Who is a Gastroenterologist?
- Written by Los Angeles Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy is generally performed by a specialist called gastroenterologist. Gastroenterologist is sometimes called GI specialist (Gastro-Intestinal) or simply a stomach doctor. A gastroenterologist is a physician who has undergone a special training in the discipline of gastroenterology, which requires about 6 years of additional training (both internal medicine and gastroenterology) after graduating from the medical school. That is 26 years of school and training in total!
In general, GI doctors are required to perform a certain number of gastrointestinal procedures to complete their respective training programs. To be board-certified in gastroenterology, one also needs to pass a rigorous certification examination. In addition, most gastroenterologists maintain their skill by continuously performing certain number of cases each year, and attending annual continuing medical education programs.
Services offered by a gastroenterologist may include:
- Consultation on various conditions affecting the GI tract.
- Upper Endoscopy
- ERCP (a special procedure that allows an examination of the bile duct and pancreas)
Common symptoms or conditions for which a GI specialist may be sought include:
- Colon cancer screening
- Abdominal pain
- Heartburn (Acid Reflux)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Crohn's Disease
- Gallbladder disease and gallstone
- Helicobacter pylori
- Cancers of the GI tract including colon cancer, stomach cancer, pancreas cancer, or liver cancer