Staff StoryJul | 19 | 2019
Claire Zar-Kessler, MD
What inspired you to go into medicine?
I found medicine to be the perfect combination of all my interests. I could use my love of science while interacting with and helping people. I was the first member of my family to become a doctor, so I didn’t have specific role models but during college, I found the field of medicine to be exciting and interesting. I decided to work in pediatrics since I love working with children and find the diseases specific to the pediatric population to be the most fascinating. I also love working with the whole family. I realized I was able to do this best within pediatrics. I finally chose pediatric gastroenterology because I felt it had the perfect combination of clinical practice, procedures and cutting edge research in which I could immerse myself.
What do you do as a provider at MGHfC?
I am the medical director of the Pediatric Neurogastroenterology Center. I see patients who have problems with the nerves and movement of the gut. My patients have different types of gastrointestinal problems, including constipation, difficulty swallowing, chronic abdominal pain and persistent nausea. I work closely with my colleagues in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Pediatric Surgery to find the best treatment options for my patients who frequently have symptoms that can be difficult to manage. I also participate in research studying the evaluation and management of gastrointestinal motility diseases and the overlap with psychiatric disorders.
What gives you the greatest joy in your profession?
Helping patients feel better. Many patients that I see have symptoms that can affect their lives significantly and limit their ability to function. My greatest joy is when a patient comes back to the office saying that they are feeling better, that they are back in school and that they are hanging out with their friends again. It means that whatever we did helped them lead a happier life.