Dr. Van Lier Ribbink attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island from 1974 to 1978. He majored in the Biological and Medical Sciences. He was a member of the Delta Tau fraternity and played football there for four years.
Awards received while at Brown include the 1977 Class of 1910 Award given to the graduating Brown football team member with the highest grade point average. Dr. Van Lier Ribbink also was inducted into the Brown University Athletic Hall of Fame on November 10, 2001.
He returned to Brown University from September 1978 to January 1979 for further post-graduate education in Biochemistry and Analysis of Development. During that time, he was also a graduate assistant football coach for the Brown football team.
Dr. Van Lier Ribbink attended medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine from 1979 to 1983 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Most of the clinical training there was obtained at Charity Hospital.
While in medical school, Dr. Van Lier Ribbink also performed clinical clerkships at other academic institutions. These included a surgery clerkship with the University of Southern California School of Medicine at the Los Angeles County General Hospital. At the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, he performed a surgery clerkship at Moffett Hospital. There he trained on the services of the well-known endocrine surgeon, Dr. Orlo Clark, and pancreatic surgeon, Dr. Lawrence Way. Another surgical clerkship was obtained with the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota at Methodist Hospital. He trained there on the service of the well-known colon and rectal surgeon Robert Beart.
Awards received while in medical school included the 1983 C.V. Mosby Company Medical Book Award for Outstanding Performance as a Medical Student.
Dr. Van Lier Ribbink obtained his general surgery training as a resident for six years from 1983 to 1989 at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and its affiliated hospitals, St. Mary's Hospital and Methodist Hospital. He trained under such well-known surgical leaders as Dr. Jon van Heerden and Dr. Clive Grant in Endocrine Surgery; Dr. David Nagorny in liver, biliary and pancreatic surgery; Dr. Keith Kelly in gastrointestinal surgery; and Dr. Robert Beart in colon and rectal surgery. In addition, he obtained further trauma surgery training during residency with the University of Minnesota at the Hennipin County Hospital in Minneapolis.
During this period, Dr. Van Lier Ribbink had the good fortune of spending a year in surgical laboratory research in the gastrointestinal surgical research lab of Dr. Michael Sarr from June 1986 to June 1987 at the Mayo Clinic. He studied the role of hormonal factors in the regulation of gastrointestinal motility. This work resulted in papers published in the following journals and books:
This work also resulted in presentations at the following meetings:
Dr. Van Lier Ribbink received the 1987 Minnesota Surgical Society Resident Research Award for this work.
Dr. Van Lier Ribbink is certified in the specialty of surgery (general surgery) by the American Board of Surgery. He was originally certified in 1990, and then recertified on October 22, 1999.
Dr. Van Lier Ribbink is a member of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES) and The American Thyroid Association (ATA).