Link: University of Iowa

Information About

Alumni Interview

Bruce Runyon, M.D.


(72BS, 76MD, 80R, 81F-Internal Medicine)

What is your hometown?

Des Moines, Iowa

What is your official title?

Chief, Liver Service
Professor of Medicine
Loma Linda University Medical Center

How/when did you become interested in science and medicine?

I became interested in science in high school.

What interested you to pursue a career in medicine and medical education?

I pursued a career in medicine because of the intellectual challenge and the opportunity to help the ill.

Please highlight your major career achievements, awards, discoveries, etc.

I have published 90 peer-reviewed articles, 42 textbook chapters, and fourteen contributions to UpToDate. I have been asked to contribute to UpToDate since its inception in 1996 and was selected to be Section Editor for Complications of Cirrhosis for UpToDate in 2006. I was elected to Best Doctors in America 2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2007-2008 and 2009-2010, and was elected into the American Society of Clinical Investigation. I was also elected into America's Top Physicians as well as America's Top Gastroenterologists in 2008 and 2009, and in 2008 was elected by the Loma Linda University Medical Center Internal Medicine Residents as Attending of the Year. I was the first investigator to be asked to write a practice guideline for the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the last author to write a single-author guideline.

Of my 389 worldwide presentations 52 have been at National Medical Education Courses, usually Digestive Disease Week and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Course and Meeting. The American Board of Internal Medicine recently created a new Certificate of Advanced Qualification for Transplant Hepatology and I was one of 24 Hepatologists in the U.S. to be honored to lecture at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases' first course (September 16-17, 2006) designed to prepare candidates to take the first examination for this Certificate.

Is there a teacher, mentor or UI Carver College of Medicine faculty member who has helped shape your education?

Dr. James Clifton (51R-Internal Medicine) taught me the importance of the detailed history and physical, and Dr. Sinn Anuras (74F-Internal Medicine) sparked my interest in Hepatology.

How or why did you choose the University of Iowa for your education and medical training?

I was an Iowa resident, and the University of Iowa was an excellent educational opportunity.

What kind of professional opportunities or advantages has your University of Iowa medical training provided?

The University of Iowa gave me a great foundation for my career.

What still resonates with you today about your training at Iowa?

The excellent and dedicated mentors.

Please describe your professional interests.

Research and patient care in liver failure, ascites, hepatorenal syndrome and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis.

What are some of your outside interests?

I enjoy kayaking, photography, hiking and cooking. This year I planted my first vegetable garden and grew corn, tomatoes, peppers, etc.

Do you have an insight or philosophy that guides you in your professional work?

Nature is inherently simple - seek to discern the basic principles that guide everything else.

If you could change one thing about the health care system in the United States, what would it be?

I would lower the obstacles patients face in receiving appropriate care.

What is the biggest change you've experienced in medicine since you were a student?

Over-regulation by people who know nothing about what they are doing, especially politicians.

What one piece of advice would you give to today's medical students?

Find a career that best matches your goals.

What do you see as "the future" of medicine?

Hopefully less over-regulation.


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