John B. Kisiel, M.D.
What attracted you to gastroenterology?
"The symptoms of gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary diseases have a pervasive effect on a patient's quality of life. The clinical gastroenterologist influences the natural history of these diseases in both acute and chronic settings with a vast array of skills and tools - from targeted molecular or endoscopic therapies to palliative care and bedside counsel. I have benefitted from excellent mentors in gastroenterology and I, like them, plan to focus on patient-driven research questions. Most of all, I like the personalities of the other individuals drawn to the field."
What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for fellowship training?
"I came to Mayo for my residency and feel that the institution's patient-centered collaborative care model is unparalleled. Every employee puts the need of the patient first. As a training environment, program leadership is committed to perfecting the ideal ratio of education to service. Opportunities for career development in academic gastroenterology are abundant. The most challenging aspect of choosing a mentor here is saying ‘no' to multiple offers from the highly supportive staff."
What makes the Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology Fellowship unique?
"To my knowledge, the GI Neoplasia program at Mayo is unique. My curriculum is currently structured with equal amounts of clinical and research time. The subspecialty focused clinic system allows me to concentrate my clinical experience to outpatient areas (esophagus, pancreas, hepatobiliary neoplasia, colorectal neoplasia and IBD) with a high exposure to patients with GI malignancies. My goal is to generate new ideas for patient care or research by recognizing common themes across these diseases. The protected research time has given me the flexibility to develop several projects with short and long-term goals; and to take courses toward a Master's degree in clinical research."
My research interest is colorectal carcinogenesis and its prevention through the application of novel screening techniques, especially in high-risk patients, such as those with IBD. My projects are supported by established mentors with expertise in molecular biology, preventative medicine and IBD epidemiology. Outside of such a collaborative atmosphere, similar translational work would be much more difficult."
Anything surprise you about Mayo's program?
"The subspecialty clinic structure for outpatient education allows our fellows to draw immediately on the expertise of key faculty in that clinical area, while building and maintaining the long-term continuity relationship with the patient. I have been pleasantly surprised by the degree of autonomy which our fellows have in caring for our continuity patients. Despite that independence, I know that an expert GI clinician is at arm's length, whenever I want further guidance."
What is living in Rochester like for you?
"Rochester is a welcoming and diverse community. My wife is a child neurology fellow and we are raising a family in one of Rochester's many safe, quiet neighborhoods, with easy access to affordable childcare and excellent public schools. Trainees enjoy an outstanding standard-of-living in Rochester; most residents and fellows own their houses and there is excellent turnover in the real estate market."
What does your future look like right now?
"I feel increasingly well-prepared for a career in academic gastroenterology. Should I be so fortunate, I can easily envision myself staying at Mayo Clinic on staff, but I also know I will be well-trained and have the flexibility needed to succeed in other academic or private practice environments."