September 4, 2009

Polk named distinguished alumnus of University of Arkansas

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D. Brent Polk, M.D.

Polk named distinguished alumnus of University of Arkansas

D. Brent Polk, M.D., director of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, has been named the 2009 Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

The award was presented during the school's recent alumni weekend.

“Dr. Polk was an excellent pediatric resident and I greatly enjoyed working with him in the intensive care unit,” said Debra Fiser, M.D., dean of the UAMS College of Medicine. “There was a time when we thought we might convince him to do critical care medicine, but GI was his passion.

“He has certainly distinguished himself nationally and internationally with an outstanding academic career in pediatric gastroenterology. We are very proud of his many accomplishments.”

According to the alumni association, the award is given to “recognize outstanding contributions to the health of all people through patient care, basic research, clinical research, and/or or health services administration, and demonstration of the high principles of the medical profession.”
Polk received his medical degree from Arkansas in 1984.

He completed an internship and residency in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He completed a fellowship in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Stanford University's School of Medicine.

He came to Vanderbilt in 1990 from Stanford, where he served as a clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics.

Polk is also the Vanderbilt Dean's Professor of Pediatrics and Cell & Developmental Biology and director of the Vanderbilt Digestive Disease Research Center.