Waqqas Afif, M.D.
What attracted you to gastroenterology?
"I was attracted to gastroenterology because it is a unique subspecialty that encompasses the medical aspects of internal medicine, along with the opportunity to perform hands-on diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a rapidly evolving field within GI; and I wanted to be a part of the progress being made towards understanding and treating this complex disease."
What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for fellowship training?
"Mayo Clinic is a leader in the field of Gastroenterology, particularly in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I was excited by the possibility of completing my advanced training at an institution that is world renowned for both its research and clinical care in IBD. When I came for my interview, I was impressed by the program's commitment to ensure the fellows excel not only in clinical practice, but in research as well."
What makes the Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology Fellowship unique?
"Mayo Clinic is one of the largest referral centers for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in North America. Many of the leaders in the field of IBD are here at Mayo Clinic. The opportunity to see complex patients and learn from this group of IBD physicians is indeed quite unique."
Anything surprise you about Mayo's program?
"Above all, I was surprised by how down-to-earth everyone is here. The physicians who work here are internationally recognized names with very busy schedules; but they always take time to ensure that I am getting the most out of my fellowship experience."
What is living in Rochester like for you?
"To be honest, I come from a large metropolitan city and was a little worried about moving here with my family. I quickly realized that Rochester offers a multitude of family-oriented activities and most amenities are readily available. Whenever I need a taste of metropolitan living, I make the short trip to Minneapolis/St. Paul. I definitely do not miss my usual one-hour commute into work."
What does your future look like right now?
"My future looks quite bright. I will be working at an academic tertiary care center after completing my fellowship. The experience that I will receive at Mayo Clinic will provide me with the necessary tools to excel in my academic career."