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Released on May 25, 2017

Leading Gastrointestinal Society Names Karen L. Woods, MD To President

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – May 25, 2017 – The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) announces the appointment of Karen L. Woods, MD, FASGE, of Houston Methodist Gastroenterology Associates, Houston, Texas to the position of ASGE president. 

Dr. Woods assumed her duties in May during Digestive Disease Week® in Chicago, Ill., and her term will continue until June 2018. She became a member of ASGE in 1991 and a Fellow in 2006. Dr. Woods has served on the ASGE Governing Board and the Foundation Board, as well as on many ASGE committees, including Postgraduate Education, Budget and Finance, and the Strategic Planning Core Group. Dr. Woods served as a councilor of the ASGE Governing Board from 2007 to 2010, and has since served as Vice President and President-elect. 

Currently a practitioner at Houston Methodist, Dr. Woods was formerly in solo private practice for 16 years. Prior to that she served as full-time faculty at Baylor College of Medicine and Director of Therapeutic Endoscopy at Ben Taub Hospital, both in the Houston area. During her 10 years as faculty, she trained many fellows in the art of endoscopy. She received the ASGE Endoscopic Research Award in 1991, and the ASGE Distinguished Service Award in 2015. 

She was selected to serve on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Gastrointestinal and Urologic Devices Panel in 1993. Since then, she has served continuously in various capacities for the panel. 

Throughout her multiple practices as academician, private practitioner and employed physician, Dr. Woods has maintained a passion for national service, with a focus on bringing the voice of the practicing clinician to the Society. 

As ASGE President, she will host the 2017 EndoVators Summit on the topic of “Simulators and the Future of Endoscopic Training,” to explore current training models and methods of assessing endoscopic competence, identify the inherent deficiencies in the current model and define skills that would benefit from simulation training for new trainees and practitioners wishing to learn a new skill. Additionally, she will focus on advocacy in areas of practice management and reimbursement that will benefit both patients and providers. 

Dr. Woods shares with her fellow GI endoscopists a love of the technology that allows them not only to identify disease but also to use the scope as a tool for treatment and healing. Above all, she is passionate about developing relationships with patients and teaching them about disease management. 

She received her medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1983. Her internship and residency were in Internal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. She was Chief Medical Resident at the Houston VA Medical Center and then went on to a Gastroenterology fellowship at University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, Texas. She returned to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston for an Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship and then joined the Baylor faculty. 

Her primary clinical areas of interest are general gastroenterology with a focus on EMR (endoscopic mucosal resection) of esophageal and colonic lesions, advanced polypectomy and ablation of Barrett’s esophagus. 

Dr. Woods has authored or co-authored numerous publications and has been an invited speaker at many local and national conferences. She has been consistently named as a Best Doctor in various national and local publications.