2017-06-07 12:56:05 UTC

Advice on Choosing Your GI Career Path

June 7, 2017

Your colleagues share their firsthand experience and advice about careers in academic medicine, teaching, research and regulatory science

GI experts have been sharing how they chose their career path and offering recommendations for early career GIs to find the path that best fits them. Here are some snippets from the discussion in the AGA Community’s Early Career Group forum. 

Academic Medicine

Academic medicine made sense for Avinash Ketwaroo, MD, chair of the AGA Trainee and Early Career GI committee, because he enjoys teaching others, having time for research and having institutional support for volunteer work. Dr. Ketwaroo recommends exploring different interests along the way to get a good feel for what you would like out of your career.

Clinical Educator

Members also have advice for those interested in focusing their career within academia to progress along academic milestones as an educator rather than a clinical researcher.

The clinician educator track is on the rise and many places have specific milestones to achieve along the way – including teaching commitments and publication. Dr. Ketwaroo suggests finding a mentor who has progressed along this path to get a better understanding of what to expect.

Elliot Tapper, MD, explains that milestones are relative to the track you are placed into and they vary – substantially – from place to place. Dr. Tapper suggests that your goals align with that of the chief’s to help ensure success. 

Considering which institutions have clinician educator pathways for promotions and what the criteria for promotions are on that pathway will help you succeed, according to Brijen Shah, MD. 


For Peter Liang, MD, MPH, the key to succeeding on the research path is to be passionate about your topic(s), enjoy reading and writing, and be able to accept constructive criticism and rejection. Research provides the opportunity to contribute to medical knowledge, advance the field of gastroenterology and become a recognized expert. 

Regulatory Science

The ability to work within the drug development process and help improve the access that pediatric patients have to new therapies drew Tara Altepeter, MD, to an alternate pathway of regulatory science. This path provides a balance between scientific interests, public health and working to improve access to new and exciting treatments to all patients. 

Do any of these examples ring true to your current path? The AGA Community Early Career Group forum is always open for your questions on the GI career path and next steps.

Share your story or ask your peers for their thoughts.