While attending Medical School in Wuerzburg, Germany, Harald was quickly and early on drawn to the great potential in the field of Gastroenterology, while pursuing a research project and dissertation in inflammatory bowel diseases.
Postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology were completed at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan from 1988-1994. Additional training in advanced endoscopy and the emergent area of endoscopic ultrasonography was received at the TU Munich with Drs. Roesch and Neuhaus.
After a short stent as Director of Endoscopy in Detroit, a new opportunity arose in 1998 to start a GI hospitalist program in Tacoma, WA, one of the first in the Nation. During this time, Harald was fortunate to recruit and collaborate with ASGE President, Dr. Klaus Mergener. Certainly, one of the highlights of his professional career! In addition, he served as ACG Governor for Washington State and was a Board Member for the Pierce County Medical Society.
His wanderlust drove him away to join a practice in Walla Walla, WA to experience the challenges of a rural GI practice. They initiated an annual conference, successfully fusing the disciplines of Enology and Gastroenterology.
Finally, Harald was recruited to start a GI program in Gresham, Oregon providing access to the population of East Multnomah County in Oregon. Ongoing projects are to serve on the ARIA committee for ASGE and to participate in the GI Stammtisch, the lively meeting of interventional endoscopists in Portland, OR.
While I am honored to receive the President's Award this year, I am deeply humbled. We are privileged to serve our patients with our skills and our great endoscopic tools. I am indebted to all the great mentors and colleagues I have met on my journey, among them our President Klaus Mergener.