DEST 2017 - Taipei

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I had the privilege this past July to travel to Taipei to participate in discussing advanced endoscopy cases at the 4th annual International Taiwan-Japan forum with colleagues for Taiwan, Japan, and Thailand at DEST 2017. Special thanks to Dr. Hsiu-Po Wang NTU Hospital Director of Endoscopy for having me. There's so much to learn from international colleagues about how experiences with certain diseases vary tremendously given the local patient population and available resources. It is fascinating how techniques also differ from country to country as trusted experts are not always those we tend to see and hear most often from our home countries. 

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Learn more about DEST 2017 here:

Starting an advanced endoscopy fellowship at Jefferson Health

For the upcoming year, I will be pursuing further specialization in medical training in an advanced endoscopy fellowship program at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals/Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, PA. I'll be learning how to perform procedures of therapeutic endoscopy, including how to perform endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) for the treatment of complicated gallstone disease, and diagnosis and treatment of complications of biliary/pancreatic cancer. Other areas in my training also include enteral stenting and endoscopic suturing. Looking forward to a great year!

Completing GI fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital

Today we celebrated the culmination of an incredible three-year fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School at our graduation ceremony and dinner. I couldn't have done it without my amazing co-fellows and program leadership: our program director Dr. Stephen Wright and associate program director Dr. Molly Perencevich. Special shoutout to the best program coordinator, Clayton Bemis (not pictured).

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Walter Kim, Dr. Andrew Storm, Dr. Stephen Wright, me, Dr. Lawrence Borges, Dr. Molly Perencevich, Dr. Navin Kumar.

Public Health Leadership Concentration completed

The Public Health Leadership concentration at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health was truly an eye-opening experience learning about health economics, health care communication, social entrepreneurship, public narrative, and even a course taught on leadership by former Gov. of Kentucky, Steve Beshear. Most importantly, I had a great time meeting other future public health leaders through this program!

6th Annual Harvard vs. Yale Endoscopy Course

Had a blast learn from Harvard and Yale endoscopy experts who battled it out at this year's Harvard vs. Yale Endoscopy course in historic Newport, RI. 

If you're interested in attending in the future, find out more about the course here.

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Pictured left to right: Dr. Austin Chiang, Dr. Jessica Allegretti, Dr. Taha (Sonny) Qazi, Dr. John Saltzman, Dr. Lawrence Borges.

Flexible Endoscopic Surgery & Bariatric Endoscopy Course 2017

Had an incredible time learning about the latest in flexible endoscopic surgery and bariatric endoscopy course at the legendary Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, FL. Most importantly, I had the distinct joy of spending it with so many of my fellow Brigham and Women's Hospital Developmental Endoscopy lab members, led by Dr. Christopher Thompson. 

Keep an eye out for next year's course at!

Pictured left to right: Dr. Marvin Ryou, Dr. Nitin Kumar, Dr. Phillip Ge, Dr. Matthew Skinner, Dr. Austin Chiang, Dr. Christopher Thompson, Dr. Pichamol Jirapinyo, Dr. Allison Schulman, Dr. Mustafa Huseini, Dr. Wasif Abidi.

Follow the Association for Bariatric Endoscopy on Twitter!

The Association for Bariatric Endoscopy (ABE) is new a division of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). The new organization seeks to provide state-of-the-art information to support gastrointestinal endoscopists in the growing field of bariatric endoscopy. The field of bariatric endoscopy refers to both novel endoscopic techniques that serve as minimally-invasive alternatives to bariatric surgery, as well as the care for patients who have failed weight loss despite bariatric surgery.

If you are a healthcare professional and ASGE member, join ABE today at

For the latest news from ABE, click here to follow the official Twitter account at @ABEBariatric!

ACG Update Newsletter "GI Five" Feature (December 2015 Issue)

Check out the latest ACG Update Newsletter from December 2015 for my "GI Five" feature Q&A along with future co-fellow Dr. Allison Yang (currently of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN) where we discuss social media and gastroenterology at this year's #ACG2015 conference in Honolulu, HI.

#HCSM: Medical Education

Scroll down for the final entry of this 6-part blog series on Healthcare and Social Media!

  1. #HCSM Series: Listen Up Medical Providers
  2. #HCSM Series: Keeping It Professional
  3. #HCSM Series: For The Patients
  4. #HCSM Series: Public Health Impact
  5. #HCSM Series: Industry and the FDA
  6. #HCSM Series: Shaping Medical Education

While social media has directly impacted public health by serving as a tool to inform and bring together the general public, further indirect public health benefits of social media may lie in applications such as medical education.

As social media practices continue to be adopted by upcoming generations, providers in training are also increasingly familiar with this medium as a way of receiving and disseminating information. Purdue University has harnessed this method of teaching using an application named "Hotseat," which allows both students and instructors to take turns at being "in the hotseat." Students and teachers engage across tweets and SMS texts, as seen in the following video: 

Increasingly, social media practices such as tweeting and blogging are become more encouraged in medical schools as part of a general movement to encourage students to write and reflect - the intention being to create more introspective, well-rounded, thoughtful doctors. In fact, more blogging was shown to correlate with better grades, though this might not necessarily mean better doctoring (Better bedside manner? Better fund of knowledge?).  

One fourth year humanities course at Penn State College of Medicine sought to capitalize on social media as a learning tool. Twitter was used to introduce discussion topics and students working on research projects could easily communicate and obtain real-time feedback from their instructors. Instructor feedback highlighted how the 140-character limit encouraged brevity and how by infiltrating pop culture, there was noticeably heightened interest and participation. In addition, YouTube was used to supplement teaching materials. Skype was used to conduct conference call with experts.

Perhaps time will tell whether the implementation of social media in medical education will create better doctors. What is almost certain is that medical education as a field is highly dynamic and highly variable depending on instructor and material taught. As teaching methods modernize, social media will inevitably find its way into classrooms and shape how doctors are trained in the foreseeable future. 

#HCSM: Industry & The FDA

#HCSM: Industry & The FDA

Scroll down for the fifth entry of this 6-part blog series on Healthcare and Social Media!

  1. #HCSM Series: Listen Up Medical Providers
  2. #HCSM Series: Keeping It Professional
  3. #HCSM Series: For The Patients

  4. #HCSM Series: Public Health Impact

  5. #HCSM Series: Industry and the FDA
  6. #HCSM Series: Shaping Medical Education

Studies have shown that 60% of Americans turn to the internet for medical advice. It's obvious how social media naturally seems like another method pharmaceutical companies can quickly and easily advertise to consumers. Are pharmaceutical companies alone in trying to tap into our unconscious? Would you be surprised if I told you that you could be inadvertently perpetuating such behavior?  

Image credit: Public domain photo

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