Fellows: A Closer Look

In just a few months, the AST will host its annual Fellows Symposium in Grapevine, Texas. This meeting provides a unique opportunity for physicians in training to spend dedicated time to enhance their knowledge and confidence in key areas of transplantation medicine.

Registration for the Fellows Symposium will close on July 26 at 12:01 AM EST.

To give prospective attendees further insights about the meeting, I have invited former Fellows attendee, Hector Madariaga, to write a guest blog post about his experience:


The AST Fellows Symposium is a meeting for residents, fellows, pharmacists and other trainees involved in the field of solid-organ transplantation in medicine and surgery. I attended in 2015 in Grapevine, Texas. It was one of my favorite meetings and a great way to learn about the latest advancements in transplantation. The following program components made it truly outstanding:

  • Content: The conference environment was full of enthusiasm. We had interactive lectures and case discussions. The faculty was knowledgeable, and every presentation was dynamic with high-quality slides. The faculty was also very committed to teaching fellows about solid-organ transplantation. The organizing committee encouraged the attendees to engage and converse with faculty members during and after the sessions, and I found this approach very helpful for all the trainees. The subjects covered during the symposium included basic concepts on immunobiology, histocompatibility, infections in the pre-and post-transplant period, immunosuppression, and management and complications of solid-organ transplantation. Sessions were also split into different topics addressing heart, lung, liver and kidney transplantation; they also had sessions for transplantation in pediatrics. 
  • Activities: After the sessions were over, the committee had planned outdoor activities for all the attendees and faculty members, such as basketball, tennis, soccer, BBQ, and drinks. Conversations with faculty members included questions about the sessions, job and training opportunities, professional advice, and topics such as work life balance. Then, we headed out to the next-door venue where we had a typical western buffet dinner, listened to music, met wonderful people, and danced. This was fun and a great way to network.
  • Food: You won’t be hungry at this conference, believe me. The organizers made sure that we were fed very well and there was a variety of food options for the vegetarian to the meat lover for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There were also designated break areas with snacks and drinks.

In conclusion, this was one of the best courses I attended as a trainee; and it’s free. Great lectures, great environment, great food and the best part, great people. This Symposium is intended to be small to keep it “intimate” so expert faculty and trainees can meet each other. They were open to being asked questions about transplantation or professional development. I made good friends, had interesting conversations with people from different parts of the country and the best part, met some of my role models. I encourage all the fellows to apply and register early. It’s a great experience!

After attending this meeting, I knew the field of transplantation was the right path for me.


Hector Madariaga, MD is a Nephrologist currently practicing medicine at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, MA. He completed his Nephrology fellowship at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY and a Transplant Nephrology fellowship at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. He is also part of an online nephrology journal club (NephJC), which meets twice-a-month on Twitter, contributor for the Renal Fellow Network blog and was part of the inaugural class of the NSCM (Nephrology Social Media Collective) internship. He is also interested in the impact of social media on medical training 








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