Steven R DeMeester, MD
Surgery is both an art and a science, and to be a master surgeon requires blending the science of disease pathophysiology with the art of applying that science to heal the human body. My goal as a surgeon is to develop and adapt surgical techniques that minimize the impact of a surgical procedure on patients so that quality of life can be restored while recovery time is made as short and easy as possible. After a decade of post-medical school training including general surgery and thoracic surgical residencies and over 20 years of clinical practice I firmly believe that excellent patient care must be supported by three pillars: research, education and clinical practice.
Research is critical to constantly refine outcomes and to understand and integrate new concepts into the practice of surgery and medicine. Without research patient care is stalled at the level of care from years ago, and without monitoring outcomes clinical care doesn’t evolve and improve. In the 20 years of my practice I have moved from open surgery to minimally invasive surgery and now whenever possible to scarless endoscopic surgery to treat esophageal cancer and motility disorders. Our foregut group is firmly committed to research and every year we present data at major national and international society meetings and publish our results in top-notch peer-reviewed medical journals to share what we have learned and developed with our colleagues around the world. A list of our publications can be found on this website under the publication tab.
Education is essential to ensure that the newest concepts and procedures can be applied by physicians around the world to benefit their patients and local community. Our group is committed to education on multiple fronts including summer interns, residents, fellows and other practicing surgeons at one of our specialty courses showcasing cutting-edge techniques and procedures. In addition, I co-direct an annual week-long course where gastroenterologists and surgeons can come together and discuss optimal management strategies for patients with a broad spectrum of benign and malignant esophageal disorders in an effort to ensure our patients get absolute state-of-the-art care from both a medical and surgical standpoint.
The third pillar is patient care, without which relevant research and education can’t be accomplished. It is our patients that provide the opportunity to continually advance the field of esophageal surgery. I view each patient not only as an important individual human being, but as a partner in our efforts to improve therapy for all patients with esophageal and foregut disorders. The reason I do what I do is for each patient that comes to see me and collectively joins the thousands of other patients that have entrusted their lives and esophageal health to the Oregon Clinic GMIS Foregut group!
Since moving to Portland I have come to value the spirt of adventure and rugged individuality so prevalent in those who choose to live in the Pacific Northwest. Leaving the University of Southern California after 20 years was difficult, but absolutely the right decision. I am blessed to live in a place of such beauty that offers so many opportunities for exploration and engaging with nature. I look forward to being here for many years to come to serve patients from Portland and elsewhere with esophageal problems.