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Current Fellows

Saint Louis University's Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology has an outstanding three-year fellowship program to train future gastroenterologists and hepatologists. Our fellows have historically had a 100% pass rate when they take their boards. Learn more about current fellows in SLU's Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology below.

First Years
Headshot of Zarir Ahmed

Zarir Ahmed, M.D. 

Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Medical School:  Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: Saint Louis University
Areas of Interest: General GI 
Why SLU: I chose SLU because of the amazing mentors who care about my learning and being the most competent in what I do and a diverse patient population
Hobbies: Enjoy spending time with my wife and two daughters. Love Lego collecting, Marvel Universe enthusiast, traveling, cooking, and exploring new places to eat.

Headshot of Michelle Baliss

Michelle Baliss, M.D. 

Hometown: Dunlap, IL
Medical School: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: University of Texas Medical Branch
Areas of Interest: General GI
Why SLU: I love my co-fellows! I feel so supported and I appreciate the opportunity to learn from amazing faculty.
Hobbies: Food, family, and working out!


Soumojit Ghosh, MD

Soumojit Ghosh, M.D.

Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Medical School: Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Residency: Saint Louis University
Areas of Interest: General GI, biliary
Why SLU: The diverse training of the teaching faculty as well as the patient population at SLU provides a rich clinical environment to learn and train in. This, alongside the camaraderie between all the fellows and faculty really attracted me to the GI fellowship at SLU. And it doesn't hurt to have a brand new state-of-the-art facility to work and learn in.
Hobbies: Cooking, real estate, watching and playing all sports, finance/investing, playing the ukulele.


Headshot of Laith Numan

Laith Numan, M.D. 

Hometown: Irbid, Jordan
Medical School: Jordan University of Science and Technology
Residency: University of Missouri-Kansas City
Areas of Interest: General GI, biliary
Why SLU: The main reason was that my wife is an internal medicine resident in St. Louis, and I heard a lot of great things about the program from one of my friends who was a fellow here. At SLU, I really like the complexity of the cases and the great faculty we have.
Hobbies: Soccer, video games and collecting shoes.


Second Years
Headshot of Leen Al-Sayyed

Leen Al-Sayyed, M.D. 

Hometown: Attil, Palestine
Medical School: University of Jordan
Residency: University of Arizona- Tucson
Areas of Interest: General GI, hepatology, biliary
Why SLU: Diversity, mentorship, friendly environment and SLU's strong transplant hepatology program.
Career Plans: Transplant hepatology.
Hobbies: I love being in nature, reading, art in general, classic music and traveling.


Headshot of Anuj Chhaparia

Anuj Chhaparia, M.D. 

Hometown: New Delhi, India
Medical School: University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
Residency: Saint Louis University
Areas of Interest: General GI, IBD, Hhepatology
Why SLU: Having done my residency at SLU, I was very familiar with the GI fellowship program at St. Louis University. SLU GI offers great exposure to wide spectrum of gastrointestinal and hepatology pathologies. As a liver transplant center, there is a good mixture of both chronic liver disease and decompensated cirrhosis patients. Every one in the program is very friendly and approachable. Most importantly, I believe that SLU GI trains you to be an outstanding gastroenterologists.
Hobbies: Travel, Netflix, fitness and spending time with family.


Headshot of Gebran Khneizer

Gebran Khneizer, M.D.

Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon
Medical School: American University of Beirut
Residency: Saint Louis University
Areas of Interest: General GI, IBD
Why SLU: Friendly and supportive culture here. I came back for fellowship because I felt at home.
Hobbies: Basketball, scuba diving, learning new languages (currently Spanish).


Headshot of Ben Schmidt

Benjamin Schmidt, M.D. 

Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Medical School: University of Missouri
Residency: Loyola University Medical Center
Areas of Interest: General GI, hepatology
Why SLU: I loved the welcoming environment and the diverse GI/liver pathology. It has been an amazing place to learn.
Career Plans: General GI
Hobbies: Movies, ultimate frisbee, short film production.


Third Years
Headshot of Sam Burton

Sam Burton, M.D. 

Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Medical School: University of Oklahoma
Residency: Saint Louis University
Areas of Interest: Biliary
Why SLU: Diverse patient population, and breadth of exposure to GI subspecialties including Advanced endoscopy, motility, Hepatology, general GI, and IBD. Training is very well balanced. Plenty of scholarly activities as well as hands-on clinical care. Fellows are prepared for either academics or private practices.
Career Plans: Academic advanced endoscopy
Hobbies: I am big sports fan: College football (Boomer Sooner!), West Ham United, Cardinals, Blues and Billiken Basketball. Enjoy visiting many of the free outdoor activities in the St. Louis area including Forest Park, the zoo, Grant's Trail, among many others.


Headshot of Yixi Tu

Yixi Tu, M.D.

Hometown: Nashville, TN
Medical School: University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Residency: University of Louisville
Areas of Interest: General GI, IBD, hepatology
Why SLU: Friendly and supportive faculty and staff, good balance of inpatient and outpatient experience, great city to live in with low cost of living and excellent parks and restaurants.
Career Plans: Private practice GI.
Hobbies: Table tennis, longboarding, peloton, karaoke, desserts.


Headshot of Scott Wardlaw

Scott Wardlaw, M.D. 

Hometown: Little Rock, AR
Medical School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Residency: Beth Israel Deaconess
Areas of Interest: General GI, IBD.
Why SLU: The diverse training of the teaching faculty as well as the patient population at SLU provides a rich clinical environment to learn and train in. This, alongside the camaraderie between all the fellows and faculty really attracted me to the GI fellowship at SLU. And it doesn't hurt to have a brand new state-of-the-art facility to work and learn in.
Career Plans: Accepted a private practice position in my hometown of Little Rock, AR.
Hobbies: Cooking, movies, golf and Razorback/Commodore athletics.


Headshot of David Westrich

David Westrich, Jr. M.D.

Hometown: Cape Girardeau, MO
Medical School: Saint Louis University
Residency: Saint Louis University
Areas of Interest: Biliary, general GI.
Why SLU: The people. Everyone at SLU has been nothing but welcoming and kind from medical school through residency and fellowship.
Hobbies: Spending time with my wife and family. Programming and modding. Traveling.