Experiences of Prior Obesity Medicine Trainees

The faculty of the Johns Hopkins Obesity Medicine Fellowship have successfully mentored a variety of trainees within the field of obesity medicine. Below are the experiences of some former trainees in their own words.

Kacey Chae
Kacey Chae, MD

Clinician-Investigator Track, 2022 - Present

Undergraduate Education: BA in Biology, University of Virginia
Graduate Education: MD, Eastern Virginia Medical School
Medicine Residency: Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Given my passion for lifestyle counseling and culinary medicine, choosing to do obesity medicine fellowship was the best career decision for me. Every day, I get to walk alongside my patients on their unique weight loss journey and help them reach their health goals. Weight management involves all aspects of an individual's life, so I find the close relationship with my patients extremely rewarding. The breadth and depth of obesity medicine training at Johns Hopkins is unparalleled. Through my fellowship training, I have gained foundational skills in the full spectrum of weight management including lifestyle behavior change, medication management, and recommending different procedural options. What really sets apart Johns Hopkins is the close-knit community of faculty and individualized mentorship that has served as a prime nurturing environment for my career path. I will be pursuing further research training with an ultimate goal to be a clinician investigator developing targeted, feasible, and effective lifestyle interventions to improve health outcomes in older adults with obesity. Obesity medicine is a rapidly growing field with advances in clinical treatment, research, and education, so there is something for everyone!

Nakul Bhardwaj
Nakul Bhardwaj, DO, MPH, DABOM
Clinician Track, 2021 - 2022

Undergraduate Education: BA in Zoology, Miami University
Graduate Education: MPH, University of Cincinnati
DO, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic
Medicine Residency: Internal Medicine, The Cleveland Clinic

I had the pleasure and honor of being the first obesity medicine clinician track fellow in the Johns Hopkins Obesity Medicine Fellowship program. I knew early on in residency that my interests lie within this field. To connect with a patient and help address a condition they feel most vulnerable about is a rewarding experience. When I searched for a training program, I knew I would succeed in a collegial environment that had an abundance of research opportunities, a diverse patient population, and ample opportunities for mentorship to help guide me towards my own goals. The Johns Hopkins Obesity Medicine Fellowship did just that. The faculty at Johns Hopkins, including Drs. Gudzune and Rajagopal, go above and beyond to mentor their fellows and provide them support throughout training. As the clinician track training is just 12 months in duration, such mentorship in a short period of time is crucial and was formative in my own development as an obesity medicine specialist. The multidisciplinary nature of the weight management clinic provides a variety of experiences to the fellow that is second to none. Collaboration with specialists such as bariatric surgeons, behavioral health therapists, exercise physiologists, hepatologists, endocrinologists, and sleep medicine specialists (to name a few), further enhanced my learning and helped me become a more comprehensive physician. The experiences from this fellowship have been crucial to my development and to the appropriate care of my future patients. Furthermore, these experiences would benefit any clinician, as obesity is a chronic condition that affects all organ systems and specialties. For anyone considering further training within obesity medicine, I highly recommend the Johns Hopkins Obesity Medicine Fellowship.

Currently, Dr. Bhardwaj is faculty at Johns Hopkins where he practices as an obesity medicine specialist. He is passionate about addressing obesity and its complications in a multidisciplinary setting. He utilizes his additional time to research models to personalize treatments for patients, teach residents/students principles in managing obesity and its co-morbidities, and create a clinical care pathway for patients receiving endoscopic bariatric procedures for obesity

Carolyn Bramante
Carolyn Bramante, MD MPH

During my T32 General Internal Medicine (GIM) Clinical Research Fellowship, I completed clinical training in obesity medicine and sat for the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) certification exam under the guidance of Dr. Gudzune. Learning obesity medicine from Dr. Gudzune was an amazing opportunity. She was one of the first ABOM-certified physicians in the entire Johns Hopkins Health System, and built the medical weight management clinic here. She has in-depth knowledge of obesity as a complex biopsychosocial disease, and great expertise in the scientific evidence behind behavioral, pharmacologic, and procedural interventions for obesity. Dr. Gudzune also served as my primary mentor in obesity clinical research during my GIM fellowship training, which lead to several successful projects and peer-reviewed publications. As a mentor and teacher, Dr. Gudzune skillfully guided me through the clinical training process while continuing my research training and progress. She was always available to answer questions regarding clinical care as well as research. I would highly recommend pursuing obesity medicine fellowship training at Johns Hopkins, as it was the most formative experience in my medical career to date.

Currently, Dr. Bramante is faculty at the University of Minnesota where she practices as an obesity medicine specialist for both adults and children, as well as has a clinical research portfolio related to obesity care with a particular emphasis on self-weighing as an intervention strategy.

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