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Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholar Program at the Center for Digestive Health

Visiting scholars bring cultural and professional perspectives that enrich mutual understanding and application of innovations and quality standards in digestive disease care. The Center for Digestive Health (CDH), building on its foundations of education and research, welcomes colleagues whose work in digestive disease relates to the expertise of a CDH provider and can be fostered through a 45- day to year-long visiting scholar appointment. Visiting Scholars at the Center for Digestive Health are onsite for academic training, educational observation of patient care, and research activities such as hypothesis generation, IRB submission, abstraction and analysis of data, and manuscript preparation and submission. Visiting Scholars do not provide clinical services.

Important Information for Visiting Scholars


Applicants must hold a current medical or professional license, provide a current Curriculum Vitae (CV), a statement of goals, three letters of recommendation, and if invited, secure their own visas for the duration of the visiting scholar appointment. Note: Virginia Mason Franciscan Health does not sponsor J-1 visas. Proposed goals must be compatible with CDH's specialty areas and focus exclusively on observation and research activities, such as abstracting and analyzing data, drafting and revising manuscripts for publication, deliberating on methodological approaches, and the like. Visiting scholar appointments may not involve patient care of any kind. Excellent English language skills are a critical factor for a visiting scholar's ability to participate fully in the intellectual and observational opportunities of the CDH community. We regret that not all applicants to the Visiting Scholar Program will be accepted. Acceptance is contingent upon multiple considerations, including availability of space, identification and agreement of an appropriate sponsor, and approval of Fit for Duty requirements.

Digestive Disease Institute Visiting Scholars Jong Jin Hyun, MD, PhD, Andrea Wirsching, MD, and Kyung Ok Kim, MD.

Center for Digestive Health Visiting Scholars Jong Jin Hyun, MD, PhD, Andrea Wirsching, MD, and Kyung Ok Kim, MD.

CDH Sponsor

The visiting scholar requires sponsorship from a Virginia Mason Franciscan Health provider. The sponsor is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the visiting scholar, serves as the main contact point for the visiting scholar during his/her appointment, and provides mentorship and guidance to the resources and networks available as part of the CDH. The sponsor works with the visiting scholar as an intellectual collaborator and meets regularly with the visiting scholar to help achieve his/her educational, observational, and research goals. Access to a specific sponsor is subject to the provider's availability during the requested time frame.

Length of Appointment

Visiting scholar appointments are minimally 45 days. No visiting scholar appointment shall be longer than a 12-month period. Extensions of appointments are subject to approval by the CDH Executive Medical Director and Director.

Expected Products

Visiting scholars with appointments of three months or longer are expected to draft a manuscript in collaboration with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health colleagues, to be ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal by the end of every third month of appointment. Following a research timeline, year-long visiting scholars are expected to lead authorship of at least three publications on Virginia Mason Franciscan Health research/clinical results in peer-reviewed journals per year, co-authored with their sponsor or designee, and make a presentation on their research at a minimum of one national or international meeting.


All expenses, including, travel, housing, supplies, long-distance calls, photocopying, statistical consultations, secretarial services, transportation, and parking related to the visiting scholar appointment must be sustained by and are the sole responsibility of the visiting scholar. The CDH does not provide any monetary funding or wages for visiting scholars. The visiting scholar must have provisions to meet all of their expenses during their time in the Pacific Northwest.


A shared desk on site may be provided to visiting scholars as space allows. Space on site is not guaranteed.

Number of Positions

A maximum of three CDH visiting scholars may be appointed at any one time.


Hyun Phil Shin, MD, visiting scholar and associate professor from Kyung Hee Hospital at Gangdong, University of Kyung Hee School of Medicine in Seoul, Korea, in between Richard Kozarek, MD, and Blaire Burman, MD.


Visiting scholars are responsible for their own housing arrangements. The Center for Digestive Health assumes no financial responsibility for housing and does not guarantee housing of any kind. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is located in the greater Seattle/Tacoma area, including Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle's Downtown/First Hill neighborhood. Potential visiting scholars wishing to live in Seattle during their stay may seek housing/rental information from Seattle Rentals and/or consider short-term accommodations at The Baroness Hotel.


To apply, prospective visiting scholars must provide the following at least six months prior to their intended start date:

  1. A copy of current medical or other professional license
  2. Curriculum vitae (CV)
  3. Documentation of valid funding for the desired period of appointment
  4. Statement of goals, including the following elements:
    • Desired start and end dates of visiting scholar appointment
    • Identification of a Virginia Mason Franciscan Health provider who has agreed to serve as sponsor
    • Outline of research goals compatible with the foundations and specialty areas of the Center for Digestive Health
    • Number of manuscripts of publishable quality that the visiting scholar commits to completing by the end of the appointment period
    • Statement attesting to English language competency, if English is a second language. Identify reading, writing, and speaking ability on a scale of ten levels: Novice Low, Mid and High; Intermediate Low, Mid and High; Advanced Low, Mid and High; and Fluent
  5. Three written letters of recommendation
  6. A copy of current passport and any current visa issued

To apply, please submit each item listed above, via hard copy or email attachment, to:
Terri Davis Smith
Center for Digestive Health
Virginia Mason Franciscan Health
1100 Ninth Ave.
Mail Stop: G250-B
Seattle, WA 98101