Diagnostic Challenges and Opportunities in Neurogastroenterology During COVID-19 Pandemic

American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society

Motility laboratories perform important diagnostic procedures for functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these laboratories have faced challenges regarding when to schedule normally elective motility physiologic procedures and how to stratify urgency in addition to screening before procedures, optimizing personal protective equipment utilization and cleaning.

This article covers these issues as well as other critical issues such as GI motility laboratory workflow and telehealth reopening opportunities.

The mission of the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society is to be the multidisciplinary society leading the field of neurogastroenterology by fostering excellence in research, education and patient care.

Neurogastroenterology encompasses the study of the brain, gut and their interactions with relevance to gastrointestinal motility and functional GI disorders. It includes the study of muscle and nerve physiology and morphology, as well as their interaction with hormones, neurotransmitters, secretions and the intestinal microbiota.

ANMS members can access articles, presentations and webinars, as well as additional educational materials, from the ANMS Education website. This includes a series of webinars designed to increase clinical competency in the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal motility and brain-gut disorders, as well as a number of articles on emerging trends and developments in the field.

In addition, ANMS is currently offering two Small Grants to support research in neurogastroenterology and motility. One grant will be awarded to a clinical/translational investigator and the other will be awarded to a basic science investigator. For more information and to apply, click here.

ANMS encourages physicians and healthcare professionals involved in the research, diagnosis and/or treatment of gastrointestinal motility disorders and/or brain-gut disorders to continue to be vigilant regarding patient care and to adhere to all applicable infection control guidelines. The ANMS Motility Education and Training Committee has developed resources to help guide clinicians in the appropriate use of antipyretic medications and COVID-19 testing prior to and during motility procedures.

The mission of the Young Investigator Forum is to provide an opportunity for young investigators from around the world to develop an academic career in the field of neurogastroenterology and motility.

The Young Investigator Forum provides an opportunity for trainees, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, research assistants, medical students and junior faculty members to present their research in the field of neurogastroenterology and motility. This forum offers a friendly and constructive environment to develop key skills in research presentation and writing. It also provides an opportunity for participants to meet and network with fellow attendees and senior faculty members.

The RDYIF aims to foster the development of physician-scientists by enabling them to participate in the best practices for research study design, refine their presentation and scientific communication skills, and cultivate networking and grant-writing capabilities. The program is targeted to physicians enrolled in U.S. fellowship programs in pediatric or adult pulmonology, pulmonary/critical care medicine, asthma, allergy and immunology, and physicians who have recently (within 2-5 yr) transitioned from fellowship to academic faculty positions in these fields (1).

During the course of the forum, attendees will have the opportunity to rehearse their presentations before the official start of the event and receive feedback from their peers. In addition, the forum has included mentorship opportunities for participants through one-on-one meetings with research advisors, as well as informal mentoring sessions. A survey of RDYIF completers has revealed that basic demographic characteristics of this group, including gender, sex, first year of participation in the RDYIF, and current subspecialty, did not differ significantly from noncompleters.

The mission of the Membership Mentoring Diversity and Inclusion Committee is to provide mentorship and support to early-stage clinicians and scientists in the field of neurogastroenterology and motility.

The Membership Mentoring Diversity and Inclusion Committee provides a platform for discussion, debate and presentation of translational and clinical research in neurogastroenterology and motility. Through this, the committee inspires conversation and action to foster diverse perspectives and experiences in the pursuit of academic excellence in research, teaching and service.

The committee works to encourage professional development of early-stage clinicians and scientists in the field of neurogastroenterology and motility. This is done through the award of small grants to support basic, translational or clinical research in gastrointestinal motility disorders. Grants are offered annually, and applicants are encouraged to submit an application in any research area related to neurogastroenterology.

The committee also works to encourage diversity in the workforce by promoting awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion to the general public and medical community, and by developing strategies to promote recruitment of residents and students into GI fellowship programs, medical schools and hospitals. This is accomplished by a variety of means, including:

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