The University of Missouri School of Medicine was the first publicly supported medical school established west of the Mississippi River. It was organized as a two-year school in 1872.

It became a four-year school in 1957. Construction of the current University Hospital was completed in 1956. The medical complex has greatly expanded since then. Our affiliated VA Hospital, the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran’s Hospital, located across the street from University Hospital, opened in 1972.

The first gastroenterologist, Dr. J. Ned Smith, came to University Hospital in 1956. He served as the only gastroenterologist until 1969, when Dr. Daniel H. Winship arrived to formally establish a Division of Gastroenterology and to start a GI fellowship program. Our first GI fellow, Dr. Robert Shaffer, started in 1970. Some of the prominent faculty members in the early years of the program included Dr. Colin Atterbury, Dr. Kevin Ivey, and Dr. James Butt.

Interestingly, the University and VA shared a single endoscopy lab located at the VA Hospital from 1973 until 1990. At that time, the University opened its own GI lab. Dr. John Marshall led the committee that designed the lab. The division underwent major expansion after the appointment and arrival of Dr. Jamal Ibdah as Division Director in 2005. The Fairview Digestive Health Center, the site of our ambulatory endoscopy center and of our GI clinics, opened in 2007. The University and Fairview GI labs have been recognized for their quality and safety of care by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy since 2010 (ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program).

Our GI fellowship program has been continuously accredited since the ACGME-RRC-IM began its initial accreditation of the first nine recognized subspecialties of internal medicine in 1987. Our program received its initial accreditation effective 7/1/1987. It was a 2-year program until 1998, and then a 3-year program (mandated nationally by the ABIM).

Through 2018, there have been 107 graduates of the fellowship program. Graduates practice or have practiced in 32 states. The first women graduated from the fellowship program in 1987, Dr. Jill Smith and Dr. Raquel Croitoru. Through 2018, there have been 23 women graduates.

Division directors and acting division directors through the years:

  • 1969-1979: Daniel H. Winship, MD
  • 1979-1980: Kevin J. Ivey, MD (acting director)
  • 1980-1983: E. Lee Forker, MD, PhD
  • 1983-1984: Daniel H. Winship, MD
  • 1984-1986: James H. Butt, MD (acting director)
  • 1986-1992: David M. Bull, MD
  • 1992-1995: John B. Marshall, MD (acting director)
  • 1995-1999: John B. Marshall, MD
  • 1999-2003: Paul D. King, MD (acting director)
  • 2003-2005: John B. Marshall, MD (acting director)
  • 2005-2019: Jamal A. Ibdah, MD, PhD
  • 2019-present: Ghasan Hammoud, MD (acting director)