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At the group’s annual Digestive Disease Week conference in San Diego, Kim Isaacs, MD, PhD, was recognized with the American Gastroenterological Association’s Distinguished Clinician Award.

Kim Isaacs, MD, PhD

The annual award is given to a physician who “combines the art of medicine with the skills required by the scientific body of knowledge in service to patients.”


According to Nicholas Shaheen, MD, MPH, chair, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Issacs certainly fits those criteria.

“Kim is the consummate clinician,” he wrote in nominating Isaacs for the award. “She has a tremendous fund of knowledge about general gastroenterology, and especially with respect to her area of interest – inflammatory bowel disease – she is the ‘go-to’ source clinicians across the Carolinas turn to for consultations on the management and treatment of IBD.”

Isaacs, co-director of UNC’s Multidisciplinary Center for IBD Research and Treatment, is a leading clinician and researcher in the field of IBD care, serving in many national leadership roles including with the AGA.

Her clinical skill has been recognized with multiple awards, including being named a Premiere Physician by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, and as one of “America’s Best Doctors” for many years running.

At UNC, 100 percent of her patients responded “Yes, definitely” to the question of whether or not they would recommend her to friends and family.

“Dr. Isaacs spends quality time with me and really explains the ins and outs of my treatment, medication, and labs. I appreciate her time and professional, yet kind, manner. She’s truly a wonderful doctor and person,” one patient said.

Isaacs completed internship, residency, chief residency and fellowship at UNC. She joined the UNC GI faculty in 1991, and for 10 years served as GI Fellowship director. She has been recognized as an outstanding teacher, mentoring many trainees. Shaheen describes her as an “uncommonly gifted communicator and teacher.”

“In short, I can think of no more deserving person for recognition by the Distinguished Clinician Award than Kim Isaacs. She is a star doctor, an exemplary clinician-educator, and a wonderful human being,” he said.

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