Victor G. Chedid, M.D., M.S.

What moment or experience in your life influenced your decision to be a clinician?

From my earliest days in Lebanon, I was captivated by the unwavering dedication of my uncle, a pediatrician whose passion for his patients and their families knew no bounds. I vividly recall observing him with a smile on his face as he provided compassionate care, making a profound difference in his patients' lives. Witnessing the power of this human connection — the ability to connect with patients in ways unique to a clinician — left an indelible mark on my heart. The impact he had on their lives, as well as the joy he derived from serving others, was an incredible inspiration as I embarked on my own career journey.

What motivated you to become a Kern Health Care Delivery Scholar?

The Kern Scholar Program presents an ideal opportunity for me to reach the next stage of my career as an independent and externally grant-funded researcher in LGBTQ+ health and gastroenterology.

I developed and now lead the first clinic in the country that serves the unique needs of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who have diverse sexualities and gender identities or identify as LGBTQ+. While the IBD Pride Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota is a good start in improving clinical care access, there are very few initiatives and publications that address the unique needs of patients with IBD who identify as LGBTQ+. It is therefore critical to identify the gaps in care for this marginalized population in order to improve care delivery and reduce health inequities.

The Kern Scholar Program will allow me the opportunity to further this understanding using mixed research methodology. It will generate a solid foundation to successfully secure future funding to serve this community and to develop my skills as a health disparities expert.

What is your focus and goal as a scholar within the Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery?

My proposal aims to determine the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals diagnosed with IBD. LGBTQ+ adults in the United States often face higher rates of discrimination in healthcare settings, leading to delay or avoidance of the care they need due to fears of stigma.

My team hypothesizes that implicit and explicit heterosexism and transphobia in society and many healthcare systems cause elevated stress for LGBTQ+ patients with IBD, leading to delays in care and poor outcomes. People with IBD may be diagnosed at young ages, often around the age they are coming to terms with their gender identity and sexual orientation. This additional stress can contribute to comorbid depression and anxiety, which may lead to poor IBD-related outcomes.

My team proposes to identify the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals with IBD through a mixed-method approach, using community-based participatory research and human-centered design principles. We will use qualitative and quantitative methods to determine gaps in the care of LGBTQ+ individuals with IBD. In the course of our work, we will describe IBD severity and identify ways to measure:

  • Patient-reported outcomes.
  • Mental health.
  • Sexual function.
  • Perceived stress.

Our study will be the first of its kind to characterize the needs of LGBTQ+ people with IBD and will generate findings critical to improving the care of this population. It will provide the foundation needed for future funding to study the critical needs and gaps in care of LGBTQ+ patients with IBD. It will generate hypotheses for future research and provide insights to improve delivery of care to this marginalized population.

Tell us about your mentoring team.

My mentorship team during my tenure as a Kern Health Care Delivery Scholar includes:

  • Sean Phelan, Ph.D., my primary mentor, is the section head of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the Division of Health Care Delivery Research. Dr. Phelan is an expert in health equity, studying the effect of stigma on marginalized populations from within the center's Diversity Science Program. His mentorship will be crucial in helping me develop the proper methodology to study the effects of healthcare stigma on the LGBTQ+ patient population and design interventions to address the stigma. Dr. Phelan is also an expert in qualitative research, which is an essential part of my research proposal.
  • Laura E. Raffals, M.D., will provide content mentorship. Dr. Raffals is the co-director of the IBD translational research program at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota. Through her mentorship, I will have access to Mayo's well-structured IBD clinical research program, which includes access to large patient databases and IBD research coordinators. I have worked closely with Dr. Raffals on several research projects since I was a gastroenterology fellow and continue to collaborate with her in the IBD research space.
  • Caroline J. Davidge-Pitts, M.B., B.Ch., will provide content mentorship. Dr. Davidge-Pitts is an endocrinologist and the medical director of Mayo's Transgender and Intersex Specialty Care Clinic.
  • Lindsey M. Philpot, Ph.D., M.P.H., will provide methodology mentorship. Dr. Philpot is an epidemiologist and a health services researcher whose work focuses on the design, optimization and implementation of care delivery models.

How will your research transform or improve patient care or affect public health?

My project will be the first study of its kind to characterize the needs of the LGBTQ+ population with IBD. The results of this study will improve the care of individuals with IBD who identify as LGBTQ+.

The community-based participatory research concept and human-centered design are innovative ways of engaging underrepresented minorities in research and clinical care pertinent to them. This is an innovative approach in IBD research that has not been used before in this patient population.

Furthermore, by establishing a prospective cohort, my research will serve as a foundation for future studies that can help address unanswered questions, such as:

  • Key aspects of LGBTQ+-specific education for healthcare professionals to improve IBD outcomes.
  • Optimal surgical care for transgender individuals with IBD.
  • The effects of gender-affirming hormone therapy on IBD.
  • Best practices for receptive anal intercourse for patients who have had ileoanal anastomosis surgery, commonly called J-pouch surgery.

My team will use qualitative and quantitative methods to determine gaps in care of individuals with IBD who identify as LGBTQ+ and describe IBD clinical phenotypes and disease severity. We also will describe important measures of patient reported outcomes, mental health, sexual function and perceived stress.

There is a critical need to identify and study the needs and gaps in care for patients with IBD who identify as LGBTQ+ in order to provide high-quality, tailored and welcoming clinical care.

Why did you choose Mayo Clinic to pursue your career?

When I first came to Mayo Clinic for my gastroenterology fellowship interview, it was clear to me that this is the institution where I wanted to pursue my training and continue my career as a gastroenterologist. The Mayo Clinic approach of putting the needs of the patients at the forefront of its three shields of research, clinical care and education resonated well with my values and purpose.

Mayo Clinic has a strong emphasis on research and innovation. Furthermore, Mayo fosters a collaborative culture that encourages teamwork, interdisciplinary collaboration and a patient-centered approach. This collaborative environment is very appealing to me. My colleagues and I work in a supportive and inclusive setting where we can exchange ideas and learn from each other. This provides a fertile environment for junior clinicians like me to thrive and think out of the box to advance healthcare delivery for all patients.

Tell us three words that describe you.

Compassionate, advocate, educator.

Outside of work, what is one thing you like to do?

I enjoy going to musicals and concerts.