Dr. Karen Steffer’s interest in medicine started during her undergraduate studies at Baylor University in Waco when she was pre-med. She became involved in the pre-med/prudent society and eventually became the vice president of the organization. She also had an interest in humanities, which led to her joining the humanities program to study the social and emotional aspects of medicine. She was also involved in founding the Christian Medical Society.
During her medical school training at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, Dr. Steffer narrowed down her interest to internal medicine and eventually gastroenterology and hepatology. Her first research project was focused on liver disease—particularly nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. She continued her study and training in liver diseases during her fellowship program, where she cared for patients with chronic liver diseases on the pre-liver transplant list and post-liver transplant.
Her internship and residency training was done at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. She continued her research career focused on the nutrition and complications of gastric bypass surgery. Dr. Steffer’s advanced training in gastroenterology and hepatology was also at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. She had the privilege of training under legends in the field of gastroenterology, including Dr. John Fordtran and Dr. Lawrence Schiller. She has completed research projects and written a chapter in a GI textbook with Dr. Fordtran on the evaluation of chronic diarrhea.
After her graduation from fellowship, Dr. Steffer joined TDDC and started a private practice in Southlake Texas. Her focus has been on women’s issues in gastroenterology and hepatology, but she continues to enjoy taking care of patients with liver disease and chronic diarrhea.