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After his graduation in 1960, he was accepted at the University of Minnesota for his straight medical internship. He subsequently came back to the Milwaukee County Hospital to pursue his residency in internal medicine. Shortly thereafter, he was drafted into the Army and was assigned to Fort Myer, Arlington, Virginia. He soon became the Chief of Medicine and supervised over 40 physicians. After 2 years in the Army, he moved back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he completed his 2 years of GI fellowship under the tutelage of Dr Konrad Soergel.
He initially worked with rigid endoscopy, but with the advent of fiberoptic endoscopy he quickly changed to that field. He became a leader in therapeutic endoscopy after his training with Dr Meinhard Classen in Germany in the early 1970s.
Dr Geenen has always been interested in medical education and has trained over 100 fellows in therapeutic endoscopy and ERCP, many of whom have spent another year with him after their regular fellowships. He has conducted multiple endoscopy courses for physicians, gastroenterology nurses, and technicians, starting in 1975. He began giving yearly courses with endoscopic teaching models in 1973 and switched to live endoscopy courses in the early 1980s, with visiting professors from many countries.
He has been active in several GI societies. Most notably, he has served on several committees for the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and has held the position of ASGE President. He has received several awards and accolades, not only from organizations within the United States but also from many foreign countries. He was the recipient of the Rudolf V. Schindler Award from the ASGE.
He is well known for his clinical research and has published several book chapters and numerous research articles, including articles on sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, with Dr Walter Hogan. He has also published articles on colonoscopy and polypectomy, although those are not widely known. Many of his publications were done in association with physicians from the Medical College of Wisconsin, often referred to as the Milwaukee Group.
Dr Geenen established one of the premier GI practices in the country, GI Associates, LLC, of Wisconsin, the largest GI practice in the state of Wisconsin. He has trained several young clinicians and helped them grow.
He is an innovator and has collaborated with other researchers and industries. He was instrumental in the development of many endoscopic accessories, mainly biliary and pancreatic stents, which are widely used as the Geenen stent.
Dr Geenen is an avid Green Bay Packers fan, having begun attending games when he was just 5 years old. He is regularly seen at local sporting events. He believes in family and friendship and taking care of his staff. He is a strong believer in a work-life balance. He has been happily married to his wife, Nancy, for over 60 years, and together they have 4 children, 18 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild. During his free time, he enjoys time with his family, likes to travel, plays golf, and has spent many years playing tennis.
The author disclosed no financial relationships relevant to this publication.