The Northern California Society for Clinical Gastroenterology (”NCSCG”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to the pursuit of clinical excellence in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, primarily through continuing medical education. By providing a forum for the exchange of ideas, the NCSCG aims to encourage professional growth, stimulate intellectual curiosity, and further patient outcomes by expanding access to up-to-date information of interest to practitioners.
The NCSCG Board would also like to announce the decision to move ahead with seeking a Non-Profit status for the organization. We believe that the members will support this direction and that this new status will further enhance the reputation of the NCSCG.
As always, we seek your continued participation and membership. We strongly encourage you to spread the word to your colleagues and see the membership application available in the membership section of this website for details. If there are any members interested in participating on the Board of Directors, please contact any one of us for more information. Your suggestions and your continued support for this society are greatly appreciated. Please block your calendars early and send your membership forms and dues now.
The Northern California Society of Clinical Gastroenterology was organized in the mid 1970’s, originally as an informal journal club. It was organized during a time when the national GI societies focused exclusively on basic science research, almost to the exclusion of matters that were immediately relevant to practicing gastroenterologists.
So it was that local societies began to form, formally and informally. There was the Western Gut Club, possibly the predecessor of the NCSCG in that clinical gastroenterologists from Northern and Southern California would meet once a year in Monterey to discuss common academic and clinical interests. There was the Southern California Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, its name highlighting the attempt to combine what were considered two very separate domains, gastroenterology and endoscopy. Then there was the informal journal club, consisting of 10-12 members who would meet periodically at individual’s homes or often at the cafeteria of Highland Hospital. Its earliest members (may not be complete list-audience can add) included Dr. Stan Goldberg, Dr. Manny Friedman, Dr. Harvey Olsen, Dr. Ralph Bernstein, Dr. Dave Bloom, and Dr. Steve Jacobsohn.
It was these and other physicians (list may not be complete) who wanted to formalize these informal meetings and desired to create a local gastroenterology society that incorporated both gastroenterology and endoscopy and addressed the academic and clinical interests of practicing gastroenterologists of Northern California. The idea of such a society was discussed with local prominent academics, including Dr. Rudi Schmid and Marvin Sleisenger among others, who were instrumental in organizing and supporting the society. They help to set up and served on the board that elected the first board members and councilors, including the first president, Dr Stan Goldberg.
In the spirit of the saying “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”, we will allow those members present during the early years of the society to tell their own stories. Stories about the leaky hotel at the first annual meeting in Lake Tahoe, stories told by Dr, Rudi Schmidt and the first speaker, Dr. William Bachrach from UCLA at a very lively dinner, stories about what was said when the first winter meeting at Yosemite, in the planning stages for 5 years because of availability of the hotel, had to be cancelled because of an oversight as it coincided with an important religious holiday. In fact, we ask all members to share what they known about the origins and history of the NCSCG in a formal (written) way with the current board.
For a group in existence for 30 years, it should not be surprising that the NCSCG is an organization rich in tradition. Yet it may be surprising to everyone here that this tradition exists only in an informal way. Unlike many long-standing organizations, there is no formal written history of NCSCG and few public opportunities to share stories of this organization. I am sure that many new members (and perhaps even some older members) were not aware of how and why this society was started. However knowing (and sharing) stories of the people, events, and traditions that shaped this organization over its 30 year history is essential for ensuring that the NCSCG keeps to its founding principles for the next 30 years.
Therefore in a new tradition, we propose to use a few moments of each December meeting to tell an important or humorous story from this organization’s rich past, to recount the origins and principles on which the NCSCG was founded, and to acknowledge the hard work and participation of all current and past members, with particular gratitude to the contributions of its earliest members.