ASGE has served as the foundation for most of my academic and clinical work during my career. The technology development, which is supported, published and emphasized through ASGE, has served as the basis for many of my activities. Virtually all of my goals and objectives have been drawn from principles clearly outlined through ASGE. Everything from the development of therapeutic endoscopy training, initiating a Provincial quality colonoscopy program and day to day practice have been drawn from ASGE Guidelines. Most of my research has been endoscopy related in keeping with advanced endoscopy quality of care.
So, this award, to me, demonstrates that I have disseminated the information broadly. The award is great, however, the recognition that I have distributed information from ASGE that is critical to patient care; thereby elevating patient and endoscopist care, is perhaps the greatest gift that ASGE could offer me. The last 10 years I have turned down various academic opportunities with the sole goal of emphasizing quality of care in my own Province. I had long felt that emphasizing many quality aspects abroad, while having marginal care in my own ‘house’ was not appropriate. So this award from ASGE is highly appreciated as it recognizes me not only as a clinical scientist and as an ambassador for ASGE, but also somebody who emphasized the principles of ASGE in every aspect of patient care.
My mentors had always emphasized the ASGE principles and network as critical to success. My early mentors emphasized following the guidelines, becoming involved in various committees and working groups and research in the area. Early on in my career, I may not have recognized the importance of this foundation, but it is critical, particularly in the present climate, which often emphasizes finances over quality, that a group of technology and evidence driven physicians lead the charge. I am thrilled to be recognized as one who has played at least a small role in this space. I am indebted to the ASGE and their leadership for laying the foundation for endoscopists like myself to work and thrive in therapeutic endoscopy.
Dr. Robert Enns completed his medical school training at University of British Columbia (UBC) and did work in Primary Care for several years before returning to complete Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology (University of Calgary). Therapeutic endoscopy was his interest and completion of therapeutics training was performed at Duke University Medical Center.
Coming back to Vancouver his interest in therapeutic endoscopy lead to many advances in patient care and the provision of endoscopy care in the Province. He founded the Annual GI Forum in Vancouver (now in 18th year), which emphasizes therapeutic endoscopy (live endoscopy in conjunction with St Michael’s Hospital) and the evidence behind it. The principles of the meeting are founded on ASGE guidelines, which have become the basis for multiple quality endoscopy programs in British Columbia.
Dr. Enns has been a member of ASGE for over 25 years with involvement in various capacities heading up special interest groups (capsule endoscopy), promoting ASGE activities locally as well as service with Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. He has been a reviewer for the Journal for many years and also worked as an Associate Editor over a 5-year term. He has published extensively in many areas of endoscopy, most recently emphasizing quality aspects of endoscopy; most based on ASGE recommendations. Technology advancement, supported by ASGE publications and recommendations has been a key emphasis of his career encouraging stakeholders locally, within a ‘fixed-budget’ system, to ensure that targets and standards are reached. This often leads to many interactions with administration/Ministry regarding funding issues during which ASGE published evidence and guidelines have been used successfully to advance our specialty.
His present role as Head of the Division of Gastroenterology at UBC has enabled more dissemination of quality aspects in endoscopy. The Division has invested energy in quality programs in endoscopy; particularly as it relates to a Provincial colon cancer-screening program where Provincial endoscopy unit web based continuous improvement scales are mandatory. Within this program ADR are collected individually and provincially, report cards disseminated yearly, skills enhancement programs offered and direct observation of procedural skills are performed regularly. All of these quality programs (even required information for report generation) have used and emphasized work published by ASGE.
Through all of his accomplishments, Dr. Enns has maintained a full time clinical practice developing and performing therapeutic procedures regularly. Therapeutic training programs has been initiated and developed, training International and Canadian fellows in specific aspects of ERCP/EUS and all aspects of therapeutics. He has managed to maintain an academic career emphasizing therapeutic aspects in endoscopy while still practicing clinically full-time. As a clinical scientist he has had the distinct privilege to work and recruit a group of similar thinking colleagues and base their practice on the principles of ASGE. The goal of emphasizing the academic, evidence-based endoscopist who works clinically and academically, has been a mainstay of his career.