Letter from the Editor

New year, new hopes


Dear colleagues,

I’m pleased to introduce the winter edition of The New Gastroenterologist – the first issue of 2021! The start of the new year has been very much anticipated because many hope that this year will bring some resolution to the challenges we faced in 2020.

Dr. Vijaya Rao

With the pandemic came the widespread use of telemedicine, a feature of patient care that is likely here to stay. As physicians, it is imperative that we understand the legal implications of virtual medicine. Experienced medical malpractice lawyers Ashton Hyde and Grace Johnson (Younker Hyde Macfarlane) offer advice on this rapidly evolving realm of medicine.

Early career gastroenterologists often fall victim to self-doubt in a phenomenon referred to as impostor syndrome. Dr. Kimberly Brown (Wayne State University) discusses this important topic: what it is, how to recognize it, and how to mitigate it. One way to temper the effects of impostor syndrome is utilizing the art of coaching. Dr. Ami N. Shah (Rush) takes us through her journey and reviews the personal and professional benefits of implementing coaching in medicine.

Consults about feedings tubes can be daunting because experience with the placement and management of feeding tubes can be limited during training. This quarter’s “In Focus” article, written by Dr. John Fang and Dr. Gregory Toy (University of Utah) reviews the indications for placement, type of tubes available, and common complications and how to troubleshoot them. This is an absolute must-read for any new gastroenterologist.

How do you approach the patient who shows up for an open access endoscopy, but a quick chart review leads you to the realization that the procedure, is in fact, not indicated? There tends to be a lot of inertia which prevents cancellation of cases like this because the patient is already in the endoscopy suite, prepped, and has planned for this procedure in the preceding weeks or months. Dr. Laurel R. Fisher (University of Pennsylvania) unpacks the ethical considerations of this familiar scenario in this fantastic addition to our ethics case series.

In our postfellowship pathways section, Dr. Rena Yadlapati (University of California San Diego) and Dr. Kelli DeLay (University of Colorado) guide us through the path to becoming an esophagologist. In the DHPA Private Practice Perspectives article this quarter, Dr. Nadeem Baig (Allied Digestive Care) and Kevin Harlen (Capital Digestive Care) explain how clinical productivity is measured and how this translates into compensation in practice.

A silver lining of the pandemic is the way in which social media has been used to connect colleagues around the world in fostering medical education. Dr. Sultan Mahmood (State University of New York at Buffalo), Dr. Atoosa Rabiee (Washington DC VA Medical Center), Dr. Sunil Amin (University of Miami), Dr. Allon Kahn (Mayo Clinic Scottsdale), and Dr. Ijlal Akbar Ali (University of Oklahoma) discuss the inception of @GIJournal, a Twitter-based online journal club, and how it has gained popularity in recent months.

The AGA launched a new podcast, “Small Talk, Big Topics,” geared toward trainees and early career gastroenterologists, and through a brief question and answer session, we get to know the hosts: Dr. Matthew Whitson (Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra-Northwell), Dr. Nina Nandy (Presbyterian Medical Group), and Dr. C.S. Tse (Brown University).

Lastly, I’d like to take a moment to recognize Lora McGlade, who has been instrumental in The New Gastroenterologist as the Medical Communications Editor for our publisher, Frontline. She assumed a new role at the end of last year, and I cannot thank her enough for her contributions in making this publication a success.

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
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago, Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition

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