Meet Joshua D. Eisenberg, MD, our newest attending gastroenterologist within the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
He’s a native of the Philadelphia suburbs and a long-time resident of the city. He attended the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate degree in biology and then Thomas Jefferson University for his medical degree. He completed his residency and GI fellowship at CHOP and stayed an extra year for advanced fellowship training in GI motility.
Dr. Eisenberg recently sat down for an informal Q&A to tell us more about himself, why he chose CHOP and what’s exciting him in the future of GI motility treatment.
Q: Why did you choose to work at CHOP?
A: I chose CHOP for my training because of the extraordinary variety of illnesses treated here, as well as the supportive and collaborative environment among the staff. I chose to stay in order to contribute to the forward-thinking GI motility group here, with respect to both clinical and research initiatives.
Q: What drew you to the specialty of gastroenterology? More specifically, GI motility?
A: Gastroenterology was appealing to me because I enjoy both the clinical aspects of interpreting studies and developing long-term relationships, as well as the technical aspects of performing procedures. Within GI, motility is an area with exciting new technologies on the horizon that we hope will greatly benefit our patients.
Q: Are there any specific conditions or treatments that interest you from a clinical or research perspective?
A: Specific conditions that interest me clinically and from a research perspective include swallowing disorders and congenital disorders of the nervous system that affect the GI tract.
Q: What advice would you offer to families considering coming to CHOP for GI motility care?
A: GI motility disorders can be challenging to diagnose and even more challenging to manage. At CHOP, we have some of the most advanced tools that can perform advanced motility testing (if indicated for a diagnosis), as well as an experienced multidisciplinary team to address many factors related to motility disorders, including coping with symptoms, maintaining nutrition, and taking care of social needs to minimize the impact of children’s symptoms on their quality of life.
Q: What do you like most about working with children with GI and/or motility conditions?
A: Children with GI conditions frequently have impaired quality of life early and often in the course of their illness. This is especially true for children with disordered motility. It is most gratifying to me to address these children’s medical needs, so they are able to take part in everyday activities again such as eating meals with family and attending school and social events.
Q: How has your GI motility fellowship training at CHOP changed your perspective or enhanced your skills as a physician?
A: GI motility fellowship allowed me the opportunity to gain experience performing and interpreting advanced procedures for diagnosis and management of motility disorders. I was also able to learn directly from CHOP’s team of motility attending physicians that I am honored be able to join.
Q: How does your personal experience and background affect the way you deliver care and interact with patients and their families?
A: My experience has shown me that no two children are exactly alike, and that treatment plans need to take into account the patients’ and families’ perspectives, insights and objectives in order to be successful.
Q: What excites you about the future of pediatric motility care?
A: The future of GI motility care is full of new technology that will help us to better understand and manage disorders that we currently have only a few types of tools to treat. The technologies on the horizon have the potential help us to better individualize care for each patient and improve outcomes significantly.
Q: What do you wish your pediatric patients – or their families – knew about you?
A: I wish they knew that as a Philly native, I am and always have been a fan of the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, and Sixers.
Q: If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
A: My superpower would be to see the future, in order to initiate effective treatment plans even earlier for patients.
Q: Who is your hero or role model and why?
A: My role model is Ted Lasso. Although he is fictional, he is positivity, kindness and hopefulness personified. And while he is far from perfect and things often do not go his way, he maintains his positive attitude to the point that it spreads to those around him.
Q: If you were not a doctor, what do you think your job would be?
A: If I were not a doctor, I would probably work in secondary education, teaching science or history.