Established Career Profile:
Dr. Loren Laine
By Kari Oakes
These career and work-life balance tips for physicians beginning a challenging but rewarding career in gastro- enterology come from Yale University’s Dr. Loren Laine.
Dr. Laine, a past President of the
AGA and the recipient of multiple
awards for clinical research from
the AGA and the American College
of Gastroenterology, spoke with The
New Gastroenterologist recently. He
discussed his early career, passion
for clinical research, and shared advice for those entering the field.
Dr. Laine chose gastroenterology
after completing medical school
and residency at the University of
California, Los Angeles, because the
specialty requires both cognitive
and procedural skills. With digestive issues, the physician has an
opportunity to know an organ system well, and to understand how
different disease processes impact
health. “Gastroenterology, both then
and now, represents a mix of diagnosis and treatment,” he said.
He completed a gastroenterolo-
gy fellowship at the University of
California, San Diego. Early in his
career, Dr. Laine became interested
in gastrointestinal bleeding and
has made it a primary focus for his
clinical research. GI bleeds, he said,
represent one of the few true emer-
gencies in gastroenterology and
present a challenge to gastroenter-
ologists, emergency physicians, and
“Frankly, when I was starting,
there was little or no evidence about
what treatment was effective for
GI bleeding,” he said. He has found
satisfaction in advancing medical
knowledge and clinical interventions
in an exciting area that is both important and clinically relevant.
Clinical research, he said, is the
favorite part of his job. He especial-
ly loves the intellectual challenge
of designing clinical trials and in-
tegrating his clinical practice into
his research life. In fact, a key to
his continued success in balancing
clinical and research demands has
been this integration: “I try to de-
sign trials where each patient I see
could be considered as a potential
He also emphasized that clinical
practice informs his research, and
that he very much enjoys both the
procedural and diagnostic challeng-
es presented in the clinic.
As much as he loves his work, Dr.
Laine acknowledged that it’s still im-
portant to make room for relaxation,
“Make sure to build research skills into your training.
Find something you love doing.
Make time for exercise and decompression.”
With digestive issues, the physician has an
opportunity to know an organ system well, and
to understand how different disease processes
impact health. “Gastroenterology, both then and
now, represents a mix of diagnosis and treatment,”
[Dr. Laine] said.