Shaheen receives mentor award

Nicholas Shaheen, MD, MPH, has been recognized for mentoring excellence by the American Gastroenterological Association.

Shaheen receives mentor award click to enlarge Dr. Nick Shaheen with Ashley Arrington, clinical research coordinator

Faculty physicians are the cornerstones of academic medicine, guiding the success of promising young trainees who advance the medicine field with research to become the future health care leaders of their communities. Nicholas Shaheen, MD, MPH, from the department of medicine’s division of gastroenterology and hepatology says success is not an easy road for trainees, who must be gifted in problem-solving, patient care and clinical reasoning. But trainees can achieve their goals when they have a supportive structure that breaks down a seemingly insurmountable task into smaller jobs they can do. For the faculty mentor, this process is highly rewarding.

“It’s easy for trainees to get discouraged or feel their goals won’t be realized, but by instructing them with honest but encouraging feedback, we get them to push themselves a little farther than they are comfortable,” said Shaheen who has received a mentor award from the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) for the research section “esophageal, gastric and duodenal disorders.” It recognizes his lifelong efforts at mentoring trainees and junior faculty in the study of diseases of the upper GI tract.

“We are developing the next generation of teachers and researchers. Seeing the aha moment-- the split second when something obscure becomes obvious, and the big smile that comes with it-- is the best part of it all.”

“Dr. Shaheen embodies the best in clinical practice and training,” said Dr. Ron Falk, chair of the department of medicine. “He’s created a world-class esophageal program that gives patients access to the most advanced care, enabling us to recruit top leaders in the field of esophageal disease, and he consistently models encouragement and successful performance in all that he does. This compass guides him as a mentor.”

As the the Bozymski-Heizer Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Shaheen’s research and clinical interests center on gastroesophageal reflux disease, and pre-cancerous and cancerous conditions of the esophagus. He is an author of the American Gastroenterological Association’s Guideline for the treatment of GERD, as well as the AGA Guideline for the treatment of Barrett’s esophagus, and senior associate editor of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.  Shaheen is also a member of the NIH’s Barrett’s Esophagus Translational Research Network, and the NCI’s Barrett’s Esophageal and Adenocarcinoma Consortium (BEACON).  

The AGA award will be presented to Shaheen during Digestive Disease Week in Washington, DC, scheduled for June 2-5, 2018.