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Priya Jamidar Honored With ASGE Master Endoscopist Award

March 12, 2024
by Serena Crawford

Priya Jamidar, MBChB, FACG, FASGE, professor of medicine (digestive diseases) and former director of Endoscopy at Yale School of Medicine (YSM), was selected for the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) Master Endoscopist Award. The honor is given to clinicians recognized nationally and internationally for their expertise and contributions to the practice of gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy.

With this recognition, Jamidar joins a small group of endoscopists who have contributed significantly to the field. “I’m honored and humbled to be amongst that company,” he said.

A Passion for Endoscopy

Jamidar was introduced to endoscopy as a medical resident. “The first time I saw a procedure, I was hooked,” he said. “I was drawn to the combination of using both your hands and your brain.”

Jamidar’s passion for endoscopy grew after he witnessed the procedure's impact on patients’ lives. “In addition to detecting disease, endoscopy can be used to treat conditions,” he said. “For example, removal of a stone in the bile duct that’s causing a blockage, infection, pancreatitis, or disability, as well as palliation of gastrointestinal cancers, removal of polyps, pre-cancerous growths, or early cancer growths.”

At YSM, Jamidar has trained numerous fellows in endoscopy and advanced endoscopy and participated in multiple seminars and live workshops. Throughout his career, he has directed more than 100 continuing medical education (CME) programs, teaching endoscopy to numerous physicians in the community. From 2004–2024, together with Harry Aslanian, MD, professor of medicine (digestive diseases), Jamidar founded and developed the Yale Advanced Endoscopy Program, currently one of the busiest in New England. With five advanced endoscopists, the program sees patients referred by gastroenterologists and physicians throughout Connecticut and other states.

Overseas, Jamidar has helped set up endoscopic infrastructure in Kenya and taught physicians in the country how to perform advanced endoscopy. He has also been involved in endoscopic education in China, Turkey, and India.

Mastering a Complex Procedure

Primarily interested in advanced endoscopy, Jamidar is one of the most experienced practitioners in the world. He has graciously and humbly dedicated himself to mastering endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), a complex procedure used to treat disorders of the bile duct and pancreas, Aslanian said.

“ERCP provides challenges and risk, as it can lead to pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, just from touching the ampulla, the drainage valve of the bile duct and pancreas,” Aslanian said. “Dr. Jamidar has shared his expertise with fellows for more than three decades, advanced the field with his research, and helped numerous patients by performing over 17,000 ERCP procedures.”

Uzma Siddiqui, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine and internationally recognized endoscopy specialist, benefited from Jamidar’s experience for more than seven years when she was an advanced endoscopy fellow and faculty member at Yale.

“While he is an expert endoscopist and master of ERCP, his willingness to share his knowledge with his trainees, his colleagues at Yale and beyond, including his home country of Kenya, is what truly makes him a master endoscopist,” she said.

Making Endoscopy Globally Accessible

Endoscopy has grown in the past several decades, and many procedures done endoscopically today were performed surgically 20 or 30 years ago, with extended hospital stays, and increased complications and morbidity. “With endoscopy, these procedures require very little recovery time, and patients often go home the same day,” Jamidar said.

As the specialty continues to evolve and new technologies emerge, Jamidar plans to further develop his skills and expertise to provide the best possible patient care while continuing to conduct training and outreach, both locally and globally.

“There are a million and a half ERCP procedures done worldwide, and about half of them are performed in the U.S.,” Jamidar said. “By teaching this one procedure to physicians in other parts of the world and addressing this underserved area of need, we can have a huge impact.”

Jamidar will be presented with the ASGE Master Endoscopist Award during the Crystal Awards Gala, in Washington, D.C., on May 19, 2024.

Since forming one of the nation’s first sections of hepatology more than 75 years ago and then gastroenterology nearly 70 years ago, Yale School of Medicine’s Section of Digestive Diseases has had an enduring impact on research and clinical care in gastrointestinal and liver disorders. To learn more, visit Digestive Diseases.

Submitted by Serena Crawford on March 08, 2024