professional education

Functional GI disorders, for the most part, lack structural or biochemical markers that identify the disorders. Thus, they have long been difficult for physicians to understand, diagnose, and treat.

The prevalence of fecal incontinence has long been underestimated and that population underserved. As a part of our mission of serving patients, IFFGD also conducts education initiatives for physicians and caregivers of these specialized GI topics.


  • IFFGD initiated and cosponsors, with the Office of Continuing Medical Education of the University of Wisconsin Medical School, the International Symposium on Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders that began in 1995. This biennial conference was the first international meeting designed to communicate new knowledge in the field of functional GI disorders. It has been described as "an educational jewel," attracting hundreds of scientists and health care professionals from around the world as well as representatives of the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. Findings presented in these meetings are widely distributed through our publications and web sites.
  • IFFGD produced a physician text and slide set on the most common functional GI disorders. This was the first Educational Guide to offer information on functional GI disorders incorporating the Rome Criteria, a symptom-based diagnostic method, that physicians and healthcare professionals can use in presentations to educate the general public and community medical groups.
  • IFFGD organized and cosponsored the 2nd International Symposium on Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.
  • IFFGD helped organize a 3-day meeting, The Science and Practice of Mind Body Interactions. Participants included outstanding and internationally recognized scientific leaders in neurophysiology and anatomy, and a group of prominent and unique practitioners of mind-body medicine. A summary of the meeting proceedings were published by IFFGD as The Neurobiology Basis of Mind Body Medicine.
  • IFFGD supported the development of an educational video for medical professionals entitled A Biopsychosocial Approach to Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Improving the Physician Patient Relationship. Using simulated patient encounters, this video offers physicians techniques to improve communication with patients having mild, moderate, and severe symptoms of IBS. The video received recognition in 1998 from the American Medical Association (AMA) when it was named 1st runner-up in the AMA International Medical Film Festival for the category of patient education.
  • IFFGD sponsored a 3-day workshop "Pathophysiological Models of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders". The primary goal of the workshop was to provide basic and clinical investigators (with different backgrounds and interests but with a shared interest in functional medical disorders) with an impetus to develop conceptual models that are applicable to functional GI disorders.
  • IFFGD organized and cosponsored the 3rd International Symposium on Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.
  • The proceedings of IFFGD's landmark 2nd Consensus Conference - Advancing the Treatment of Fecal and Urinary Incontinence Through Research: Trial Design, Outcome Measures, and Research Priorities - was published in the January 2004 Supplement, Vol. 126, No. 1, of the journal Gastroenterology.
  • IFFGD awarded 5 Research Grants to investigators in clinical and translational sciences. 
  • IFFGD awarded 3 Research Grants to investigators for innovative research related to idiopathic gastroparesis. 
  • IFFGD awarded 4 Research Grants to young investigators in clinical and translational sciences. 


See other accomplishments:
Public Education & Awareness

  • IFFGD awarded 3 Research Grants to investigators for innovative research related to idiopathic gastroparesis.