EDITOR’S NOTE: In honor of National Colorectal Awareness Month in March, Piedmont HealthCare is proud to recognize the four PHC gastroenterologists who have made Iredell County home. Throughout the month PHC will highlight a gastroenterologist in a brief Q&A each week as well as provide helpful information to readers about colorectal awareness. This week the spotlight is on Dr. Nikhiel Rau of Comprehensive Digestive Care Center.

Dr. Nikhiel Rau

Special to Iredell Free News

Q: What brought you to Iredell County?

DR. RAU: During my Internal Medicine residency training at Elmhurst Hospital I became good friends with Dr. Vivek Trivedi, who was two years my senior. While I was in my Advanced Hepatology Fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Dr. Trivedi told me about the wonderful patients and staff he would see on a daily basis. He also spoke highly of Piedmont HealthCare and how supportive the group had been for his practice, so I jumped at the opportunity to work here when a GI position became available.

Q: Why Gastroenterology and when did you realize that is what you wanted to make your medical specialty?

DR. RAU: Seeing my father’s personal and professional satisfaction working as a Gastroenterologist in the Boston area has had a big impact on my decision to pursue that field of study. The practice of Gastroenterology impacts multiple organs systems, including the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, esophagus, stomach and small bowel. Armed with the various procedures we perform — endoscopy, colonoscopy, video capsule endoscopy, fibroscan, esophageal dilation, etc., there are so many ways we can help our patients pursue their health goals.

Q: What led you to the practice you have today?

DR. RAU: My practice has grown to what it is today because of the wonderful staff support from my office at Comprehensive Digestive Care Center as well as Piedmont HealthCare, Iredell Memorial and Davis Regional, which allows me to focus on my patients and provide the compassionate care that I strive to achieve.

Q: What do you like most about working in Iredell County?

DR. RAU: My favorite part about working in Iredell County is the close-knit community here and the wonderful patients I get to care for!

Q: What is one piece of free medical advice you’d like to give your readers right now?

DR. RAU: One of the most important preventative measures you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to ensure that you get your screening colonoscopy program started. For an average risk individual, meaning no family history of colon cancer, our Gastroenterology Society recommends starting your screening colonoscopy at age 45. As colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in both men and women, this can truly be a life-saving procedure.

Q: Tell us a little bit about what you do in your free time.

DR. RAU: I love to spend time with my wife and newborn baby girl, Elora, who has bestowed on me one of my most important titles as “Pappa.” My wife and I love to travel the world as well as go off-roading in my 1997 Land Rover Discovery. We are always in search of the next tasty meal or recipe.

Dr. Rau and his Nurse Practitioner, Brittny Mielke, are accepting new patients at their office in Statesville. Call (704) 978-1144 to schedule a visit.

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