Letter from the Editor

Special IBD-themed issue


Dear Colleagues,

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is becoming an increasingly important part of GI practice and it is certainly an exciting time to be involved in the field. While new IBD therapeutics often get most of the attention, there are many other issues surrounding IBD care that are important for all of us. This special IBD-themed issue of The New Gastroenterologist provides expert opinions addressing some of these other, important issues that are critical to both the care of IBD patients and the development of an effective IBD practice.

Bryson W. Katona, MD, PHD

First, as health maintenance should always be part of routine IBD care, Karen Chachu (Duke University) provides an overview of the pertinent health maintenance issues to consider when caring for IBD patients. Another hot topic in the field is drug-level monitoring which has become an increasingly important tool when deciding whether to adjust or change IBD therapies. Konstantinos Papamichael and Adam Cheifetz (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) provide an overview of the basics of drug-level monitoring for both anti-TNFs as well as thiopurines which contains useful algorithms that will help guide the process of making these treatment decisions.

In this issue of The New Gastroenterologist, we also have several articles that will be very helpful to those who either have or are developing a practice with a significant IBD focus. First, Douglas Wolf (Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates) discusses the steps necessary to build a successful IBD practice, and, additionally, Nitin Gupta (University of Mississippi Medical Center) provides some useful tips to help physicians start collaborations with industry.

As MACRA looms over us all, it is only a matter of time before we will all have to firmly understand its intricacies. The implementation of MACRA and MIPS will undoubtedly affect quality measures in IBD and to help all of us understand the complexities of this issue, Ryan McConnell and Fernando Velayos (University of California, San Francisco) provide an overview of quality measures in IBD. Finally, although treatment, monitoring, and quality are all important in the care of IBD patients, so also are the relationships that we develop with our IBD patients. To give us input on this topic from a patient perspective, a group of IBD patients from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America address what we as physicians can do to enhance our doctor-patient relationships.

If you want to read The New Gastroenterologist “on the go,” please download our free app, or read our electronic version on www.mdedge.com/gihepnews or www.gastro.org. Additionally, if you have other topics you would be interested in reading about, or if you are interested in contributing to future issues, please e-mail me at bryson.katona@uphs.upenn.edu or The New Gastroenterologist’s managing editor Ryan Farrell at rfarrell@gastro.org.


Bryson W. Katona, MD, PhD


Bryson W. Katona is an instructor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology at the University of Pennsylvania

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