. If the candidate has not completed USMLE testing, then they must be certified and in good standing by the American Board of Surgical Assistants (ABSA).

International applicants must have completed or be in the process of completing their surgery training and obtain surgical assistant credentialing. Exceptions to this requirement must be approved by the Designated Institutional Official, the Program Director and the Senior Vice President of Human Resources in advance of the letter of offer.


Interested applicants should send the following:

1. Curriculum Vitae
2. Two letters of recommendation from pediatric surgeons with whom you have worked

Submit above by mail or email attachments to Program Coordinator Vickie Leonhardt at or

Mail to:
Vickie Leonhardt
Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction
Department of Pediatric Surgery
700 Children’s Drive, ED377
Columbus, Ohio 43205

(614) 722-0449


For more information regarding the Pediatric Colorectal Research Fellowship, please contact:

Program Director
Marc Levitt, MD

Associate Program Director
Richard J. Wood, MD

Program Coordinator
Vickie Leonhardt
(614) 722-0449


Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000