Elliot B. Tapper, MD
Assistant Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
AASLD Clinical Symposium
Preventing Hospitalizations for Populations with Decompensated Cirrhosis on Sunday
“Elements of Effective Interventions”
AGA Clinical Symposium
Alcoholic Liver Disease: Epidemiology, Pathogenesis and Treatment on Monday
“ALD: Epidemic in the Young”
Ann Arbor, MI
What inspired you to enter the gastroenterology field?
I have been hooked on hepatology since my first year of medical school. My inspiration was a patient awaiting a liver transplant for portopulmonary hypertension. She told me her story, how she developed liver failure, what it felt like for her and how her doctors helped her achieve her goals of care. I never looked back.
What was your first job and what did it teach you?
When I turned 16, I was a janitor at a car dealership. I learned the meaning and value of hard work, how to earn the respect of others by delivering on expectations and how to wash motor oil out of my hair.
What’s the most rewarding part of your career?
First is my Friday clinic. It’s everything I hoped for in academic medicine. I have tons of fun getting to know and take care of patients with liver disease and bouncing ideas off of my colleagues like Carrie Bergmans, PA-C, Hari Conjeevaram, MD, and Fred Askari, MD, PhD. Second is being an active part of the academic GI world. When I was an intern/resident, I read everything by and looked up to the superstars like Anna Lok, MD, Fasiha Kanwal, MD, MSHS, Michael Volk, MD, and Jasmohan Bajaj, MD. I have been so blessed with successes in my young career that I now find myself working closely with them.
Who has helped shaped your career the most?
Without question, I have had some of the best mentors on the planet but no one helped open more doors for me at a more crucial time in my career than Michelle Lai, MD. I am so indebted to her support and guidance that I will be paying it forward into my eighties.
If you could take one part of San Diego home with you, what would it be?
The perfect combination of warmth and breeze.
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