Getting to Know Dr. Edward Friedman

Dr. Edward Friedman is a board-certified gastroenterologist who practices at the GI Specialists Foundation, a member of Baptist Medical Group. He is the subject of this month’s “Getting to Know.”

Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
Family: Married to Susan, with son Abie, 6, daughter, Mia, 5, and a baby due this spring
Education: Undergraduate – The University of Memphis; Medical School- The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, American Medical Association and Tennessee Medical Association
Specialty: Gastroenterology

Why did you choose this specialty?

I chose this specialty because it offers the combination of treating patients in an office and performing procedures, which I find very rewarding. You truly get the best of both worlds in GI.  I can treat patients in an office with medication and dietary changes, or perform a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in a hospital, surgical center, or endoscopy suite.

What do you enjoy most about your specialty?

Gastroenterology is a great blend of cognitive skills and manual skills (endoscopy). I really enjoy working with my hands. In addition, gastroenterology encompasses all forms of pathology, from infectious to auto-immune to neoplastic to metabolic. So, while you specialize in one organ system, you still feel like you are taking full advantage of all your medical training. I love seeing office patients and I love working in the endoscopy lab. GI is a perfect blend for me.

What made you decide to join Baptist?

It is the leading hospital in the Mid-South that puts its prime emphasis on providing high-quality patient care.

What are some of the future benefits you look forward to from working with Baptist?

Continuing to provide high-quality patient care, having the opportunity to have advanced medical technology and medical resources and being part of an organization that continues to expand and grow in the field of medicine.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your job?

I enjoy playing softball, spending time with my family and exploring the outdoors.

Who or what inspired you to pursue a medical degree?

I have always had a passion for helping others, and seeing many of my family members pass away from colon cancer inspired me not only to pursue a career in medicine, but to take it one step further and pursue a career in the field of gastroenterology so that I could detect colon cancer early on and save my patients’ lives.

What is a highlight of your career?

Finding pre-cancerous polyps in my patients and saving their lives; giving my patients the right treatment and medication to help with their inflammatory bowel disease, helping my patients get on the right path to healthy eating habits to alleviate their irritable bowel syndrome and acid reflux (GERD), and successfully performing a challenging endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (a test that combines the use of a flexible, lighted scope with X-ray pictures to examine the tubes that drain the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.)

Where has your career taken you in terms of cities and states?

Internship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston; internal medicine residency at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tenn.; and gastroenterology fellowship at The Combined Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center/Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center Program in Phoenix; and then finally back to my hometown of Memphis to settle down with my family and to practice gastroenterology.

I love Memphis. It is my hometown, where I was born and raised. It is also where my medical roots started and where the core of my medical education and medical training were completed.  In addition, I have a sister, brother-in-law and uncle who are doctors in the Memphis medical community.

What would you like your Baptist colleagues to know about you?

I truly love medicine and find myself to be kind of an “old fashioned doctor” who likes to personally get to know all my patients as well as their family members.