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      Kentucky-born RGA Physician Drawn to GI for Procedures, Patient Care

      Dr. Clinton Snedegar

      Dr. Clinton Snedegar enjoys the variety that comes with gastroenterology, whether that's performing a procedure to help diagnose a digestive health condition or consulting with patients in clinic at Rockford Gastroenterology Associates (RGA).

      Dr. Snedegar hails from Eastern Kentucky where his dad was a farmer and his mom was both a teacher and school principal. When it came time for college, he enrolled at Transylvania University in Lexington and completed a bachelor's degree in political science.

      "I didn't grow up thinking I was going to be a doctor," he recalled. "I considered law school, then decided toward the end of college that I didn't want to go to law school. I took some time off and worked for a law firm, then volunteered at a pediatric clinic at the University of Kentucky.

      "That's when I made the decision to go into medicine."

      Dr. Snedegar went back to school full time for a year to take the prerequisite classes he needed for the medical school entrance exam. From there, he enrolled at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville and completed his medical degree in 1998.

      During that time, he also met and married his wife, Paige. It was during the first year of his Internal Medicine residency at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis that he became interested in the gastrointestinal (GI) field.

      "I wanted to do something procedural, and I gravitated toward the physicians doing GI at Wash U," he said.

      Dr. Snedegar completed his Gastroenterology fellowship at Wash U's Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 2004. While living in St. Louis, he and Paige had three sons and started raising a family. They wanted to move closer to both of their families in Kentucky, so Dr. Snedegar took a job practicing gastroenterology for about seven years in the Cincinnati area prior to joining RGA.

      He was familiar with RGA because he'd done medical training at Wash U with RGA's Dr. Aaron Shiels and Dr. Kevin Peifer.

      Drawn to the practice by its culture, rich history, and deep expertise, Dr. Snedegar joined RGA in January 2012.

      "Everybody at RGA is really smart and very well-trained," he said. "It's just a good practice, and I get to work with people every day I consider my friends. RGA's founders created a culture of practicing excellent medicine while also prioritizing spending time with family.

      "We take care of ourselves and each other, which helps provide better care for our patients. It's been a great move for me and my family."

      In his practice at RGA, Dr. Snedegar is a general gastroenterologist who "sees just about everything," including caring for patients with liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and biliary disorders. He enjoys performing GI procedures, including more complex procedures called ERCPs.

      "I like the mix in GI, being able to spend part of the time doing procedures and part of the time in the office with patients, and then I like the complexity of the hospital cases," he said. "A lot of people think all we do is colonoscopies, but GI is so much more. Many conditions are interesting and challenging all at the same time."

      Dr. Snedegar noted how scope technology used for procedures such as colonoscopies has improved during the past decade, allowing gastroenterologists to have even better accuracy when detecting and removing precancerous polyps.

      "The idea of a colonoscopy is still weird for some people," he said. "There are certainly noninvasive ways for screening for colon cancer, but colonoscopy is the only test that can prevent colon cancer. It's important to have a conversation with your doctor about what screening is best for you based on family history, age, and other factors."

      Dr. Snedegar lives in Rockford with Paige. They enjoy being involved in their sons' activities, playing tennis, and cooking together.