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Welcome to the Colorado Obesity Medicine Training Program offered at the University of Colorado. We are pleased to announce our Obesity Medicine Fellowship program. The fellowship training will be overseen by nationally recognized experts in both obesity research and the clinical treatment of the patient with obesity.
About the Colorado Obesity Medicine Fellowship: The fellow will participate in both didactic and direct patient contact experiences that will expand their knowledge and skills in this specific area. Experiences will take place at the Anschutz Health & Wellness Center, University of Colorado Hospital (UC Health), and the Denver Veteran’s Administration Medical Center.
Fellows will have training in all aspects of weight management including lifestylebased therapy, pharmacotherapy, endoscopic treatments as well as pre-and post-operative assessment and management of both adult and pediatric patients undergoing bariatric surgery. They will gain broad exposure to the assessment and treatment of a wide range of health conditions that are associated with obesity. They will gain experience in strategies for interviewing, counseling and supporting behavior change in patients with obesity. Finally, fellows will benefit from a rich didactic curriculum on the regulation of body weight, the pathophysiology of weight gain and weight related co-morbidities and the scientific underpinnings of obesity treatment.
Clinical Resources: Fellows will have access to outstanding specialty clinics dedicated to treating adult patients with obesity at the state of the art CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. In addition, fellows will spend time in the multidisciplinary obesity treatment clinics associated with Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center. The University of Colorado Hospital (UC Health) has a MBSAQIP certified Comprehensive Bariatric Care Center and the Children's Hospital Colorado has one of the few bariatric surgery programs in the country devoted to the care of adolescents.
Dr. Victoria Lu is a Family Medicine Resident Physician with experience working in a fast-paced environment practicing evidence-based medicine and complex disease management who has specific interests in nutrition, obesity medicine, preventive medicine, behavioral health, and osteopathic manipulative treatment.
Dr. John Michael Taormina (he/him/his) is a board-certified family medicine physician who is joining us from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He completed his medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh and his residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) St. Margaret hospital. He is passionate about prevention of excessive weight gain, interventions to promote safe and medically-appropriate weight loss, and management of medical problems associated with excess weight.
He began his interest in obesity prevention in 2018 as a student intern of the Epidemiology Elective Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During this time, he worked on a project in the Obesity Prevention and Control branch of the CDC evaluating key components of clinical-community linkages to promote healthy behaviors in racial and ethnic minority children. He continued that work during residency as the lead investigator of his family health center’s Childhood Obesity in Primary Care quality improvement project, hosted through the American Academy of Pediatrics. This role provided invaluable experience designing and evaluating clinic workflow to facilitate discussions about healthy behaviors and weight during well-child visits. He completed an area of concentration in obesity medicine during his residency training and provided comprehensive weight management services to a cohort of patients in his primary care office throughout his final year of training. He is excited to complete his fellowship training in obesity medicine at the University of Colorado to further develop his skills in encouraging behavior change, expand his knowledge of and experience with weight loss medications, and to foster collaboration with other specialists to provide the best care for patients.
As a family physician, Dr. Taormina cares for patients of all ages, racial and ethnic groups, sexual orientations, and gender identities. His clinical and research interests are in developing public health interventions to prevent and manage obesity; investigating effective weight management strategies in adolescents with obesity using family-centered interventions, weight loss medications, and bariatric surgery; and developing culturally sensitive, comprehensive, and effective strategies for weight management for transgender and gender-diverse individuals with overweight and obesity. He collaborates with the lifestyle medicine clinics at the University of Colorado Children’s Hospital and sees adult patients through the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center and through collaboration with the UCHealth Integrated Transgender Program.
In his free time, you can find him perusing local farmer’s markets, cooking, watching musical theatre at DPAC, hiking with his partner, or bouncing around the Denver and Aurora areas eating ethnic food.
Dr. Gessa Suboc is a board-certified family medicine physician who is joining us from the suburbs of Chicago. She completed her residency at the University of Chicago (Northshore) and earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine. Her special interests lie with Obesity Medicine, Integrative Medicine, and Sports Medicine. However, she particularly enjoys finding ways to combine the three focus areas to best cater to her patient’s health and wellness.
As part of her training at the University of Chicago Family Medicine residency program, she focused her education on obesity medicine by completing a dedicated Obesity Medicine Track. This learning track provided her the opportunity to work under the mentorship of experienced obesity medicine physicians. Further, this track enabled her to work with, and understand the importance of, a multidisciplinary team approach as it relates to creating comprehensive weight management plans with patients. Aside from her dedicated training in the field of obesity medicine, Dr. Suboc’s background as a primary care physician has shown her the significance of counseling her patients through sustainable lifestyle changes; particularly to aid in the treatment of comorbid conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, etc. Moreover, her passions with Integrative Medicine and Sports Medicine have taught her to value and incorporate the concepts of “food as medicine” and “exercise as medicine” into her daily practice.
Dr. Suboc is looking forward to building upon her knowledge of evidence-based treatment of obesity, becoming involved in ongoing nutrition and obesity research, and continuing to practice techniques to promote sustainable patient lifestyle and behavior changes. Most of all, she is excited about learning the stories of her patients’ journeys, praising their triumphs, and ultimately collaborating with them to help them overcome the barriers needed for continued success. When she is not practicing medicine, she enjoys spending time with her family, salsa dancing, singing karaoke, hiking with her puppy, Winne, and exploring new restaurants with her husband
Dr. Lisa Kisling Thompson, DO, MPH, DipABLM, is a Preventive Medicine trained physician, completing her residency at the University of Colorado in 2020. She is passionate about disease prevention at both the individual and population levels and utilizes her training in Lifestyle Medicine to leverage nutrition, physical activity, healthy sleep, and stress management to promote wellness in her patients. She is knowledgeable about behavior change and has pursued additional training in Motivational Interviewing to effectively aid patients in making sustainable, healthy, life modifications. Lisa continues her training with a fellowship in Obesity Medicine focusing on evidence-based and sustainable interventions to reverse obesity and obesity-related comorbidities including diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, sleep disorders, and more. In doing so, she hopes to improve the health and reduce the vulnerability of this patient population.
Lisa’s three-year residency in Preventive Medicine prepared her well to tackle disease burdens at a population level utilizing her public health training in epidemiology. She is capable in program development, using real time data-driven analytics to improve healthcare implementation on a systems level. Her ability to influencing patient- and population-level health delivery has proven successful in various healthcare settings including Rocky Mountain Regional VA and Denver Health.
Lisa serves as the founder of the University of Colorado’s Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group where she continues to promote evidence-based methods for whole-body care in medical education. She sits as a co-chair of the planning committee for the American College of Preventive Medicine, is a Donald A. Pegg award recipient, Diplomate for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, consultant for Colorado’s CURE Opioid consortium, and passionate clinician. In her free time, she can be found in her art studio painting, scrapbooking, or sewing and enjoys hiking with her husband, wakeboarding, kick boxing.
Thank you for your interest in applying to the Obesity Medicine Fellowship Training Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Campus.
Completed residency in ACGME accredited program, preferably Internal Medicine or Family Medicine although others will be considered
Board Eligible or Board Certified in completed specialty
US citizenship or permanent residency/green card holder preferred
To Apply, please email the following documents:
Recent photo (optional)
Personal Statement including description of career plans
Transcripts of National Board Exams
Three letters of recommendation (from the director of your residency program, a recent supervisor other than your residency program director, and one additional letter from a clinical supervisor who can attest to your abilities). It is preferred that the letters come from the writer directly.
Application Dates for 2024/25
Open for applications: July 1, 2023
Interviews begin: September, 2023
Last date for applications: We typically close the application window when our interviews are complete in November. Please email us if you have questions.
Fellowship offer released in December 2023 via email.
Send Application to:
Program Assistant: Kristy Truesdale: Kristy.Truesdale@cuanschutz.edu
Program Director: Dan Bessesen, MD: Daniel.Bessesen@cuanschutz.edu