When I went to my first ASGE meeting at what was to become DDW, the big debate was whether anybody could see the duodenal bulb with the fiberoptic gastroscope and at the same time, being berated by members of the AGA who did not consider endoscopists as cognitive physicians. As the ASGE has grown in stature and in the enlarging membership where every gastroenterologist is now an endoscopist, I am vindicated in my full embracement of endoscopy where I never treated irritable bowel nor chronic constipation. This award, given for long service to the ASGE and to the betterment of endoscopy is a wonderful cap to a fufilling career. I am overwhelmed at having been nominated for and having received this honor. My work has been my life and this is a great recognition from the ASGE.
Dr. Jerome D. Waye was born in Shanghai China and came to live in Kankakee, Illinois when he was five years old and later moved to New Jersey until attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While at MIT he was the coxswain of the crew team which won every race in his senior year and then won their event at the Henley Royal Regatta in England. He went on to attend Boston University Medical School where he was on scholarship and worked three jobs: one was on the Third Surgical Service at Boston City Hospital where he arose at 4:30 each morning to draw blood on 60 surgical patients. In the evening he worked in the laboratory at Deaconess Hospital and at a private mental infirmary.
He came to New York for internship and residency as well as a G.I. Fellowship and has stayed at Mount Sinai Hospital ever since. During his G.I. fellowship, fiberoptic instruments were acquired but the teachers of rigid instruments paid them little attention. In the next three years advances in technology overcame the two instructors of rigid procedures who resigned and Dr. Waye became the new chief of endoscopy as fiberoptic scopes completely replaced the rigid instruments. Following completion of training he went into private practice but remained chief of endoscopy for over 20 years. Dr. Waye developed an interest in colonoscopy when those instruments first came out and also in ERCP. Dr. Waye traveled to Japan to learn how to do ERCP and came back to perfect the technique and then introduced this procedure to New York where he traveled on weekends around the city to teach ERCP at various hospitals. When the era of therapeutic ERCP began, Dr. Waye made a decision that he would rather perform colonoscopy and devoted himself to that technique.
During 51 years in private practice, he developed techniques that circumvented the need for fluoroscopic imaging during colonoscopy and various new approaches to the performance of colonoscopy and polypectomy. While in private practice, he wrote seven books including the major text on colonoscopy and became a professor of medicine. Dr. Waye has written over 200 papers in peer reviewed journals and has lectured and participated in live endoscopy demonstrations in every continent with the exception of Antarctica. He has been made an honorary member of seven gastroenterology and endoscopy societies. In his spare time, he pursued an interest in magic and was often the evening entertainment at international GI conferences. Dr. Waye has been president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American College of Gastroenterology and more recently, the World Endoscopy Organization. He was a founding member of the New York Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and served as its president. He was also president of the Mount Sinai Alumni Association and received its highest honor, the Gold Headed Cane Award. He has been given the highest honor of the ASGE and the ACG, the Schindler Award and the Weiss Award, respectively. Dr. Waye joined the full time staff of the Division of Gastroenterology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 5 years ago and developed the Center for Advanced Colonoscopy and Therapeutic Endoscopy at Sinai (CACTES). He retired from practice on the last day of 2019. This year, he has traveled to Ethiopia to teach colonoscopy and to Uganda to introduce endoscopy techniques. He has also given lectures in Brazil on polypectomy, his favorite subject. He is continuing to teach at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.