the torch Summer 2015, Issue 2 - Page 20

ph ysici a n profile THEMISTOCLES DASSOPOULOS, M.D. R aised in Athens, Greece, Themistocles Dassopoulos, M.D., moved to the United States to attend college and medical school. He earned his medical degree from Brown University, completed his residency at Harvard Medical School and his fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of Chicago. Dr. Dassopoulos has authored 40 original articles, 30 reviews, symposia lectures and editorials, seven book chapters, and numerous abstracts. He has served the American Gastroenterological Association as head or member of several committees. His areas of research include cost-effectiveness of analysis in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) and digital analysis of endoscopic images. Dr. Dassopoulos has been recognized in Best Doctors in America since 2011 and has received the Gold Doc recommendation by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. In September 2014, he joined the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas and is the medical director of the Baylor Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. The Center provides comprehensive and coordinated care to patients with IBD, performs clinical trials of promising new therapies and serves as a clinical and educational resource within the region. “We have the unique opportunity to establish an IBD center with a national reputation,” Dr. Dassopoulos said. “We aim to not only take care of sick patients in Dallas, but also develop initiatives to improve the care of the wider IBD population, patients who are less sick but still have health needs that need to be met.” Another aspect that differentiates Baylor’s Center for IBD from others is the breadth of experience. “It’s the art of medicine as well as the knowledge of medicine and the team approach,” Dr. Dassopoulos said. He also credited the close working relationships among colorectal surgeons, pathologists and IBD specialists as setting the 20 Center apart from others. Why did you pursue the specialty of gastroenterology? I had a natural affinity for the types of patients we see in GI and the types of problems they have. It is a balanced specialty in that one establishes longterm relationships with patients and one also performs procedures. What career would you want to have if you weren’t a physician? I would have enjoyed being a diplomat. I like solving problems and I enjoy talking to people of different backgrounds, interests, cultures and histories. I speak some French. And Greek, of course. What’s something about you that would surprise people? I served in the Greek army from ages 29 to 31. I was in the same platoon as people who were 17 years old – now that was quite an experience! What’s the most influential book you’ve ever read? I love to read but cannot name an “influential” book. Among my favorites are Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler, Skylark by Dezso Kosztolanyi and The Pilgrim Hawk by Glenway Wescott. What are some things you would like to accomplish in life? I look forward to becoming a grandfather one day. As for the more immediate future, I’d like to go on a safari and learn to sail. DR. THEMISTOCLES DASSOPOULOS