Letter from the Editor

Web-based interviews, financial planning in a pandemic, and more


Dear colleagues,

I’m excited to introduce the November issue of The New Gastroenterologist – the last edition of 2020 features a fantastic line-up of articles! As the year comes to a close, we reflect on what has certainly been an interesting year, defined by a set of unique challenges we have faced as a nation and as a specialty.

AGA Institute

Dr. Vijaya Rao

The fellowship recruitment season is one that has looked starkly different as interviews have converted to a virtual format. Dr. Wissam Khan, Dr. Nada Al Masalmeh, Dr. Stephanie Judd, and Dr. Diane Levine (Wayne State University) compile a helpful list of tips and tricks on proper interview etiquette in the new era of web-based interviews.

Financial planning in the face of a pandemic is a formidable task – Jonathan Tudor (Fidelity Investments) offers valuable advice for gastroenterologists on how to remain secure in your finances even in uncertain circumstances.

This quarter’s “In Focus” feature, written by Dr. Yutaka Tomizawa (University of Washington), is a comprehensive piece elucidating the role of gastroenterologists in the management of gastric cancer. The article reviews the individual risk factors that exist for gastric cancer and provides guidance on how to stratify patients accordingly, which is critical in the ethnically diverse population of the United States.

Keeping a procedure log during fellowship can seem daunting and cumbersome, but it is important. Dr. Houman Rezaizadeh (University of Connecticut) shares his program’s experience with the AGA Procedure Log, a convenient online tracking tool, which can provide accurate and secure documentation of endoscopic procedures performed throughout fellowship.

Dr. Nazia Hasan (North Bay Health Care) and Dr. Allison Schulman (University of Michigan) broach an incredibly important topic: the paucity of women in interventional endoscopy. Dr. Hasan and Dr. Shulman candidly discuss the barriers women face in pursuing this subspecialty and offer practical solutions on how to approach these challenges – a piece that will surely resonate with many young gastroenterologists.

We wrap up our first year of TNG’s ethics series with two cases discussing the utilization of cannabis therapy in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Dr. Jami Kinnucan (University of Michigan) and Dr. Arun Swaminath (Lenox Hill Hospital) systematically review existing data on the efficacy of cannabis use in IBD, the risks associated with therapy, and legal implications for both physicians and patients.

Also in this issue is a high-yield clinical review on the endoscopic drainage of pancreatic fluid collections by Dr. Robert Moran and Dr. Joseph Elmunzer (Medical University of South Carolina). Dr. Manol Jovani (Johns Hopkins) teaches us about confounding – a critical concept to keep in mind when evaluating any manuscript. Lastly, our DHPA Private Practice Perspectives article, written by Dr. Mehul Lalani (US Digestive), reviews how quality measures and initiatives are tracked and implemented in private practice.

If you have interest in contributing or have ideas for future TNG topics, please contact me (vijayarao@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu), or Ryan Farrell (rfarrell@gastro.org), managing editor of TNG.

Stay well,

Vijaya L. Rao, MD
Editor in Chief
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago, Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition

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