Steven Naymagon, MD
Why did you choose to specialize in gastroenterology?
I went to medical school knowing that I want to make a difference in people’s lives. As a medical student I was torn between two paths that would allow me to accomplish this goal – surgery and internal medicine. Surgery would allow me to assess and fix people’s acute problems in real time. Internal medicine would allow me to work out complex problems and develop longitudinal relationships with patients. And then I discovered gastroenterology! As a gastroenterologist I have been able to help patients with complex chronic conditions and see them through very trying times in their lives. I have also been able to perform urgent endoscopic procedures to treat bleeding ulcers, remove dangerous polyps, and relieve blockages in the gastrointestinal tract. These aspects of gastroenterology have led to a very fulfilling career and get me excited to come to work, meet new patients, and solve new problems every day.
What are your areas of special interest and expertise within gastroenterology?
While I practice general gastroenterology, I have been able to hone certain skills during my career. Training at The Mount Sinai Hospital, where Crohn’s disease was first described, led me to develop an interest in treating people with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis). I was fortunate to learn from some of the world leaders on the management of complex Crohn’s and colitis, and the skills I have learned continue to be part of my practice. In addition, since Crohn’s disease often involves the small intestine, I have spent additional time learning how to perform procedures to assess the small intestine – capsule endoscopy and double balloon small bowel enteroscopy. This combination of medical and interventional gastroenterology has been a great asset to my patients.
Do you have any special honors, recognition, or achievements in your medical career that you would like to share?
Being affiliated with a major medical center has allowed me to participate in the education of gastroenterology fellows and other trainees. I have been fortunate to receive the voluntary faculty teaching award from the GI fellowship on several occasions. In addition, I was lucky to be named the consultant of the year by my colleagues in the Division of Hospital Medicine. The ability to help my patients, my colleagues, and my students has been a true honor.
What do you and your family enjoy doing during your spare time?
As a city dweller, I look forward to getting out of the city! I enjoy going for a long hike in the woods and going skiing in the mountains. But I always come back to New York City with a great appreciation for what it has to offer, including the people, the arts, and the culture.