James M. Church, MD

Colon and Rectal Surgery
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James Church, MD is a colorectal surgeon who cares for all aspects of colorectal disease, with a particular focus on hereditary colorectal cancers and polyposis. Born and raised in New Zealand, Dr. Church did his medical school, postgraduate research and general surgical training in Auckland before training in colorectal surgery at the Cleveland Clinic and eventually joining the faculty there. Over the 34 years that followed, he played an instrumental role in developing what was widely considered the finest Department of Colorectal Surgery in the world.

Dr. Church has been co-Investigator of the Collaborative Colorectal Cancer Family Registry, funded by a research grant from the National Cancer Institute. In addition, he has served as the Chairman of the Leeds Castle Polyposis Group and the International Collaborative Group on Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer and President of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer. These international societies are dedicated to the care of patients with inherited colorectal cancer and research into their disease.

Dr. Church’s other areas of interests include colonoscopy, functional colorectal and anal problems including constipation and incontinence, perianal and perineal infections and inflammatory bowel disease. As head of the Section of Endoscopy at Cleveland Clinic, he helped develop several advances in the art of colonoscopy for the benefit of patients. He is also deeply commitment to education and is currently a Fellow of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, Costa Rican Society of Surgery, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, American College of Gastroenterology, American Surgical Association and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow.

Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated

  • Anal Cancer
  • Anal Fistula
  • Anal Incontinence
  • Bowel Incontinence
  • Colon Cancer
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colon Polyps
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Constipation
  • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)
  • Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Lynch Syndrome
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders
  • Perianal and Perineal Infections
  • Rectal Cancer

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Surgery at CUMC

Administrative Titles

  • Director of Research, Section Head of Hereditary Cancer and Familial Polyposis, Division of Colorectal Surgery

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center


  • Male

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161 Fort Washington Avenue
Floor 8
New York, NY 10032

Insurance Accepted

Affinity Health Plan

  • Essential Plan
  • Medicaid Managed Care


  • Medicare Managed Care
  • Special Needs

Amida Care

  • Special Needs


  • EPO
  • Great West (National)
  • HMO
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • POS
  • PPO


  • Medicare Managed Care
  • PPO


  • ConnectiCare
  • EPO
  • Essential Plan
  • HMO
  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • POS
  • PPO
  • Select Care (Exchange)
  • Vytra

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HealthPlus

  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Essential Plan
  • Medicaid Managed Care

Fidelis Care

  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Essential Plan
  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care


  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Leaf (Exchange)
  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care

Local 1199

  • Local 1199

MagnaCare (National)

  • MagnaCare


  • Railroad
  • Traditional Medicare


  • Multiplan

MVP Health Care

  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Essential Plan
  • HMO
  • Medicaid Managed Care

Quality Health Management

  • Quality Health Management


  • Special Needs




  • Compass (Exchange)
  • Empire Plan
  • HMO
  • Medicaid (Community Plan)
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • POS
  • PPO


  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care

World Trade Center Health Plan

  • World Trade Center Health Plan

*Please contact the provider’s office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

Credentials & Experience

Honors & Awards

  • 1999 – 2020: Top Doctors in America
  • 2007 – 2020: Top Surgeons in America
  • 2008 – 2020: Patients’ Choice Award
  • 2011 – 2020: America’s Top Doctors for Cancer
  • 2013 – 2020: Compassionate Doctors Award
  • 2004: Lifetime Achievement Award, Collaborative Group of the Americas, For Inherited Colorectal Cancer
America's Top Doctor
NY Top Doctor


Selected Publications

  • Lightner AL, Vaidya P, Vogler S, et al. Surveillance pouchoscopy for dysplasia: Cleveland Clinic Ileoanal Pouch Anastomosis Database [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 20]. Br J Surg. 2020;10.1002/bjs.11811. doi:10.1002/bjs.11811
  • Lavryk OA, Stocchi L, Shawki S, et al. Redo IPAA After a Failed Pouch In Patients With Crohn's Disease: Is It Worth Trying?. Dis Colon Rectum. 2020;63(6):823-830. doi:10.1097/DCR.0000000000001644
  • Church J. Re: Complete mesocolic excision and central vascular ligation for right-sided cancers: is it time to jump on board?. ANZ J Surg. 2020;90(6):1216. doi:10.1111/ans.15931
  • Mehta N, Abushahin A, Sadaps M, et al. Recurrence with malignancy after endoscopic resection of large colon polyps with high-grade dysplasia: incidence and risk factors [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 29]. Surg Endosc. 2020;10.1007/s00464-020-07660-y. doi:10.1007/s00464-020-07660-y
  • Kearney DE, Cauley CE, Aiello A, et al. Increasing Incidence of Left-Sided Colorectal Cancer in the Young: Age Is Not the Only Factor [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 10]. J Gastrointest Surg. 2020;10.1007/s11605-020-04663-x. doi:10.1007/s11605-020-04663-x