Gastrointestinal (GI) and liver disorders are among the most common causes for both inpatient and outpatient healthcare utilization and result in significant morbidity and mortality. For example, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and the hepatitis C virus infects approximately 2 million Americans. As with all specialties of medicine, our understanding of gastrointestinal and liver disorders is in constant evolution, shaped by new evidence in our diagnostic and treatment approaches.
In the field of gastroenterology and hepatology, the most important scientific meetings to attend are The Liver Meeting, sponsored by AASLD, and Digestive Disease Week, sponsored by AASLD, AGA, ASGE, and SSAT. Both annual meetings are host to the largest gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy, and gastrointestinal surgery. More than 10,000 clinicians and scientists gather to learn about the latest research and updates in clinical practice. Many of the presentations at these meetings result in changes to patient care.
However, many community GI and liver health care providers (gastroenterologists, surgeons, nurses and other health care providers) cannot personally attend these annual meetings. This educational program is a combination of our previous course offerings, Best of DDW and Best of AASLD, and affords Pacific Northwest care providers a community forum to gather and discuss the latest issues and topics in the field of gastroenterology and hepatology; and to provide an opportunity to assess clinical practice and research findings that they would not be able to focus on otherwise.