William Ravich, MD, is a gastroenterologist at Yale Medicine, specializing in swallowing disorders and esophageal disease.
He served as the clinical director of The Johns Hopkins Swallowing Center for over 25 years. The Swallowing Center was the first multi-disciplinary center for the evaluation and management of swallowing disorders. “Swallowing is complex and swallowing disorders don’t fit neatly into any one specialty,” Dr. Ravich explained. “Patients may be sent from one specialist to another, each only considering the conditions with which they are most familiar or throwing up their hands and sending the patient on to another specialty.”
With his unique background, Dr. Ravich brings a more integrated perspective to swallowing disorders than most clinicians. "The patients I particularly enjoy seeing are the ones other clinicians have been unable to help because of the narrow focus of their respective specialty. As a result of my experience with patients with an unusually broad range swallowing problems, I’m in a good position to select the appropriate tests in order to diagnose their condition and to suggest the best approach to manage their symptoms.
Dr. Ravich also has extensive experience in esophageal disorders in general, including achalasia, eosinophilic esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Barrett’s esophagus. He was a member of the first group to study the role of botulinum toxin in the treatment of achalasia and was involved in the development of ambulatory esophageal pH monitoring, a test that revolutionized the diagnosis and management of GERD.
As a gastroenterologist Dr. Ravich enjoys the balance between clinical diagnosis and performing procedures, “It is a good opportunity to use your hands and brain at the same time,” he says.