Distinguished Clinician Awards

Lawrence R. Schiller, MD, FACP, FACG

Digestive Health Associates of Texas, PA
Dallas, TX

The first of two Distinguished Clinician Awards honors Lawrence R. Schiller, MD, FACP, FACG, for exemplifying leadership and excellence in the practice of gastroenterology.

Dr. Schiller, founding member of the Digestive Health Associates of Texas, PA, is a highly experienced clinician. He is widely known as the go-to clinician for disorders of gastrointestinal motility, diarrhea, constipation and gastroparesis for the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. He has extensive academic experience studying gastrointestinal physiology, and is considered an expert in dysmotility. Dr. Schiller is highly appreciated among his peers for his ability to clarify seemingly complex situations and arrive at logical and practical solutions.

In addition to serving his patients, Dr. Schiller serves as director of the Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX, GI fellowship program for which he provides valuable expertise to fellows and colleagues. Dr. Schiller has twice been awarded with the GI Fellows Teaching Award, and is constantly singled out for his contributions to the program. Dr. Schiller also received this award twice in his previous position at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, Southwestern Medical School. Additionally, he chairs the Institutional Review Boards for Human Subject Protection at Baylor Research Institute, and also is a professor of medicine at Texas A&M College of Medicine, Dallas Campus.

Dr. Schiller has published a number of important articles in Gastroenterology, the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the New England Journal of Medicine, and has written substantive reviews and book chapters in the area of GI dysmotility. He continues to write reviews on diarrhea and constipation for several venues, including AGA’s Digestive Disease Self-Assessment Program, peer-reviewed journals and major textbooks. Dr. Schiller has served as President of the Texas Society for Gastroenterology and Endoscopy and the American College of Gastroenterology, and has been included in the “Best Doctors in America” listing seven times.

Dr. Schiller attended Pennsylvania State University, University Park, and completed a five-year joint program in medicine with Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. He graduated with his bachelors of science with highest distinction, and with his medical degree cum laude. He went on to complete his internship, residency and chief residency at Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. After service in the U.S. Army, Dr. Schiller completed a gastroenterology research fellowship at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Dallas.

Grace H. Elta, MD, AGAF

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Leadership and excellence in the practice of gastroenterology also define the second Distinguished Clinician Award honoree, Grace H. Elta, MD, AGAF.

Dr. Elta is a highly acclaimed, sought-after gastroenterologist who has served for more than 10 years as the medical director of the University of Michigan’s medical procedures unit (MPU) and associate chief of clinical programs. Under Dr. Elta’s leadership, the MPU is considered by many as a model for all endoscopy units in the nation today, largely due to her vision for providing care that is seamless, thoughtful and comprehensive. In recognition of her enormous contribution to clinical gastroenterology at the University of Michigan, she was awarded the Dean’s Outstanding Clinician Award in 2010.

Dr. Elta has achieved local and national recognition for her patient care and clinical research activities, particularly in the area of pancreatic and biliary disease and inflammatory bowel disease. She is consistently selected for “Best Doctors in America,” as well as Hour Detroit's “Best Doctors." Dr. Elta has published 85 peer-reviewed journal articles, with the most recent article appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012. She has also developed many of the current guidelines in regards to both training and determination of competence in the pancreaticobiliary arena.

Along with her skills as an outstanding clinician and investigator, Dr. Elta has been an outstanding educator and mentor, passionate about sharing her expertise with learners from students to expert colleagues. Over the past twenty years, she has given more than 200 lectures to all of the major medical societies at the university, nationally and internationally. Dr. Elta has been awarded the House Officer Teaching Award, Golden Enema Award and Excellence in Teaching Award, the latter two awards given by University of Michigan fellows for her constant professional support and dedication to teaching.

In additional to the countless committees she has served on at the university, Dr. Elta has had a profound impact at the national level. She has been an active member of the AGA for more than 20 years, and in 2012 was honored with the AGA Council Section Research Mentor Award. She has also held noteworthy positions at the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, where she served as its president from 2007 to 2008.

Dr. Elta received her undergraduate and medical education at the University of Michigan, where she also completed her medical internship. She went on to Tufts New England Medical Center, Boston, MA, for her medical residency and GI fellowship prior to returning to Ann Arbor in 1982 when she joined the University of Michigan’s GI faculty. She has remained at the University of Michigan for her entire career.