Dr. Gish began his medical training in 1974 when he was enrolled in the Pharmacy School at the University of Kansas. He transferred to the University of Kansas Medical School in1977 and finished his MD degree in 1980.
Dr. Gish went on to complete a 3-year Internal Medicine residency at the University of California, San Diego and a 4-year Gastroenterology and Hepatology fellowship including transplant medicine at the University of California Los Angeles during which time he was awarded the NIH Physician Scientist Award to study calcium signaling in liver cells.
After completing his training, Dr. Gish moved to San Francisco and took a position at the California Pacific Medical Center (formerly known as Pacific Presbyterian Hospital). He became the Co-Medical Director of the Liver Transplant Program in 1988 and then the Medical Director of the Liver Transplant Program in 1994 until 2010. In that role, he developed an outreach program that eventually served over 35,000 patients in the Northern California and Nevada regions and made the CPMC a leading liver transplant center.
Dr. Gish had and continues to have an active research program in viral hepatitis, liver transplant, bioartificial livers, and public policy especially related to liver cancer, liver transplantation, and viral hepatitis. Although his primary research focus is clinical research, he frequently collaborates with basic scientists in his research activities. He has published more than 600 original articles, review articles, abstracts and book chapters.
Dr. Gish is also actively involved in numerous professional societies and is a long-term member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, European Association for the Study of Liver Disease, Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver, and the American Society of Transplantation.
He is a fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease. Dr. Gish has served on the editorial boards of American Journal of Gastroenterology, Journal of Hepatology, Digestive Diseases and Sciences, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Liver Transplantation and Surgery, and Journal of Viral Hepatitis among many others. He has co-authored a public health policy for liver health in Vietnam and is also assisting with the development of healthcare policies in Armenia and the Philippines.
In December 2010, Dr. Gish moved to San Diego to join the faculty of UCSD as a Clinical Professor of Medicine, Section Chief of Hepatology, and Director of the Center of Excellence for Hepatobiliary Disease and Abdominal Transplantation (C.H.A.T.).
In September of 2013, Dr. Gish left UCSD to form a consulting company, Robert G. Gish Consultants LLC to provide consultative support to Hepatology Centers and Liver Transplant Programs who wish to start or grow their programs through pathways of quality and optimal patient care that is integrated with research and education.
At that time, Dr. Gish joined Dr. Manch at St Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center to start a liver transplant center and worked to establish a UNOS and Medicare certified program in 2016. On April 1, 2014, Dr. Gish joined the Stanford Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Liver Transplant Service Line as a Staff Physician with major roles in in-reach and outreach as well as program development.
Over the years of 2012 to current, Dr. Gish has been and continues to be very active with the National Viral Hepatitis Round Table (NVHR) a patient and community advocacy non-profit organization. In February of 2014, Dr. Gish joined the Hepatitis B Foundation, (HBF) as their Medical Director to lend his policy, advocacy and clinical science skills to their armamentarium.
Today, Dr. Gish is a Clinical Professor, Adjunct, Department of Medicine, at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas where he continues to teach, and is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. Dr. Gish has joined the consulting faculty at La Maestra in San Diego to establish a liver care program in the Federally Qualified Health Care clinic.