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Welcome Christian Sommerhalder to Texas Colon & Rectal Specialists–Grapevine and Irving

February 02, 2024

Christian Sommerhalder, M.D., MMS, colon and rectal surgeon, is now seeing patients at Texas Colon & Rectal Specialists–Grapevine and Irving. Dr. Sommerhalder shares his approach to holistic patient care and what excites him most about his career.

What inspired you to specialize in colon and rectal surgery?

I have dreamed of becoming a surgeon since I was eight years old and never considered another career path. During residency and fellowship, I had excellent mentors in colon and rectal surgery who inspired me to pursue the specialty. Colon and rectal surgery has such a wide variety of procedures, ranging from minor colonoscopies to extensive robotic operations. It gives me great satisfaction to fix issues that have plagued patients for months, if not years.

What excites you most about your career?

I love that I can go above and beyond what I learned in medical school and residency to deliver holistic care that not only focuses on the problem at hand, but also helps patients become a healthier, happier version of themselves. To help me achieve this, I am eager to create patient education materials focused on gut health, diet, nutrition, and exercise.

What would you like your legacy as a physician to be?

I would like to be known as a well-rounded surgeon who truly cares for every patient by focusing on prevention and treatment of the whole person, not just the disease. I want the legacy I leave to be one of compassion and competence, and for my patients to know that I am not only helping them manage their ailments, but I am also empathetically with them during their time of need.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy spending your time doing?

My main priority outside of work is spending time with my family and raising my children. I enjoy the outdoors and any sport that allows me to connect with nature, like hiking, snowboarding and biking.

If you could go back in time, what historical event would you like to witness?

I would love to witness Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon.

You have just been granted one wish - what would it be and why?

As corny as it may sound, I would wish for world peace. I want a world where everyone can get along with each other no matter where they come from or what they look like.

What was your first job before medicine?

Before medicine, my first job was in the lumber department at a home improvement store. I learned many different things during my time there — including how to drive a forklift, which was by far the best part of the job!

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