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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
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.
Selvi Rajagopal, MD MPH
I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to train in obesity medicine under incredible mentorship at Johns Hopkins University since 2018. When I joined Hopkins, it was through the combined General Preventive Medicine Residency-MPH program where I intended to transition from hospital medicine to public health and prevention. As an Internal Medicine-Pediatrics physician having seen the spectrum of obesity related health complications from childhood to adulthood, I wanted to be able to offer my patients more in the way of medical weight management, but felt inadequately trained to do so. I therefore began a clinical rotation in weight management to develop the clinical skillset required for medical obesity management. Drs. Chaudhry and Gudzune bring over a decade of experience as obesity medicine physicians, and I appreciated their guidance in navigating the gamut of clinical scenarios one might encounter in weight management. Over the past two years, I have been afforded progressive autonomy in decision making, helping to build my confidence with the nuances of weight management from medication adjustments to addressing weight loss plateaus. This training has also greatly expanded my understanding of the neurohormonal processes and myriad external factors involved in obesity pathogenesis, which are crucial to understand to truly help our patients improve their health. What I did not anticipate and what is perhaps the most fulfilling since I began this journey are the relationships that I have developed with my patients, with whom I am in much closer contact than perhaps I would be even as a primary care physician, because weight management is an everyday process that requires consistent support and accountability from both the individual’s home environment as well as their physician. I am excited to be entering the next chapter of my career as a board-certified obesity medicine physician joining the faculty at Hopkins to help expand the reach of our weight management services.
Currently, Dr. Rajagopal is faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she mentors obesity medicine fellows and practices as an obesity medicine specialist at the Johns Hopkins Healthful Eating, Activity & Weight Program. She also is developing a research and program development portfolio around adolescent and emerging adult populations in nutrition and obesity care.
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