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A gastroenterologist is a physician who has medical expertise concerning the disease management of the lover and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. These are primarily concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases in both men and women.

Job and Responsibility of a Gastroenterologist

These physicians are primarily concerned with endoscopic procedures for their patients; this is done with the help of specialized endoscopic equipment and procedure. Once they view the tract, they do the diagnosis and make the proposed treatment procedure or advice appropriate medication for the same. These physicians do not perform any surgeries part of their medical procedure. In specific situations, one might find them working closely with GI surgeons. The primary places of work for these people include hospital or clinic settings. The primary responsibility of the GI physician involves work in any of the following categories:

Absorption of appropriate nutrients

Removal of waste from the human body

Digestion and transportation of food from one part to another in the human body

Some other parts which are treated by a GI physician include the following:

  • Tongue
  • Epiglottis
  • Rectum
  • Anus
  • Gallbladder
  • Pancreas
  • Salivary glands
  • Small intestine
  • Large intestine
  • Liver
  • Pharynx
  • Oesophagus
  • Stomach

Medical Training

The first step a GI physician has to undergo is a 3-year internal medicine residency at medical college, followed by the fellowship in this specialization. This fellowship goes on for 2-3 years; by the time these professionals are done with their GI training, they would have completed 5-6 years of specialized education after medical school.

The training in this discipline involves a rigorous yet intense routine where the individual has to learn their discipline straight from people who have been experts in the domain, thereby helping them in developing a detailed understanding of the subject. The training they undergo involves learning about what recommendations are to be provided to patients, the conditions to be treated as part of this domain, and the treatment for such people with given disorders. Being doctors in this discipline, they are taught to treat patients both in the hospital and in their offices.

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Extended medical training for GI physicians

These individuals are also expected to receive training in the fields of endoscopy under the supervision of an expert instructor and GI doctors. This practice involves the use of flexible and narrow tubes that can help in the visualization of the inner intestinal tract. With the help of such specialized training, the individual can learn how to do endoscopy, complete effective tests optimally and safely, and also use sedation techniques that can help in putting the patient with ease and comfort during training and surgeries.

These trainees also undergo training in the area of advanced endoscopic procedures such as the removal of the colon from the body, intestinal dilation, oesophageal dilation, etc. Doctors in this domain can learn how to perform tests and interpret the results and findings obtained to recommend treatments and medications in the case of cancer. Advanced GI physicians also receive their education to learn about advanced procedures. These further include endoscopic biliary examination, removing tumors from the body without the use of surgery, etc.

They receive a good amount of training that would later help them in removing stones that are present in the bile ducts without the use of surgery. They would also be able to evaluate the liver and the gastrointestinal tract and come up with some alternatives that can be used in the place of general surgeries on these parts of the body.

Out of the others, the most critical phase of this training is the one that covers the provision of quality services relating to endoscopy and consultation. During this period of training, all individuals have to pay attention to detail and incorporate a learning attitude to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the entire tract. In addition to this, they have to master the services and recommendations that are to be provided to all GI patients.

Once they undergo this advanced fellowship training, these people are considered to be those who are committed to the highest quality and uniform educational means. Some groups which provide such fellowships include the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American Gastroenterological Association, the American College of Gastroenterology, and the American Board of Internal Medicine.

These groups are charged with the responsibility of scrutinizing each program and researching through surveys to make sure that each medical candidate receives the highest quality training from such institutes. Once they undertake the examination that is certified by the medical board, they are classified as certified GI practitioners.

What makes GI practitioners different from others?

These individuals are met with a unique form of training that prepares them for the niche and gives them the ability to provide quality services to all patients irrespective of the problem they face. These people are expected to do a lot of research that helps them identify and scrutinize the perfect procedure or medication for a wide variety of GI ailments. Not only this; as part of their regular procedure, they are expected to perform GI procedures and interpret the results obtained for treatment.

According to studies, these people perform much better and quality procedures of colonoscopy examinations in comparison to other physicians in the medical field. These doctors, given the rigorous practice they undergo, can provide the patient with accurate and complete care for all patients that suffer from GI conditions, which differentiates them from other practicing physicians that are expected to perform similar procedures.

History of Gastrointestinal diseases

The history of GI diseases is something that dates back to Egyptian history, where researchers found and researched important knowledge in relevance to GI diseases. This majorly occurs during the time of the pharaohs, something that later developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


This article covered the basic that goes behind the study of GI diseases and the GI physicians that treat patients who are having this disease. It covers all the aspects that are covered within this study and the education that accompanies an individual aspiring to be a GI physician.