Our History

History of the FGS

At the heart of the mission of FGS is to strengthen the camaraderie of Florida Gastroenterologist through top quality events, become a homebase to earn CME credit, keep members informed on current legislative issues, and serve as an advocate and support to the next generation of GI professionals. We have been able to achieve success due to the strong foundation that was laid for the organization by several dedicated individuals.

The Florida Gastroenterologic Society was originally conceived in 1965 by James L. Borland, M.D., a well respected Gastroenterologist practicing in Jacksonville, Florida.

The first Annual Meeting occurred in Lakeland in 1966.

In 1978, the Florida Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy was formed. On its original Board of Directors were President, William Baker, M.D.; Vice President, Jamie Barkin, M.D.; Secretary, Thomas J. Schneider, M.D.; and Treasurer, H. Juergen Nord, M.D.

On Saturday, September 11, 1982, during the business portion of combined Annual Meetings of the FSGE and the FGS, held at the Colony Resort Hotel in Sarasota, Florida, a motion was made by Dr. Schneider that the organizations merge into one organization – to be called the Florida Gastroenterologic Society, Inc. At the time, Dr. H. Juergen Nord was President of the FSGE, and Dr. Arvey Rogers was the President of the FGS. Following discussion, a floor vote was taken, and this motion was unanimously passed.

The officers elected to serve on the new resulting organization were:

President – Thomas J. Schneider, MD
Vice President – James J. Cerda, MD
Secretary – John P. Christie, MD
Treasurer – S. Phillip Bralow, MD

On September 24, 1983, the new Articles of Incorporation for the Florida Gastroenterologic Society, Inc. were signed, and the FGS was legally set in motion.

In 1986, a professional management team was hired to run the activities of the FGS.

Since 1993, the Annual Meeting of the FGS has maintained an attendance of over 400 Gastroenterologists, Nurses and Associates, with over 70 companies consistently participating each year as exhibitors. This has made the Florida meeting the largest State GI meeting in the country since then.

Participation by pharmaceutical companies as exhibitors and grant contributors for the annual meetings began around 1979.


Reflections from Frank C. Bone, M.D., FACP

My first recollection of any attempt to organize a GI Society in Florida occurred about a year before it actually started. A number of us attended a Florida Medical Society meeting in Miami, and I will try to remember all the people at this meeting. We had a special meeting with just this in mind. Don Marian, a prominent gastroenterologist in Miami, attended, as did Chester Cassell. Jim Borland, Sr., was there, and Mel Tresser from Orlando attended. Jim Johnson from The Watson Clinic was there; and there may have been others, but I remember only those mentioned.

This was probably the beginning of the GI Society, and it took a year or two after this meeting to get things going. In the early days, I can remember meeting very often with Jim Johnson who was President or perhaps Vice-President, and I was the Secretary. We would meet on a regular basis, usually somewhere between Orlando and Lakeland. We would discuss various issues and how much of this would be related to science and how much would be related to economic matters.

We had regular meetings all over the state. I believe we met in Ponte Vedra the year I was President. At that time, we had a very distinguished gastroenterologist from John Hopkins come down to help us understand esophageal disease better.

As I recall, Jim Johnson was really the one who got the Florida GI Society going. He worked very hard for the program for at least two years. At the time that this was going on, the AGA was the only active national organization in the field of gastroenterology. The ASGE was first known as the Gastroscopy Club. The American College of Gastroenterology had not been started at that time. Since that time, tremendous advances have been made in the field of gastroenterology, resulting in many more gastroenterologists. The Society has grown from a very small one to a very large one. I think it has improved in every way and continues to improve at this time.

Today, the FGS serves hundreds of GI professionals providing exclusive benefits and programs to the membership. We are constantly looking for ways to improve and enhance the talents and abilities of our members to better serve their patients.


To read the full version on the History of the FGS you an view the PDF here: FGS History