Functional GI and Motility Disorders Clinic

The Functional GI and Motility Disorders Clinic at UNC Hospitals is the premier site, both nationally and internationally, for referral of patients with functional GI and motility disorders (FGID). The clinic’s unique multi-disciplinary, patient-centered approach integrates medical, physiological and psychological factors in the evaluation, understanding and treatment of patients with these disorders. The clinic also serves as a leading tertiary referral site for patients who have difficult-to-diagnose illnesses or challenging disease/disorder management issues. The clinic’s services and educational activities have expanded over the last few years. Clinical providers include Yehuda Ringel, MD, Yolanda Scarlett, MD, Spencer Dorn, MD, MPH, Danielle Maier, PA-C, and Robin Denver, RN.


On some afternoons, the clinic is also staffed with a Fellow (gastroenterologist in training), who is supervised by an attending physician. The Center’s clinical personnel are also routinely involved with consulting on patients at UNC Hospitals with severe functional GI or motility disorders and with physicians who call for advice regarding their patients. The clinic often has visiting gastroenterologists and trainees from other states and countries who are interested in learning more about the clinical approach, diagnosis and treatment of FGID patients. They also learn how to improve their interviewing and patient skills (see Visiting Scholars).


Clinic Providers

Yehuda Ringel, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Associate Director of the UNC Center for FGIMD. Dr. Ringel has been involved with clinical and research of FGIMD more than 15 years. Dr. Ringel is committed to clinical work as a gastroenterologist specializing in FGIMD and research aiming to increase the understanding of these disorders and development of new treatments for patients with these disorders. Dr. Ringel's clinic is a tertiary referral site for patients with complicated and difficult to treat upper GI disorders (e.g., nausea, vomiting, gastroparesis, and functional dyspepsia), lower GI disorders (chronic constipation, diarrhea and IBS) and generalized motility disorders (e.g., functional abdominal pain, abdominal bloating and chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction). Dr. Ringel has been the principal investigator on numerous clinical trials investigating the etiologies, pathophysiological mechanisms, psychosocial aspects, and treatments of these disorders. Dr. Ringel’s clinical and research work have been recognized nationally and internationally and he is frequently invited to share his experience at leading universities, academic hospitals, and professional and scientific meetings. He was recently appointed as a member of the Education Committee of the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANMS). He is a Fellow of the American Gastroenterology Association (AGAF) and the American College of Gastroenterology (FACG). He is also a recipient of  career development and research awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Functional Brain-Gut Research Group (FBG), American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) and the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG).

 

Spencer Dorn, MD, MPH is a gastroenterologist who focuses on functional GI and motility disorders. Through his four-year fellowship at UNC he completed advanced training in functional gastroenterology (under Dr. Drossman). Additionally, through an American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society fellowship he completed advanced training in gastrointestinal motility.  Dr. Dorn is also Director of the GI Clinic at UNC Hospital.

 

Danielle Maier, PA-C , is a Physician Assistant that has worked in Functional bowel and motililty at UNC for 9 years. Ms. Maier is seeing patients with Dr. Yehuda Ringel, supervising physician, and Dr. Yolanda Scarlett at the UNC FGIMD Clinic two half clinic days a week. She also has her own clinic two half days a week, seeing both new patients and returns. Her patient population includes those with motility disorders, constipation, nausea and vomiting, gastroparesis, SIBO, pelvic floor dyssynergia, etc. She read and interprets anorectal manometries and hydrogen breath tests (lactose intolerance, small bowel bacterial overgrowth, and Helicobacter pylori breath tests) for UNC Hospitals. She has also been involved in clinical research with Dr. Ringel for 9 years.