When it came to searching for physician role models to emulate, Nadia Ameen, MBBS, didn’t have to look far. Her eldest sister was “a caring, amazing pediatric gastroenterologist who loved her patients and was an advocate for them, regardless of station, ethnicity, race or age,” Dr. Ameen says.
Sadly Dr. Ameen’s sister passed away. But Dr. Ameen followed her into the field of pediatric gastroenterology and has honored her by keeping those standards in mind when treating her young patients. She also enjoys mentoring young women and men in science and research.
Though she prescribes medications when needed, Dr. Ameen is a strong believer in using nutrition to solve digestive problems whenever possible. “My favorite part of my job is seeing patients improve with dietary interventions and good nutrition,” says Dr. Ameen, who specializes in constipation. In her laboratory, Dr. Ameen is examining how certain medicines work to improve constipation. She is also interested in how taking nutritional methods, such as ground kale, compare to taking medications.
“I want to support the impact of dietary components on the gut,” she says. “I don’t like using chronic medications on patients. I truly believe we need to educate kids and families about good eating habits. Then they can carry these on for the rest of their lives and prevent diseases like diabetes and fatty liver disease.”
Dr. Ameen is also an associate professor of pediatrics (gastroenterology) and of cellular & molecular physiology at Yale School of Medicine.