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by Dr. Mazer Ally, Dr. Sujaata Dwadasi, Dr. Corlan Eboh, Dr. Raj Jessica Thomas; ACG Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

This May, the American College of Gastroenterology proudly celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Throughout the month, we’ll spotlight the trailblazing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders whose contributions have significantly enriched the field of gastroenterology.

Join us each week as we highlight individuals and organizations that exemplify innovation, leadership, and commitment to excellence. These stories not only showcase the substantial achievements of AAPI professionals but also highlight the diverse cultural perspectives that enhance and strengthen our specialty.

Let’s dive into this vibrant celebration and explore the inspiring impacts that shape the future of gastroenterology!

Weekly Spotlight

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the American College of Gastroenterology proudly highlights the work of individuals who have made significant contributions to our field.

Linda Anh B. Nguyen, MD, FACG

Dr. Linda Nguyen, a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Clinic Chief at Stanford Healthcare, is a prominent figure in gastroenterology. Her passion for her work is particularly evident in her expertise in gastrointestinal motility disorders such as gastroparesis and the management of disorders of gut-brain interaction.  

Her career is marked by her significant contributions to research, which includes understanding the role/impact of physiologic testing on clinical care and exploring novel therapies for the treatment of GI motility disorders and pain. She is passionate about developing cross-disciplinary collaborations that advance the treatment of chronic digestive disorders. 

In 2021, Dr. Nguyen was honored with the Stanford Medicine Master Clinician Award, a testament to her exceptional dedication to patient care and clinical excellence. Her commitment to her patients and her field is also evident through her active participation in various national committees, including but not limited to the American College of Gastroenterology! 

Dr. Nguyen is also deeply invested in quality-of-life issues, professional development, and physician wellness, underscoring her holistic approach to medicine and leadership. Her efforts in these areas reflect her belief in advancing medical practice and nurturing the next generation of medical professionals. 

Roy K. Wong, MD, MACG

Dr. Roy Wong with family

Dr. Wong speaking to students in 2005 for the Minority Affairs Committee’s High School Event at Radford High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, a school that serves mostly military families.

This week we honor Col (Ret.) Roy Wong, MD, MACG. Dr. Wong is a gastroenterologist and esophageal motility specialist who has worked in the Department of Defense in service to our country for over 45 years. He has trained hundreds of gastroenterology fellows and has made a significant impact in military gastroenterology.

Roy was born on December 29, 1945, in Honolulu and grew up in Hawaii. He is the son of third and fourth generation Chinese parents whose ancestors immigrated in the 1880s to Kohala, Hawaii (the big island). He had humble beginnings where he developed a strong sense of self-determination.

He received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Hawaii and Medical Doctorate at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and shortly thereafter was commissioned into the US Army and served in the 121st Evacuation Hospital in Seoul, Korea. It was his time in Korea which he credits as the most important in his life, as this is where he met his wife Hansuk.

Dr. Wong completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, in 1978 and has since developed the legacy of an amazing professional career. Col. Wong has also served as a consultant to the Surgeon General and was the Gastroenterology Service Chief at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 1990 to 2009. He is a Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and has contributed to hundreds of publications in the field of GI. His research has also contributed to the development of a safe and effective method of pneumatic balloon dilation in achalasia.

Dr. Wong has remained active in the ACG, serving over four decades as member and chair of multiple committees. He served on the Board of Governors from 2000-2002 and received the Berk/Fise Clinical Achievement Award for his distinguished career in education and patient care. For his years of service and leadership to the College, he received the designation of Master of the American College of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Wong is dedicated to his family, his wife Hansuk and children Peter and Hannah. He loves spending time with his grandchildren and lives a life in service to God. He has stated, ‘‘In all that has happened in my life, I feel that God has played a significant role in guiding me where I am today. He is probably the single most influential being in my life next to my wife.’’

Dr. Mazer Ally: As one of Dr. Wong’s former GI fellows, he taught me about the love of our profession. He has developed a fulfilling and honorable career with continued service to our military service members. He is a master educator and continues to this day to be an integral part of the teaching legacy at Walter Reed. Dr. Wong is one of the true heroes in our field. We are honored to highlight this incredible individual for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Educational Resources

ACG Logo. ACG Virtual Grand Rounds Thursday 12 Noon Eastern

ACG Racism in Medicine Webinar Series

Health Equity and DEI Module Graphic

Health Equity & DEI Module on the ACG Education Universe

ACG’s Health Equity & DEI Module features a comprehensive educational program dedicated to providing updates on diversity, equity and inclusion topics. The modules include content specifically designed to allow the learner to increase knowledge and develop strategies that can be implemented into practice.