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I grew up in Mississippi, went to Vanderbilt University for undergraduate training, then went to medical school at the University of Mississippi in my hometown, Jackson. I travelled north to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, for training in internal medicine and gastroenterology, and I have remained here on staff. I am a Professor of Medicine and Head of the IBD Clinic. I am also the Director of the Mayo Foundation Office of Human Research Protection. I spend 80% of my time in clinical practice and 20% in clinical research.
- What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist/hepatologist?
- I spent a summer in medical school on a rotation in gastroenterology at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC, under Dr. Worth Boyce. I was dazzled by the challenges in gastroenterology.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- Dr Lloyd Bartholomew, a superb gastroenterologist at Mayo. Bart practiced first-rate medicine, he published new insights, and he was the patients' best advocate. He is also a good role model for retirement: he is vigorous, having fun, and he's in good shape.
- Which research paper influenced you the most?
- Summers RW, Switz DM, Sessions JT Jr, et al. National Cooperative Crohn's Disease Study: Results of drug treatment. Gastroenterology 1979; 77: 847. The study highlighted the potential for clinical trials in inflammatory bowel disease.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- Understanding comes from failure as well as success.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- I should have focused on IBD earlier in my career.
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To see the causes for IBD identified.
- What is your greatest regret?
- Despite the sophistication of current medicine, what I can actually do to heal the sick is pretty meager.
- How do you relax?
- Road bicycling. I go on long, fast rides with friends on country roads in Southeastern Minnesota.
- What is your favorite sport?
- What is your best place in the world?
- Maui, Hawaii. My wife, three children and I go there on vacations. We play vicious games of Scrabble and have lots of quality time together.
- What is your favorite film?
- Babette's Feast.
- What car do you drive?
- A 1972 VW Beetle.
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- The computer on my road bicycle.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- The Lexus and The Olive Tree.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- I enjoy working with Roy Pounder.