Mount Sinai Medical School
Medical Center Hospital of Vermont
Boston University Medical Center/Boston City Hospital
Barry Jaffin, MD
Why did you choose to specialize in gastroenterology?
While taking my first course in gastroenterology during my second year of medical school at Mount Sinai, I was intrigued that this specialty encompasses the need for excellent cognitive and diagnostic skills and keen eye-hand coordination since endoscopic procedures require all three attributes to make accurate diagnoses. Within the vast field of gastroenterology, while endoscopic procedures can yield a diagnosis in many patients, other diagnostic tests may be required to determine the cause of their symptoms. While in fellowship, I developed an interest in helping diagnose dysmotility issues, which involves evaluating the motility (peristalsis) of the GI tract.
What are your areas of special interest and expertise within gastroenterology?
Within the broad field of gastroenterology, I found myself drawn to several areas:
1) Disorders in which there are abnormalities in the motor or nerve function of the GI tract, which can affect the esophagus, stomach, small bowel, and colon. Symptoms include difficulty swallowing, heartburn, regurgitation, early satiety, nausea, and lower GI tract symptoms such as constipation, incomplete evacuation, diarrhea, and fecal incontinence. Diagnostic tests which I perform include high-resolution esophageal manometry and 24hr pH/ impedance testing, anorectal manometry, balloon expulsion test, hydrogen and methane breath tests, and Pillcam studies may help to elucidate a diagnosis and guide treatment.
2) Caring for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. I have been involved with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation since 1986 and served on their scientific board years ago. Now, I help guide patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease to understand and cope with their condition along with partnering with them to decide on treatment plans
3) Screening for colon cancer and Barrett’s esophagitis are essential aspects of gastroenterology to help prevent potentially life-threatening conditions.
Do you have any special honors, recognition, or achievements in your medical career that you would like to share?
- Humanitarian of the Year by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of New York
- Mount Sinai Teaching award given by the Department of Gastroenterology at Mount
- Assistant Clinical Professor at the Mount Sinai Medical Center
- Fellowship in the American College of Physicians (FACP) and Fellowship from the American Gastroenterology Association (AGAF)
- Lifetime award given by the Scleroderma Foundation
What do you and your family enjoy doing during your spare time?
For decades, I have enjoyed cycling, kayaking, boating, snowboarding, and skiing with my wife and son.