Amanda M. Lynn, M.D.
What attracted you to gastroenterology?
I was initially attracted to gastroenterology early on in medical school. I have always enjoyed the fact that rather than working with a single organ, GI involves the complex interplay of a number of different organs within a system. Moreover, there is a wide range of pathology within this system including infectious, autoimmune, neoplastic, neuromuscular, and metabolic/hormonal entities. In addition to the cognitive challenge the field provides, I also enjoy the hands-on aspect of performing endoscopic procedures.
What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for fellowship training?
As the three shields of the logo suggest – there is a strong commitment within the institution to excellence in patient care, research and education. Given that I had completed my residency training here, I was fortunate enough to have already experienced this unique culture. Therefore, I knew early on that I wanted to continue my GI fellowship training here, as it would afford me access to excellent clinical and research mentors – all of whom were still focused on providing quality patient care.
What makes the Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology Fellowship unique?
We are fortunate in having the unique opportunity to interact with a myriad of world-renowned experts in essentially all fields of gastroenterology and hepatology. This is an invaluable educational resource not only from the standpoint of clinical rotations, but also given the fact that we have the opportunity to hear them speak on their respective areas of clinical and/or research interests during noon lectures.
We also have a very wide exposure to both general GI clinics as well as multiple subspecialty clinics – all staffed by such experts in the field whom are universally interested in the fellows’ education. Not only is the outpatient experience outstanding, but we have the unique opportunity to work on a number of inpatient services – including the general GI services, GI consult service, hepatobiliary consult service, GI bleed team, and liver transplant service.
Through these experiences, Mayo Clinic Rochester provides the unique opportunity to care for a wide spectrum of patients. As a tertiary referral center with patients coming from all corners of the globe, we gain exposure to some very complex pathology and rare conditions that may not be seen elsewhere. However, we also garner experience with more bread-and-butter GI pathology while providing care to patients whom are local to rural southeastern Minnesota. Moreover, once we meet these patients they are added to our own personal panels as opposed to those of the staff. Because we personally continue to see them in follow-up, it allows for better continuity of care and increased autonomy.
Finally, aside from the unique clinical experience, all fellows are afforded an entire year of protected research time – which is not available at many other institutions in the country. The year truly is protected for focus on research, as our schedules are structured such that our clinical responsibilities are limited to a half day of clinic per week. Additionally, the institution itself is very supportive of the scholarly endeavors of its trainees, providing time away and financial support for conference attendance.
Anything surprise you about Mayo's program?
The consultants within the division are extremely supportive and really strive to create a positive learning environment for the fellows. Despite being renowned leaders in their fields, they are extremely approachable and humble. They make a point to find time to teach the fellows, help with difficult patients, or work through research projects. Due to the sheer number of staff, there is also no shortage of mentorship, and most of us will have a number of different mentors for research, clinical needs, or career guidance.
This willingness to teach and provide support to fellows is also not limited to Gastroenterology and Hepatology, but is true throughout Mayo Clinic. We develop positive working relationships with a number of other subspecialties including abdominal radiology, several surgical subspecialties, and gastrointestinal pathology. There are also a number of unique multi-disciplinary conferences that allow for learning and collaboration between these groups.
What is living in Rochester like for you?
I have truly enjoyed living in Rochester for both the community itself and the people who live in it. It is a diverse city comprised of people from all over the world, and I feel fortunate to have made so many life-long friends here.
Being from Minnesota, I personally enjoy having all four seasons, and there are activities to participate in no matter the season. In the summer I enjoy being on the lake or utilizing the extensive trail system within Rochester for running or biking. Winter months also bring the opportunity to participate in activities such as skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, or ice-skating. If you’re wanting a weekend away, Minneapolis is only about an hour’s drive from here.
What does your future look like right now?
Following completion of my GI fellowship, I will be remaining in Rochester for an additional year to complete an Inflammatory Bowel Disease advanced fellowship. Beyond that, I intend to pursue an academic position in the field of IBD.