Abdominal Transplant Surgery Fellowship

Dr. Carlos Esquivel received the prestigious, 2015 Francis Moore Mentorship in the Field of Transplant Surgery award.

What are fellowship graduates saying about their experience?

"My experience as a transplant fellow at Stanford marked the way for a thriving life as a surgeon.  It took me from wide eyed fellow to an expertly trained transplant surgeon ready to launch a strong career.  The training is broad and intense in a good way.  Coming out I felt I could tackle any operation, adult or pediatric, and was a part of a new family, who I still rely on today.  The networking and bond of the Stanford fellowship is a priceless thing.  Our fellows are all over the world of transplant surgery, and we always find a way to connect and support each other.  Stanford transplant transformed my career and continues to shape my future!" 

- Jennifer Berumen, MD (Fellow 2012-2014)  Associate Professor of Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery UC San Diego

About the Fellowship

Aleah Brubaker, MD PhD discusses the fellowship program

"Why Stanford?" Tom Pham, MD, Asst. Program Director

Marc Melcher, MD PhD, Program Director discusses the pediatric program

The mission of the Stanford Abdominal Transplant Fellowship Program is to train the future leaders in organ transplantation. This very competitive fellowship accepts two applicants each year through the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) fellowship match.

The two-year program provides advanced training in liver, kidney, pancreas and intestinal transplant and is accredited for liver and kidney transplantation by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (since 1995). In addition, fellows receive training in laparoscopic donor nephrectomies, living donor liver operations, deceased donor procedures, pre- and post-surgery transplant management, and hepatobiliary surgery. Fellows will also receive extensive training in pediatric transplantation from the busiest pediatric transplant program in the country.

Our large clinical volume coupled with the academic environment and strong basic science at Stanford University makes this fellowship a premier training program. We expect that trainees of our program will emerge as technically competent in clinical transplantation but also as scholars in the immunology and basic science underpinnings of transplantation.

What makes our program special? "It's the trust we bestow on the fellows." - Carlos O. Esquivel, MD PhD, Division Chief, discusses our fellowship program and complex transplant cases. 

Fellowship Application Information

Application Website (Must use SF Match Central Application Service)

The Abdominal Transplant Surgery Match will be administered through the San Francisco Match and will feature a central application service. Applicants will be required to submit a distribution list and will pay according to the number of programs they apply to. To review the distribution fees and more information, visit the SF Match website. The application was developed by the ASTS Fellowship Training Committee.


Must have completed general surgery training by start date of our fellowship (August 1st of each year)

Must be eligible for obtaining a California State Medical License

Must NOT require a Visa (we cannot accept applicants requiring a visa at this time)

Important Dates

The application site will open mid-January

Applications are due by February 15th

Interviews will occur from March to May of each year

Clinical Responsibilities

The clinical responsibilities of the Transplant Fellow include participating in the evaluation of all potential recipients and live donors. The Fellow will be called upon to meet with new patients to discuss the proposed surgery and long-term process of transplantation. The Fellows take an active role in assessing transplant candidates at the weekly transplant evaluation meetings. During these meetings the difficult decisions regarding candidacy and pre-operative work-up are discussed.

Fellows are expected to manage transplant recipient care with the help of a multidisciplinary team, which consists of transplant fellows, surgical residents, medical colleagues, transplant nurse coordinators, social workers and dieticians.  Orders and decisions about immunosuppression are made by surgeons in concert with medical colleagues.

After a period of training as first assistant in the operating room, the Fellow will act as the primary surgeon under the guidance of the attending surgeon. The Fellow will also perform general surgery procedures related to transplantation and associated diseases (e.g., biliary tract reconstructions).

Fellows will take part in the selection and procurement of deceased donor abdominal organs.  After achieving proficiency, they will become the lead procurement surgeon. The fellow will also learn the techniques for laparoscopic donor nephrectomies, living donor partial hepatectomies, split liver transplantation and procurement of organs from donors after cardiac death.

The Fellows attend the following conferences:  Grand Rounds, Patient Selection, Patient Management, Liver Pathology, Liver Transplant Radiology, Journal Club, Transplant Research and monthly Morbidity and Mortality.

In addition to their clinical responsibilities, the fellows are expected to publish one or two peer-reviewed journal articles per year and are given the opportunity to attend at least one transplant related meeting annually (such as the yearly meeting of the ASTS).


For questions about the fellowship program, contact: melcherm@stanford.edu


For Administrative Questions

Division of Abdominal Transplantation
Stanford University School of Medicine
750 Welch Road, Suite 319
Palo Alto, CA  94304

e: cleyva@stanford.edu
p: (650) 498-6248