Experience of a past Visiting IBD Fellow
Published: June 22, 2022
I was one of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's initial Visiting IBD Fellows in the spring of 2007. At the time of my rotation, I had already accepted a faculty position at Washington University to join one other IBD physician and conduct IBD research. The one month experience at Mount Sinai Hospital was amazing. I had the chance to work with inspiring luminaries in the field and focus all my attention on IBD care for one month. The Foundation had provided a collection of key IBD manuscripts and I read them all during that time.
My comfort level with complex IBD management rapidly improved and I felt in a much better place when I started my own IBD practice a few months later. Honestly, it's quite daunting to start your own IBD clinic at a tertiary care center where you are now serving as the second, third or even fourth opinion on a very complex case of IBD for a patient who is in great need. You need to feel like you really are the expert and could communicate that confidently to the patient because you're confident in your skills. The Visiting IBD Fellowship provided that for me.
Subsequently, I have dedicated my life to improving care for patients affected by IBD. I'm now the director of the IBD Center at Washington University were under my leadership we have grown to now have 11 IBD clinicians and a full comprehensive center, including an IBD dietitian and G.I. health psychologist. We've also expanded our research portfolio and have been among the top recipients of IBD related research funding from both the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation as well as the NIH over the course of the last 13 years.
The visiting IBD Fellowship had a profound impact on my life by inspiring me to be the best possible IBD clinician and to advance the care and science of IBD. Today, I'm very proud that the Washington University IBD Center of excellence is now recognized by the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation as an exceptional site for visiting IBD Fellows ourselves.
Applications for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation IBD Visiting Fellowship Program open December 2022 for the 2023-2024 program. Click here to learn more.
Dr. Matthew Ciorba is the Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.