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Lawrence Friedman is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a Physician in the Gastrointestinal Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA, where he is Chief of the Walker Bauer Firm on the Medical Service. He attended Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he received his BA and MD degree. He completed residency in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1981, and a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1984, the latter under Kurt J Isselbacher, MD. From 1984 to 1993 he was a member of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, where he served as Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine and House Staff Program Director under Willis C Maddrey, MD. In 1993 he returned to the Gastrointestinal Unit of the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has been a councilor and treasurer of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE); a councilor of the Association of Subspecialty Professors (ASP); Chair of the GI Training Directors Committee, ASGE Committee on Training, and GI Core Curriculum Project; co-Editor of GI MKSAP, 2nd edition; Chair of the Sub-Council on Accreditation and Curriculum of the ASP; and member of the American Board of Internal Medicine, Subspecialty Board of Gastroenterology. He has directed several national courses, published many textbook chapters and reviews, edited nine books and is a co-editor of the seventh edition of Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
- My father had a colon cancer at a young age (55). I was also influenced by the stimulating faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins, including Tom Hendrix, Ted Bayless, Will Maddrey, Dick Johannes, and Frank Herlong.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- Willis Maddrey.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- The work of Kurt Isselbacher; he was (and still is) a mentor in research, clinical practice, and teaching.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- Always doubt today's truth; it may be tomorrow's fallacy.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- Giving up running.
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To have an endowed chair.
- What is your greatest regret?
- Not pursuing a Master's in Public Health degree.
- How do you relax?
- Reading, dining out with my wife, playing ball with my son, playing with my dogs: Spike and Chomper.
- What is your favorite sport?
- Basketball (with fond memories of the glory days of the Boston Celtics).
- What is your best place in the world?
- Home and Hawaii (not necessarily in that order).
- What is your favorite film?
- The Wizard of Oz.
- What car do you drive?
- A Honda Accord.
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- My Mac G3.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- The chance to collaborate with great colleagues and friends.