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Michele Rubin standing


Michele Rubin, APN

I always tell my patients to not let their UC control
their lives or let it define who they are.

From Chicago, IL
Years of experience: 40

Licensed Nurse Practitioner

What motivated you to specialize
in gastroenterology?

When I began as a new nurse at the University of Chicago Medicine, we had a multidisciplinary team
committed to helping UC patients manage their challenging disease and participate in research. I
realized I wanted to be a part of this team and help patients realize they are not alone and do not
have to be ashamed and hide their suffering from others. I found my passion in caring for these
patients and recognized they needed caregivers who could empathize and understand what they
were experiencing in their day-to-day life with the medical condition. I wanted to be that caregiver
who would listen and be their advocate.

What is the greatest challenge many
of your patients with UC face?

I find patients don't really understand what remission means, which is when symptoms are well
controlled. Some continue to settle for having abdominal pain and a high number of bowel
movements and think they’re in remission or they feel “good enough.” They start accepting this “new
reality” of being sick and may settle.

Number of countries visited:



In treating patients with UC,
what is your biggest challenge?

UC is still poorly understood by patients and practitioners. Beyond poor bowel health, patients living
with UC face a breadth of other challenges, for example, feeling isolated with their disease,
uncertainty about what to eat, and navigating intimacy issues. We need to make sure practitioners
understand these challenges so that all aspects of the condition can be treated. We need to “just
ask” and then “listen” to our patients.

My Personal Motto:

You have to move out of
your comfort zone in order
to reach your potential.


What advice would you give
a person living with UC?

Come to your clinic visits prepared with questions and let your GI know what’s important to you.
Invest time in finding a knowledgeable GI with a comprehensive patient support offering. It’s very
important to leave with all your questions answered. By discussing your fears, emotions, and disease
management goals in clinic visits, you could optimize the time you spend with your practitioner.

Bucket List:

Culinary tour of Italy.


Beyond a cure, what is your number
one wish for the UC community?

I hope patients will be able to see that their UC does not have to define them. They are more than
their disease! They can focus on other aspects of their life and can do the things that they enjoy.

Keep the conversation going

Check out helpful articles, videos,
and tips about living with UC.

Meet our Talking UC board members

Creating an educational resource for the UC community, by the UC community.



Since her UC diagnosis in 2013, Laura
has been involved in various advocacy
efforts for the UC community.



Michele is an advanced practice nurse
specializing in inflammatory bowel
disease and has been working with the
UC community for 40 years.



Dr. Dubinsky is the chief of pediatric
gastroenterology and hepatology at
Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
She is also a professor at Icahn
School of Medicine.



Laurie is an academic and a health
psychologist specializing in the care
of patients with chronic digestive
diseases. She has been researching
and working with the UC
community for 14 years.

Advisory and Editorial Board members are compensated by Pfizer for their work on

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