Member of the Month
Tiffany Taft, PsyD
Dr. Tiffany Taft is a licensed clinical health psychologist in Chicago. She began her work in gastroenterology in 2004 and is currently a research assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology, as well as founder of Oak Park Behavioral Medicine (www.opbmed.com), a private psychology practice specializing in treating patients with chronic digestive diseases. Dr. Taft started her GI psychology career while in graduate school at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, when she met Dr. Laurie Keefer who has served as her mentor since 2005. She completed her doctoral internship at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, specializing in health psychology, and her post-doctoral fellowship in the Center for Psychosocial Research in GI at Northwestern. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Taft obtained a Master’s degree in Information Systems and worked as a web application developer in the corporate sector.
Her first research studies were in the area of disease stigma among patients living with irritable bowel syndrome, then her doctoral dissertation on stigma in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. She has also published studies on stigma in eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases, all of which are the first in depth investigations of disease stigma in these conditions. In addition to her work on stigma, Dr. Taft has investigated the role of brain-gut interventions in digestive diseases and created several validated measures of patient outcomes including the Eosinophilic Esophagitis Quality of Life scale for Adults and the Esophageal Hypervigilance and Anxiety Scale to help clinicians incorporate psychosocial aspects of chronic GI diseases more easily into research and practice.
In addition to her academic work, Dr. Taft sees patients in her practice, supervises graduate and medical students on research projects, and serves on the scientific advisory board for the Illinois Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and the Patient Education Committee for the CCF national organization. She has been an invited speaker at local and national professional and patient education conferences and is active on social media (@OPBMed) as an advocate for psychogastroenterology in both the patient advocate and professional communities. One of her primary goals as both a researcher and clinician is to decrease the stigma not only of GI disease, but also stigma associated with mental health concerns and treatments within gastroenterology through patient and physician education.