Meet the master| Volume 4, ISSUE 3, P99-101, March 2019

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Jerome D. Waye, MD

        Dr Jerome D. Waye (Author photo 1, Author photo 2, Author photo 3, Author photo 4, Author photo 5, Author photo 6, Author photo 7, Author photo 8, Author photo 9; Video 1, available online at was born in Shanghai, China, and came to live in Kankakee, Illinois, when he was 5 years old. He later moved to New Jersey until attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While at MIT he was the coxswain of the crew team, which won every race in his senior year and then won their event at the Henley Royal Regatta in England. After graduating from MIT, he attended Boston University Medical School, where he was on scholarship and worked 3 jobs, 1 of which was drawing blood on the Third Surgical Service at Boston City Hospital, where he arose at 4:30 each morning to draw blood from 60 surgical patients. In exchange for this service, the hospital provided clothing (white uniforms found in the hospital laundry discard bins) and food and lodging (in the old tuberculosis wards). His other 2 jobs were in the evening in the laboratory at Deaconess Hospital and at a private mental infirmary in Boston.
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        Author photo 1Crew team at MIT. We are all wearing Harvard shirts because the losing crew gives their shirts to the winner.
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        Author photo 2The tradition is that the coxswain is thrown in the water after winning. I drank a lot of river water.
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        Author photo 3Married to the love of my life, Meg McCarthy, in St Patrick’s Cathedral, 1980.
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        Author photo 4Using the new fiber colonoscope to see the cause of itch under the cast in 1974.
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        Author photo 5Teaching at Mount Sinai using “lecture scopes” attached to the fiberoptic colonoscope. Note the absence of gloves and the tight space. The nurse cannot see anything.
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        Author photo 6The group of ASGE Past Presidents who took yearly trips to hang out together (left to right: J. D. Waye, F. Tedesco, J. Geenen, T. Schrock, M. Schapiro, H. W. Boyce, G. Overholt). Great camaraderie.
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        Author photo 7Special teachers from Canada, Italy, Norway, and the United States who attended an international hands-on teaching conference in Ethiopia in January 2018.
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        Author photo 8Demonstration of technique: every GI doctor gets one-on-one instruction in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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        Author photo 9Visiting professor at MD Anderson Hospital in June 2018.
        He came to New York for internship and residency along with a GI fellowship and has stayed at Mount Sinai Hospital ever since. During his GI fellowship, 2 doctors taught the techniques of rigid sigmoidoscopy, rigid esophagoscopy, and gastroscopy (called semiflexible gastroscopy because the lens system in the scope allowed about 15° of bending in the distal half of the instrument). One instructor showed techniques to GI fellows on Tuesday and another instructor showed techniques on Thursday. Fiberoptic instruments were acquired by Mount Sinai during Dr Waye’s fellowship; when he finished training he had twice as much experience with flexible endoscopy as either instructor because he did flexible procedures with both of them. They asked him to teach this new procedure because they thought that this tool would disappear quickly. Instead, in the next 3 years, advances in technology overcame the 2 instructors of rigid procedures, who resigned, and Dr Waye became the new Chief of Endoscopy as fiberoptic scopes completely replaced the rigid instruments.
        After completion of training, he went into private practice at the beginning of the fiberoptic endoscopy era. Dr Waye subsequently developed an interest in colonoscopy when those instruments first came out, as well as in ERCP. Dr Waye traveled to Japan to learn how to perform ERCP and came back to perfect the technique. He then introduced this procedure to New York, where, on weekends, he traveled around the city to teach ERCP at various hospitals. When the era of therapeutic ERCP began, Dr Waye decided that he would rather perform colonoscopy and devoted himself to that technique.
        During the earliest days of flexible gastroscopy, when visualization was not yet perfected, a gastrocamera was developed by Olympus, with a 5-mm film strip contained in the distal tip. The instrument could be passed blindly into the stomach. A series of systematic maneuvers was developed that had to be scrupulously followed, so that the scope faced every portion of the stomach in a fixed order. A lever was moved to advance the film 5 mm, and another click momentarily turned on a light for exposure of the film, which took a photo of the gastric wall previously distended when a rubber bulb was squeezed to insufflate air through the scope. The tiny film strips were sent by mail to Olympus for development, and when the strips returned, Dr Waye held a conference every Friday morning at which he and his fellows reviewed the 5-mm strips of film on a tiny projector to see what was found in the stomach. As news got around that this actually showed gastric pathologic changes, more people wanted to participate in the review process. Instruments became more sophisticated, single-lens cameras were developed that took 35-mm film strips, and later video capability was integrated. The weekly conference, in slide or video format on a big screen, became regularly attended by about 50 doctors in all fields, including surgeons, gastroenterologists, pathologists, and oncologists, who discussed multiple cases each week. That conference has persisted until now and is the longest-running (48 years) single-moderator conference at the hospital.
        During 51 years in private practice, Dr Waye developed techniques that circumvented the need for fluoroscopic imaging during colonoscopy and developed various new approaches to the performance of colonoscopy and polypectomy. While in private practice he wrote 7 books, including the major text on colonoscopy. Dr Waye has written over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has lectured and participated in live endoscopy demonstrations on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica. He has been made an honorary member of 7 gastroenterology and endoscopy societies. Dr Waye has been President of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American College of Gastroenterology, and more recently, the World Endoscopy Organization. He was a founding member of the New York Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and served as its President. He was also President of the Mount Sinai Alumni Association and received its highest honor, the Gold Cane Award. He also received the highest honors of the ASGE and the ACG, the Rudolf V. Schindler Award and the Samuel S. Weiss Award, respectively. Dr Waye joined the full-time staff of the Division of Gastroenterology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 3 years ago and is currently Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Advanced Colonoscopy and Therapeutic Endoscopy-Sinai (CACTES).


        The author disclosed no financial relationships relevant to this publication.

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