2-hour Interview with Dr. Mark L. Chapman by Michael A. Weiss

2-Hour Interview with Dr. Mark L. Chapman, IBD Center at Mt. Sinai Hospital by Michael A. Weiss of “Crohn’s Disease Warrior Patrol”

My Aim is True  Raising Global Awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

It’s no surprise to the kind people who read this Blog, follow me on Twitter @hospitalpatient or who support the charity I founded, “Crohn’s Disease Warrior Patrol” [the “CDWP”], I have battled the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), namely, Severe Crohn’s Disease, since 1984, with the physical, emotional, psychological, professional, financial, familial and social scars to prove it.  I trust these same people also understand my dedication to raising global awareness about the potentially disabling, excruciatingly painful, pervasive, expensive, and systemic proclivities of IBDs such as Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis.

In that regard, I will turn to whatever means necessary to ensure the newly diagnosed, and IBD patients in crisis, do not have to go through the often demeaning and arduous “diagnosis journeys” which I, and many others much worse off than me, experienced in the 1980s with Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. For that, I recently turned to Dr. Mark L. Chapman of Mt. Sinai Hospital and asked him if I could extensively interview him for the purposes of documenting the extraordinary IBD knowledge and experience in his brain and put it on video to share with Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis patients worldwide.  That almost 2-hour interview took place on September 15, 2014.

Social Media is revealing continued unnecessary struggles of Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis Patients despite technological advancements since 1984

I approached Dr. Chapman because I didn’t like what I was reading on Social Media night-after-night about 1984-ish IBD problems occurring in 2014. While the Web is filled with attention-seeking patients who may exaggerate their situations or vent frustration from managing extremely difficult cases of Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis by mis-categorizing their interactions with healthcare professionals, I diversify my social media participation specifically to weed out those types of manipulators, chronic complainers & whiners.  It’s always okay to vent on social media but Health Care Social Media only works if the participants contribute as much as they “take.”

But in 2014, 30 years after I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, on any evening you can randomly visit the preferred social media platforms where IBDers feel comfortable honestly conversing, such as in certain Facebook Groups, on Tumblr Blogs, via Twitter hashtag streams and in LinkedIn Groups, and you’ll come across WAY TOO MANY CREDIBLE folks who understand the “give” and “take” necessary for social media to help IBD patients yet they must communicate because in real life they can’t find reasonably adequate professional assistance with their Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis. Whether it be for proper and timely diagnosis, understanding its potential systemic effects; managing pain; having a medication and/or surgical plan laid out for best and worst case scenarios and/or learning how to most effectively interact with their various physicians and navigate the health care system or any applicable government benefits programs, someone must clarify the current protocols and opine on the progress and efficacy of various research efforts so that IBD patients could develop a “measuring stick” of sorts to know whether or not they are seeing the right doctor and taking the safest/most effective medications.

What to do? Find the BEST IBD Doctor to EXPLAIN IT ALL

Finding “the best” at anything is a tall task, indeed, but when you happen to know IBD and IBS Specialist, Dr. Mark L. Chapman, all it entails is correctly focusing the video camera and asking him the most thought-provoking questions to acquire what’s in his brain, and get it on video, to share with the world.  That is exactly what I did, courtesy of my charity, the “Crohn’s Disease Warrior Patrol,” and over the next few weeks the CDWP will be releasing several Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis topic-related videos, approximately 6-8 minutes in length, from my recent almost 2-hour conversation with Dr. Chapman. (We also anticipate using some of Dr. Chapman’s comments in a patient-driven Documentary we are producing on IBD.)  As you will see below, Dr. Chapman is not only a world-class distinguished IBD physician but he is also an extraordinary man for sharing so much of his time and knowledge with me, to help so many others.

Michael A. Weiss & Dr. Mark L. Chapman

Why Dr. Mark L. Chapman?

When I met Dr. Chapman for the first time in 1984, what stuck out in my mind was that he listened to me with as much passion as when he talked with me.  I also had never come across ANY doctor who possessed Dr. Chapman’s unique pairing of skills, knowledge, experience, confidence and compassionate style.  It’s been 30 years since then and while I haven’t always taken his advice due to youthful transgressions, I can honestly say he’s NEVER been wrong about my Crohn’s Disease and just like my father, he seems to get smarter as I get older!  In 2001, when I wrote the funny and informative book, “Confessions of a Professional Hospital Patient,” and MSNBC did a “feature” on me as a “professional patient,” they asked me to pick one of my physicians from anywhere in the US for them to obtain complimentary background footage on me.  I chose Dr. Mark L. Chapman and he was fantastic.  Ever since then, he’s been more than a doctor to me especially a few years later when my Crohn’s Disease got much worse and Dr. Chapman played the major role in keeping me healthy enough to pursue my professional dreams, no matter where I lived or what I did.

Dr. Mark L. Chapman – Professional Credentials

Due to my longstanding patent relationship with Dr. Chapman, please don’t take my word for Dr. Chapman being “the best.”  To that end, I’m sure he has colleagues all over the world of close or similar professional stature but when you learn about his “pedigree” at Mt. Sinai Hospital, you will quickly understand why I chose to seek his knowledge and experience to share with Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis patients all over  the world.  He graduated medical school in 1961.  He then performed his Internship at Mt. Sinai Hospital; 1 year of Medical Residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital; 1 year of Medical Residency at Montefiore Hospital in New York; a 2-year Fellowship in Gastroenterology at Mt. Sinai Hospital (along with co-fellow, and now retired, Dr. Daniel Present); and then in 1966 in the Army he was Chief of Gastroenterology at Martin Army Hospital at Fort Benning where he treated Officers, from Second Lieutenants to Generals. Knowing Dr. Chapman, I’m sure his own thoughts on war strategy were welcomed by the Generals as the man has a way of showing you how smart he is, as opposed to telling you.  He also speaks to his patients with the same respect for what they go through with Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis as he does for the Generals who are saddled with the most seriousness of responsibilities.

Upon being honorably discharged from the Army, Dr. Mark L. Chapman went into Private Practice in New York City practicing Gastroenterology.  What this short but impressive Bio doesn’t mention is that working in the Gastroenterology Department at Mt. Sinai Hospital in the early-to-mid 1960s was like playing for the New York Yankees in the 1950s when they won the Major League Baseball World Series nearly every year.  There were superstars all around Dr. Chapman who were doctors of great intellect and innovation and he was a sponge for everything they were kind enough to teach him.  Besides, back then Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City was a “disease destination” hospital and thanks to the “players,” that disease was Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  Thanks to Drs. Chapman, Present, Korelitz and many that followed, and to the residents and fellows they trained, Mt. Sinai Hospital remains an international “disease destination” facility to this day.

Mt. Rushmore of Gastroenterologists were Dr. Chapman’s Teachers and Colleagues at Mt. Sinai Hospital

Mt SInai Hospital

During the early-to-mid 1960s, Dr. Chapman worked alongside the “Mt. Rushmore” of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis doctors. Since these much sought-after physicians all worked at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Dr. Chapman also participated in treating an unusually high number of IBD cases, as well as the most complex IBD cases, because they found their way to Mt. Sinai Hospital through international word-of-mouth.  As a result, Dr. Chapman learned from the very best and gained invaluable experience in all things regarding IBD, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Who were these “Mt. Rushmore” gastroenterologists of Mt. Sinai Hospital?  They included Drs. Burrill B. Crohn, Leon Ginzburg, Gordon D. Oppenhemier, Henry D. Janowitz and Burton I. Korelitz.

By way of brief background on these extraordinary Mt. Sinai Hospital IBD physicians, in 1932, Drs. Burrill B. Crohn, Leon Ginzburg and Gordon D. Oppenhemier, then, three (3) Mt. Sinai Hospital gastroenterologists,  published a landmark scientific article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on “terminal ileitis” [i.e., an inflammation of the intestinal tract] and in doing so identified the disease which would ultimately bear Dr. Crohn’s name. Dr. Crohn had joined Mount Sinai Hospital as an intern in 1907 and in 1920 was named its first Head of the Department of Gastroenterology.  He remained affiliated with Mt. Sinai Hospital nearly up until his passing in 1983 at the age of ninety-nine (99) years old.  Dr. Henry D. Janowitz served as Chief of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital from 1958-1983.

Dr. Mark L. Chapman –  NEW “IBD Center at Mt. Sinai Hospital”

Along with Dr. Daniel Present, who would go on to becoming Dr. Chapman’s longtime partner in a New York City gastroenterology practice which was globally respected and sought out by countless patients around the world for consultation and treatment which would change their lives for the better, each of these aforementioned world-class accomplished men were teachers and colleagues of Dr. Chapman’s.  Accordingly, I trust you understand how he acquired such a unique pairing of skills, knowledge, experience, confidence and compassion, which he applies to every IBD patient he treats.  That’s why I chose Dr. Mark L. Chapman to share his insights about IBD in an attempt to hopefully help many patients around the world who have nothing but the Web and their fellow patients to rely upon.

[Note:  In a few months toward the end of 2014, Dr. Mark L. Chapman will be moving his private practice to help run the NEW IBD Center at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.  I’m sure Drs. Burrill B. Crohn, Leon Ginzburg, Gordon D. Oppenhemier, Henry D. Janowitz, Daniel Present and Burton I. Korelitz would most certainly approve.]

Please be patient with the release of the aforementioned videos as they take a great deal of time to edit and I still suffer from Severe Crohn’s Disease such that there are days when I cannot be productive.  But I will do my best and I assure you that the the Interview was exhaustive so that the topics discussed will be quite informative.  Thank you for your patience.

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