AGA’s comprehensive educational program at DDW® 2017 offers an array of options for gastroenterologists at all career stages, from established GI docs to trainees just getting started in the field.

Avinash Ketwaroo, MD

Avinash Ketwaroo, MD

Avinash Ketwaroo, MD, who chairs the AGA Trainee and Early Career Committee, said the educational and networking options at DDW for trainees and early career GIs have greatly expanded.

“When you are starting out, there are a lot of pressures — financial pressures, life pressures,” said Ketwaroo, assistant professor of gastroenterology at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. “This is the time you need mentors, advice and support. That’s why we created a unique program for our trainees and early career GIs.”

One of the first highlights on the schedule is the annual AGA Postgraduate Course The Full Scope of GI Advances, which begins with a full day of programming on Saturday, May 6, and concludes with a half day of programming on Sunday, May 7. Expert presenters will examine the newest surgical and medical advances in the field as well as emerging technology trends.

The always-popular Advancing Clinical Practice Symposium GI Fellow-Directed Quality Improvement Projects was created by new GIs, for new GIs, and will be presented by new GIs. The Sunday session will feature five cutting-edge presentations and 20 posters, each describing a project conceived and led by GI fellows that demonstrates strategies and methodologies that can be adapted to nearly any practice site.

Monday, May 8, is another big day for young GIs. During the Career and Professional Related Issues session, three expert presenters will review strategies for building a successful academic career as a clinician investigator or basic researcher, navigating changes in private practices, and developing skills to enhance work-life balance.

The annual Board Review Course will be held Monday afternoon at DDW. Based on the latest edition of AGA’s Digestive Diseases Self-Education Program® (DDSEP-8), the course is a primer for third-year fellows preparing for their Board exams. It’s also popular with more experienced GIs preparing for recertification.

The AGA program also features several sessions related to the microbiome.

“The microbiome is and will continue to be an important topic in gastroenterology,” Dr. Ketwaroo said. “For new GIs, this is an easy opportunity to remain on the cutting edge of an area that is likely to be a major part of your career.”

Not sure what is in the microbiome? More than bacteria, as attendees will learn during Sunday’s Microbiome Active Learning Session, sponsored by the AGA Center for Gut Microbiome Research and Education. Dozens of attendees have volunteered to provide stool samples for shotgun sequencing to reveal all of their commensal microbes, bacteria, fungi, viruses, archaea and more.

During another Sunday session sponsored by the AGA microbiome center, A Clinician’s Guide to FMT: Practical Advances and Challenges, presenters will discuss the practicalities of fecal microbiota transplant and introduce AGA’s new FMT registry.