Nature of the work
Gastroenterology is a hospital-based specialty
concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of all gastrointestinal
and hepatological diseases. This specialty has expanded rapidly
since the development of endoscopy in the early 1970s.
Working in gastroenterology
Trained gastroenterologists develop and run
endoscopy services for diagnostic, therapeutic and screening
endoscopy. All specialists are competent at upper and lower GI
endoscopy and some will have had additional training in
hepatobiliary endoscopy. Most will participate in acute medical
receiving units and manage a broad range of gastrointestinal
disease, either in outpatients or following admission. Conditions
diagnosed and treated by gastroenterologists include:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
- Short bowel syndrome/high stoma output.
- Management of infective, alcoholic and autoimmune liver
Gastroenterologists must be proficient in:
- Diagnostic and therapeutic upper and lower endoscopy.
- Intestinal and liver biopsy.
- Paracentesis and insertion of parenteral nutrition lines.
- Planning and aftercare of patients undergoing liver
Most gastroenterologists will have a
commitment to participating in acute medical takes so they need to
keep up their broad medical skills.
Associated sub specialties
During training, gastroenterologists may
develop sub-specialty expertise, for example, in specialised
hepatology and pancreaticobiliary disease with endoscopic
retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
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