DDW highlights: 3 GI physicians on what excited them most

Three gastroenterologists share the most exciting things they learned or experienced at Digestive Disease Week this year.

Ask a Gastroenterologist is a weekly series of questions posed to GI physicians around the country on business and clinical issues affecting the field of gastroenterology. We invite all gastroenterologists to submit responses.

Next week's question: How do you think the trend towards consumer-driven healthcare will affect the GI field?   

Please submit responses to Carrie Pallardy at cpallardy@beckershealthcare.com by Wednesday, May 28, at 5 p.m. CST.

Larry Good, MD, FACG, founder, CEO Good Pharmaceutical Development, CEO, Compassionate Care Center of New York: The most exciting developments at DDW revolved around the new developments in IBD, especially the reporting of a novel agent for ulcerative colitis, a sphingosine I-phosphate receptor modulator. This agent was safe and effective in patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis with few side effects and is orally administered. There was also a continued interest in the microbiome as is it contributes to health and disease, metabolic syndrome, IBD and IBS.

Presentations on target cancer screening, confocal and chromoendoscopy are also important evolving developments. The maturation and complexity of hepatitis C treatment with multiple novel therapies was also of great interest.

Abraham R. Khan, MD, assistant professor, NYU Langone (New York): I have a very specialized interest in esophageal disease, but I would say the most exciting thing was hearing from an esophageal expert that: Assessing bolus transit and esophageal pressures while swallowing, currently done most often while the patient is awake with an intranasal catheter – we may eventually be able to do this adequately under sedation with new equipment that assesses distensibility and pressures in the esophagus.
Julie C. Servoss, MD, MPH, Medical Director, EMA Gastroenterology: I always enjoy attending Digestive Disease Week, and this year I particularly learned a lot at the American Gastroenterological Association Spring Post-Graduate Course. Highlights of the course included lectures on inflammatory bowel disease management and use of fecal transplant for refractory C. Difficile colitis.

Additionally, now that I attend not only as a physician but also as a vendor for a gastroenterology-specific electronic health record system, I see the conference from an entirely different perspective. Showing my colleagues the functionality of EMA Gastroenterology™ never ceases to elicit appreciation for the system's built-in workflow and ICD-10 capabilities. I've always felt DDW is a valuable experience, and now it has taken on an additional level of importance.

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