History of Iranian Association of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 


Initiatives for establishing an Iranian Association of Gastroenterology and Hepatology has a long history and backs to the years when the first Iranian group graduates who studying in aboard returned to Iran with degree of specialty in gastrointestinal disease in hand. The primary activities in this respect commenced in 1952 with participation of the honorable colleague Mr. Dr. Mohammad Ali Gharbi. Here we describe a brief of those activities written by him: 
In 1952, some gastrologist specialialists thought about a new idea of establishing a gastrology specialists association. At the same year the first gastroenterology association was hold under attempts of the late Dr. Yahya Shahrdar with participation of a few specialists in his own house and also it was invited from several professors of gastrology as well as some internists who had more attention to this field. It was decided that the session being held monthly and met periodically in house of members regularly. The first sessions was holding with attendance of 34 members and according its agenda patients’ medical files requiring consultation diagnostically and therapeutically brought about in the session and discussion were made upon them which usually over 3 hours of discussion and criticism were carried out and at the end of session also one or two specialists presented summarization of some foreign journals articles in this respect. The numbers of members increased within as short as less than one year. The permanent members of the association were: 1-The later Dr. Yahya Shahrdar (secretarite of the association) 2-The later Dr. Azar 3-The late Dr. Farzad 4- The later Hakim Al-Saltaneh Etemad 5- The late Dr. Mazaher 6-The late Dr. Hanjan (surgeon) 7- The late Professor Abbas Maleki (radiologist) 8-The late Dr. Nader Nami 9-Mr. Dr. Kavousi 10-The late Dr. Manouchehr Hakim 11-Dr. Mohammad - Ali Gharbi. 
During years of activity, this association invited from some worldwide famous foreign gastroenterolgy specialists who traveling to Iran either invited by the government or university of Tehran and or upon their own interests and they were famous all over the world in gastroenterology diseases that have been invited by the association or due to personal relationship with the members. Of them we can refer to Professor Lamblen, Professor Sharl Debreh, Professor Katlen Sheri Giheh (radiologist) who had very extensive investigations in small intestine radiology (which at that time was accounted as the new and dominant subject of study). They attended in association sessions and presented the last scientific and clinical findings, and since the medical language at that time was French and those professors also were from French implication and comprehension of subjects were done with ease. Upon recommendation of those professors the association must be registered so that acquired authority and then communication with official gastroenterology associations in French find official state and in this way we could enjoyed their invitations and also gained academic sponsorship from French government for young physicians to continue their education in French. 
The later Dr. Shahrdar with aid of some other members showed strict initiatives for association registration but due to some obstacles this aim was not materialized and the association ceased its activity for about 20 years. However, at the present time we express our pleasure that our young colleague succeeded in materialization of that long time standing prospect. 
It deemed that the association activity continued up to 1960s but after then no apparatus known as gastroenterology diseases existed in Iran. The next initiatives for association formation began after 1974, which in that time the laters Dr. Azar, Dr. Farzad who were former university professors as well as Dr. Jahangir Khodadoust and Dr. Mohammad-Ali Rashed, Mr. Dr. Yousef Jalali, and Dr. Mohammad Gharbi followed the way to form the association however, unfortunately due to different causes this success was not achieved. Since 1979, some of our colleagues including the later Dr. Jahangir Khodadoust and Mr. Dr. Sohrab Mobarhan, Mr. Dr.Abbas Saberi, Mr. Dr. Houshan Makkipour, Mr. Dr. Ahmad Shafiei, Mr. Dr. Farhad Navvab, Ms. Dr. Mahin Shams, and Mr. Dr. Mohammad Gharbi attempted to holding monthly session at the place of library of Tehran Clinic hospital. Initially these sessions were held on Tuesdays nights of the end of the month, later on Wednesdays nights at the end of month and finally on Wednesdays nights at the first of every month which this routine have been continued up to now since long time ago. In these sessions some interesting cases of G.I. tract diseases have been introduced and discussed. Those sessions remained and accounted as a core for formation of G.I. association, and active participation of colleagues is indicative of necessity for establishing this association. Concurrently with sessions holding, for the first time Iranian Gastroenterological Association was established and its Board of Directors were elected who were our colleagues as below: 
Dr. Jahangir Khodadoust, Dr. Sohrab Mobarhan, Ms. Dr. Mahin Shamszad. Ms.Dr. Mahin Shamszad was elected as secretarite of the association and meanwhile enjoying the aids invested by SKF Pharmaceutical Co she succeeded to publish the first specialty journal of Gastroenterology in Iran for the first time (with name of Bultan of Iranian Gastroenterological Association). The first issue of this bultan in November 1980, and the 2nd to 4th issues in March, 1981 and June, and October 1981were published respectively. For better understanding the subjects of articles of this journal we outline their headlines as follows: 

1st. Issue: Dr. Houshang Makkipour: Deodenal ulcer; Dr. Seyyed Hassan Mirmajlesi, Chronic diarrhea in adults. 

2nd. Issue: Dr. Mahin Shamszad: Deodenal ulcer in Children and its new treatment; Dr. Ahmad Shafiei: Endoscopy. 

3rd. Issue: Dr. Houshang Daneshgar: Gastritis; Dr. Hossein Tavassoli; Viral hepatitis. 

4th. Issue: Dr. Abbas Saberi, Esophagitis; Dr. Naser Anvari: Surgical therapy in Duodenal ulcer. 

Unfortunately after emigration of some our colleagues to abroad this association collapsed. By setting up the former Daryoush Kabir hospital (current name is Dr. Shariati hospital), the first subspecialty ward of gastroenterology in Iran was established under my supervision with holding weekly conferences in the former Daryoush Kabir hospital G.I. ward ((current name is Dr. Shariati hospital) which regularly without cease continues its formation since 1976 and in this way act as a focus for vitalization of discussions on G.I. tract diseases. In any way following up for association formation did not ceased and since after 1990 this purpose was followed more strictly. At last after spending huge initiatives in 1991the founder board of Iranian Gastroenterologists and Hepatologist Association including Dr. Seyyed Hossein Mirmajlesi, Dr. Ahmad Shafiei, Dr. Rahim Aghazadeh, Dr. Reza Malek Zadeh and Dr. Mohammad -Reza Zali upon presenting an Articles of Association to the Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education achieved the permit for association formation. The association at the first general session conducted elections as follows: Board of directors included Dr. Seyyed Hassan Mirmajlesi, Dr. Ahmad Shafiei, Dr. Rahim Aghazadeh, Dr. Reza Malekzadeh and Dr. Mohammad-Reza Zali as principal members of the board of directors; Dr. Abbas Saberi as alterante member of board of directors; Dr. Soheil Fadaei as inspector and Dr. Hassan Elyasi as alternate inspector. In board of directors also some appointments were carried out: Dr. Seyyed Hossein Mirmajlesi as president, Dr. Ahmad Shafiei as vice president and Dr. Rahim Aghazadeh as treasurer were elected. Consequent to the termination of 2-year period of board of directors, general assembly of the association elected the new board of directors on Aug.31, 1995 which included Dr. Seyyed Hossein Mirmajlesi, Dr. Rahim Aghazadeh, Dr. Reza Malekzadeh, Dr. Naser Daryani and Dr. Morteza Khatibian as principal members of the board of directors, and Dr. Ahmad Sahfiei and Dr. Mohammad-Reza Zali as alternate members of the board of directors, and Dr. Soheil Fadadei as principal inspector and Dr. Ramin Ghadimi as alternate inspector have been appointed. The newly formed board of directors at the first session elected Dr. Seyyed Hossein Mirmajlesi as the president and Dr. Reza Malekzadeh as vice president and Dr. Rahim Aghazadeh as treasurer. 

At that time the Iranian Gastroenterologists and Hepatologist Association was composed of 94 members of which 72 were principal and the remainder 22 were allied members. During that time the association accepted as membership of (OMGE) Organization Mondal de Gastroenterologie. 

The last election within the association was carried out on Dec. 21, 2000 with attendance of plenipotentiary representative of the Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education which at that time the number of joint members was 70, and Mr. Dr. Reza Malekzadeh, Mr. Dr. Seyyed Hossein Mirmajlesi, Mr. Dr.Rahim Aghazadeh, Mr. Dr. Seyyed Mahdi Sharifzadeh, and Mr. Dr. Morteza Khatibian as members of Board of Directors, Mr. Dr. Hasan Saadatnia and Mr. Dr. Ramin Ghadimi as alternate members have been selected, as well as Mr. Dr. Reza Ansari as inspector and Mr. Dr. Fallahi as alternate inspector were selected. Meanwhile, Mr. Dr. Seyyed Hossein Mirmajlesi obtained the exclusive concession of the GI tract jouranal for the association organization in 1994. 

In 1995 the association board of directors appointed Mr. Dr. Sadegh Massart as responsible of the editorial board. Since this history is stated much based on memories it is most likely that included in itself some defects therefore dear colleagues are asked to send their information to the address of association office so that the errors being corrected and also they are exploited in compiling the history of formation of Iranian Gastroenterologists and Hepatologist Association. 

Currently the Iranian Gastroenterologists and Hepatologist Association has 456 members of which 156 are joint and 300 are allied members. 

Association and its activities: 

Dr Aghazadeh in 1996 say, although the Iranian Association of Gastroenterology and Hepatology is newly born but have capabilities to satisfy many educational, research, hygienical, and therapeutical requirements of our country. For formation and delivery of this newborn a long and complicated path has been surveyed as described earlier. Now we outline its activities taken after official establishment in brief bringing about a clue for lovers of knowledge and development avoid manner of individualism and remove themselves from isolation and so being joint to this association and promote their own scientific and practical potentials, both in direction of giving and taking benefits (if the water remains not flowing , its appearance would be opaque and gain color of death). In June 1992 upon invitation made by founders board composed of Dr.Seyyed Hossein Mirmajlesi, Dr.Ahmad Shafiei, Dr.Rahim Aghazadeh, Dr.Reza Malekzadeh and Dr.Mohammad Zali and with presence of 31gastroenterologists the first meeting was held in the former building of Medical Council Organization and there the temporary members of board of directors were assigned and the Articles of Association was approved by the general assembly. The founders have been elected as the board of directors and they were introduced and communicated to the Ministry of Health. The ministry according issuance of a letter dated July, 5, 1995 officially recognized the association. Consequently the arrangements were made as to registration and membership cards were issued for members. At the present time (2002) the association has 456 members. Members who have authorized and certified degree of G.I. specialty or subspecialty are assigned as joint members (n=156) and those are internist and work and have experiences in the field of gastrology and are accepted by the board of directors (300) are assigned as allied members. After passing 2 years the Articles of Association would require that the general assembly to be held again as to report the financial status to the members and re-election being carried out for appointment of board of directors. Thus in Aug. 31, 1995 the general assembly was met at the place of association and after reporting financial status, the board of directors members, inspector, and president of the association were elected and introduced to the ministry as follows: Principal members of the board of directors were: Dr. Seyyed Hossein Mirmajlesi, Dr. Reza Malekzadeh, Dr. Rahim Aghazadeh, Dr. Naser Ebrahimi Daryani and Dr. Khatibian; Inspector and alternate members were: Dr. Ramin Ghadimi, Dr. Soheil Fadaei, and Mohammad-Reza Zali and Dr. Ahmad Shafiei. 

Association activities in brief: 

Educational Activities: 

Conferences: From the initial formation the associations are holding monthly conferences on new findings about gastrointestinal and liver diseases. Firs of them was held in Tehran University, Faculty of Medicine, Ebn Sina Saloon which this activity has been continued up to now due to support and reception of honorable professors. Associations monthly sessions are regularly held at the amphitheater saloon of Shariati hospital in end month Thursdays. 

The list below summarizes conferences, date of holding and lecturers from June, 1993 up to Nov.2002 . 

Re-Training Seminars: 

The association during its life held 4 re-training seminars for G.I. specialists by aid of various companies as follows: 

1- Endoscopic treatment of billiary ducts diseases by Professor Martin from England in January 1992 for 5 days held at Taleghani and Imam Khomeini hospital in Tehran. 

2-G.I. tract Endosonography by Dr. Palazzo from French for 2 days in January 1994 held in Dr. Shariati hospital in Tehran. 

3-One-day seminar on Esophageal Benign Tumors, Oct. 1993, Dr. Shariati hospital in Tehran. 

4-Seminar on Esophageal Cancer, Aug.22, 2002, with participation of Dr. Stanford Davousi and Dr. Abnet from United States of America. 

Other Educational Activities of the Association are: 

A-Participation in re-training of internists on liver and G.I. tract diseases according to the scheduling program of internists association. 

B-Participation in Annual Congress of Internists Association by presenting research papers as well as in comprehensive conferences and re-training. 

C-Holding the 1st. Iranian International Congress on Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Diseases, 2000, Shiraz city. 

D-Holding the 2nd. Iranian International Congress on Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Diseases, 2000, Tehran. 

E-Holding Meeting of Internal and Endoscopic Wards Nurses, 2001, Tehran. 

F-Gastroenterological and Hepatic Specialists Association has conducted National Project for Information Supply and Fight to Hepatitis B, which is one of our country hygienical dilemma, and by applying an extended and planned measures as well as optimal exploitation of mass media such as Radio and T.V. has promoted public hygienical status throughout the country. 

G-This association by continual follow-up and by obtaining permit from deputy of health of the ministry has attempted to prepare a scientific and practical educational program for internists working in well-equipped educational and therapeutical centers throughout the country, and in this way those successfully pass this examination offer certificate for performing endoscopy and regarding the scattering them over the country the association has been succeeded to overcome some portion of subspecailist physician deficit in some areas. Up to now about 156 internists has sent application for this certificate from which 51 have been succeeded to obtain it upon submitting documents and endoscopic certifications have been issued for them, and 81of them have been surveyed and evaluated by the university professors and after this process and assessment acceptance the certificate have been issued for them. At now educational program has been provided in 10 subspecialty centers over the country and are continuing such a way that 20 specialists are in list of education. 

Publications: 

A-Seasonal journal under title of Selection of Medical Papers in English language has been prepared from initial of 1995 by aid of Laboratory Technology Co and is provided for members. The papers of selected from 5 most famous and credited medical journals over the world. 

B-Reproduction and distribution of medical educational tapes about the last scientific advances and evolutions of the world written in English language. 

C- Iranian Gastroenterologists and Hepatologist Association is charged in publishing G.I. journal and with publishing recent research papers on subjects, difficulties and dilemmas encountered with physicians help in more recognition of these kinds of diseases as well as elucidating new and modern therapeutical methods. 

D-Preparation and reproduction and distribution of tens of various educational and scientific CDs for association members. 

Trading Activities: 

A-Preparing Endoscope: The association with obtaining exchange, U.S.$ equivalent to Rls3000, by acquired by aid of Lab. Tech Co as well as a loan offered by Central Bank Melli allocated under 

3-yearly installments which was afforded to its members succeeded to purchase some endoscopes for them (with priority for young and newly working colleagues). 

B-Participation in assignment of tariff: 

The association with aid of Internists Association as well as Medical Council Organization of the Islamic of Iran has attempted to really outline visits fee and endoscopic tariffs. 

C-Participation in activities made by Iranian Internists Association: 

for preserving trading union values and selection of permanent place of Subspecialty internists Associations. 

D-Participation in the activities made by the Medical Council Organization of the Islamic of Iran: In relation to union issues encountered with specialists. 

E-Scientific Consultation: 

The association are requested by various organization of the country for scientific consultation and with offering comments and expertise guidelines takes effective steps in resolving their scientific and hygienic problems. 

F-Carrying out clinical trials on new drugs and in case of effectiveness offering recommendations for inclusion into Iranian generic drugs list.