Where Are They Now: Nice Bertha Toriz, MD, AGAF

Nice Bertha Toriz, MD, AGAF, Gastroenterology, MNGI Digestive Health, Bloomington, MN

What were some of the projects you worked on while you were at Iowa and how did this work prepare you for your career? 
I did all of my training at the University of Iowa, from medical school to residency to fellowship. During those years I worked at the mobile clinic that was run by the medical students, on the diversity task force, and on some research projects. I also got married and started my family. I learned about prioritizing, managing stress, overcoming negativity, coping with the death of a patient, leaning on colleagues, compassion, working with difficult patients, paying a favor forward. One of my favorite things was meeting and learning about new cultures/foods/religions that I had not been exposed to in the past. As I reflect on these years, what I learned most were life skills that have made me a better physician.

What was most valuable to you during your years at the University of Iowa?
Getting an excellent education/training. The staff and peers that I interacted with were superb. Thank you, University of Iowa, for a phenomenal education and experience!!!!

What is one memory that stands out from your time at Iowa?
Meeting my husband at salsa dance lessons at the Field House.

What is something you learned at Iowa that you still use in your current role?
Many patients that are perceived as rude are actually scared. Being kind and taking time to hear their concerns helps provide better care and a successful doctor-patient relationship.

How do you maintain a life-work balance in your current role?
I owe it to my husband. He sacrificed his career to be a stay-home dad. This has given me the privilege to get involved in leadership roles at my local practice and nationally. Currently I am on the board of directors and the treasurer for MNGI Digestive Health. I have also served on multiple national committees for the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA). I am proud to say that I received the AGA distinguished clinician award in private practice in 2018. Honestly if it wasn’t for my husband, I would not have the life-work balance that I currently have. In addition to this, it also helps that MNGI Digestive Health is a large private practice group where my call burden is low and I get about 12 weeks off from work a year. This helps with having a lot of family time.



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